Yesterday was rainy and I felt a familiar chill in the air. It felt like fall for the first time. I'm trying to embrace the beauty of the season, because I do love it, but it is so hard to enjoy for the simple fact that fall can move into a never-ending winter faster than you can say "pumpkin patch, apple pie, chili, and football"(it may already have snowed just in the time I took to type that out). For real, embracing the season change is very difficult for this girl who did spend a large chunk of her childhood in Phoenix, and is now destined to live in Minnesota forever (thank you for the golden handcuffs, Mayo Clinic). So, as is typical for me, I felt a strong urge to bake something apple-based, make bread, and fire up the stove for a pot of soup when I awoke to the dreariness of yesterday morn. I didn't succeed in that culinary trifecta of Fall (thanks to the laundry), but I did make the soup. My husband informed me he wasn't in the mood for lentils, or tomato based soups, or chili, but he did perk up at the idea of potato-something-soup. Since we love the artichoke and leek soup (that has one measly potato in it), I decided to google a few potato leek soup recipes and see what I could come up with. This one was quite tasty, ridiculously easy, and the bonus is that my 4 year old (pickiest child known to man) found it to be rather tasty. She slurped down her "soup smoothie" via straw and asked for more. It's possible I may have told her this was "smashed potato soup" and neglected to tell her about the leeks it contained, but a little omission of the truth in the name of nutrition is perfectly acceptable at my dinner table. I liked this even better when I reheated it for lunch today, and am already looking forward to a repeat tomorrow. Gather your picky eaters and serve up some soup smoothies at your house soon, or file this away for another rainy day.
Potato Leek Soup
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock (if you like a really thick soup, you might cut this down to 7 cups)
- 6 potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces (I used regular potatoes from a 5 lb bag. If you use enormous baking potatoes, you won't need 6 of them)
- 4 leeks (white/light green parts only), thoroughly washed and sliced
- 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (if you don't have fresh, use 1/2 t. dried)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream (don't freak out. This makes a huge pot of soup to serve 8, so you are getting a very small amount per bowl. My Fitness Pal won't hate you, I promise).
Put the stock, potatoes, leeks, celery, bay leaf and thyme in a large pot and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bring to boil and cook until the potatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor), blend the soup until smooth. I have an immersion blender (aka boat motor) that I got at a garage sale about 10 years ago for free, and it is one of my very favorite kitchen tools. Pour the soup into a pot (if you had to remove it to blend it); add the cream and simmer until the soup has thickened, about 15-20 minutes. I served this with slices of french baguette that I toasted in the oven, drizzled with good olive oil, and sprinkled with salt. A kale salad on the side made this a perfectly rounded meal.