Ever since I read in the book French Women Don’t Get Fat that one of the reasons our French female counterparts were much thinner than us in the Americas was because they consumed a great amount of leeks… this beautiful green vegetable has captivated me immensely.
I always thought French women were thinner because they ate smaller portions, they walk everywhere and that to the French overall, quality is much more important than quantity. And thinking about the Latin/Hispanic culture, so completely opposite to that of the French – quantity is more important that quality of the ingredients, where so many people live sedentary lives and take the car to go to the corner store… we should incorporate more leeks into our diet… actually, not should, we MUST!!!
Let’s start with this Potato Leek Soup. It’s super easy and relatively quick to make. I enjoyed the flavor a lot and most of all, I loved the fried Leek Rings as garnish… hey, I speak French, love the French culture, but can’t take the Puerto Rican out of me… This was a recipe I learned from Alton Brown in Good Eats.
Check it out…
POTATO LEEK SOUP
½ lbs of leeks, cleaned and dark and tough leaves removed 2 tbs butter 2 tbs olive oil 3 small potatoes, I used russet – washed well, peeled and diced small 2 cups vegetable broth 1 cup Half and Half Salt and Pepper to taste
- First you need to clean the leeks well. They always come full of sand and dirt in between the layers, even more so when you’re buying organic. You can cut the leek lengthwise without disturbing the root end so that the leek will sort-of “fan out”. Submerge in a sinkful of cold water and shake it well to dislodge any sand and dirt trapped in between the layers. Or you can just run it under cold water. (Note to self: in my dream kitchen I want a sink for the sole purpose of cleaning produce…)
- After the leeks are cleaned… finish cutting the root end and slice thinly. I use the white part and the tender green parts of the leek. These are somewhat expensive in Puerto Rico, so I try to use most of it as possible…
- In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the leeks with a heavy pinch of salt. Sweat the leeks for about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While this is happening… prep the potatoes. I usually leave the skin on my potatoes, because in the thin film between the peel and the flesh is where a lot of nutrition lies, but in this case, because it’s a creamed soup, the skins will just get in the way.
- Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth. Increase the heat to medium hi and bring to a boil. I covered it to make it happen faster. Once it reaches the boiling point, reduce the heat to low, maintain covered and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. I still left some chunky pieces of potatoes and it was a nice contrast to the smooth soup. Stir in the half and half and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
The soup will remain warm enough to eat while you make these Leek Rings, which actually were incredible…
I also learned in the Good Eats episode that this soup is also called Vichyssoise, especially if served cold. I am not too fond of cold soups so we’ll keep on calling it Potato Leek Soup.