Rustic Leek and Potato Soup - Vichyssoise
4-5 lb of leeks (about 3 large)Step 1: Clean your leeks well. Leeks are grow best in silty soil and the grit gets between the tight leaves. Here's a tutorial on how to get your leeks squeaky clean. Then chop the leeks into 1 inch slices.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
5 1/4 cups chicken broth (I used Better than Bullion paste)
1 bay leaf
1 3/4 lbs red potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
Step 2: Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. When the butter starts foaming add the leeks. Stir to coat and increase the heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender but not mushy, 15-20 minutes. Do not let the leeks brown. Sprinkle the tablespoon of flour over the leeks and mix it in. Allow a couple minutes for the flour to dissolve.
Step 3: Increase the heat to high; whisking constantly, gradually add the stock (or equivalent bullion and water). Add the bay leaf and potatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce until the potatoes are almost tender, 5-7 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and let stand covered for an additional 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 4: You can serve the soup now and enjoy the chunks of potato and leek or you puree it for a smoother texture. An immersion blender is the easiest option or you may batch the soup through a food processor or blender. Another option would be to blend part of the soup so you get the creamy broth and the chunks - so many options. Don't forget to take out the bay leaf before pureeing. I forgot and I had a couple spoonfuls with twiggy little bits. Oops.
Leek and Potato soup will store a couple days in the fridge or freeze for several months. When reheating be sure to warm gently, do not allow the soup to boil. Boiling will cause curdling.