A Favorite Fall Soup
Potato and leek soup was what Louis Diat cooked one cold summer morning at the Ritz in NYC over a century ago because he had a lot of it as a child. The soup was left in the fridge all day, spun, strained, creamed and turned into vichyssoise. It became a classic. I love that soup, but in recent years I have taken to cook it the ‘original’ way – hot, in the fall, where it warms my bones and makes for one of my favorite lunches with salad and crusty bread.
Potato and Leek Soup
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small fennel bulb—halved, cored and chopped
- 1 medium celery rib, thinly sliced
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- White pepper
In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the leek, onion, fennel, celery, shallot, thyme, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the stock, potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the parsley and 1 tablespoon of the tarragon. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.
Add the cream to the saucepan and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon each of parsley and tarragon and season the soup with salt and white pepper; discard the thyme sprig. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.