bits and pieces

Sunday, September 5, 2010

the best potato leek soup EVER

This was another creation of my old roommate. Potato leek soup is nothing new, but adding the fennel REALLY kicks it up a notch. Its subtle, its delicious, you can't quite place your finger on it, and it also makes you want more fennel in your life, all the time. Which can only be a good thing.

chopped potatoes! I normally use about 3-4, but it depends on how much soup you're making. But lets say 3 good sized potatoes or 4 not so giant ones. The type of potatoes you use is up to you. I like using just normal golden potatoes, or yukon gold (extra smooth and creamy), but you can also use just your average every day baking potatoes, or even bebe new potatoes (you'll just have to use more obviously).
4 cups of stock (again, I use chicken, but you can use veggie too)
3 leeks cleaned and diced
a couple cloves of garlic, minced
1 bulb of fennel, chopped
2 tbsp butter/olive oil
some cream + white wine to splash in your soup
any additional seasonings you might want.. sometimes I throw in a little rosemary or dill.

other things you'll need:
your wonderful immersion blender
a big soup cooking pot

  1. clean and chop your potatoes. Some people peel them, I don't really care so I leave the skins on. Also prep your leeks. You only use the white part of leeks (I have a friend who used the green parts - bleh!). Leeks can also hold a lot of dirt so make sure you clean them well. Chop them in half lengthwise (after cutting off the ends) and rinse them thoroughly. The chop them up into maybe 1 inch pieces. Also, chop your fennel bulb. You want to use the white part. Chop off the root-y base, and the green stems. Then just slice your
  2. melt your butter/olive oil in your big soup pot. Throw in your garlic and leeks and fennel and let them cook in the butter until they're getting soft and translucent. If you want to add some dried rosemary and some pepper, now is a good time to do it.
  3. toss in your potatoes and cook them for a minute or two with your leeks/garlic/fennel.
  4. then as with most soups, toss in your stock and bring to a boil. I like to toss in some white wine here too, just a big splash or two. Simmer to cook your potatoes until they're soft and tender. As you make more soups you start to realize that the process is pretty much identical for a lot of the vegetable soups. Cook your onions/aromatics, throw in veggies, throw in stock, cook, puree. It's easy!
  5. once your potatoes are soft and nice, puree your soon-to-be-soup with your wonderful immersion blender. Pour in some more wine/cream, and then season your soup. It should taste nice already but it is probably in dire need of salt and pepper. Potato soups generally will need more salt as the potatoes suck it right up (fun tip: if you've ever over salted a soup and it hasn't been blended already, throw in a few cut potatoes and cook for awhile.. they will help suck up some of the salt). Don't over salt your soup but feel free to throw in some thyme, rosemary, dill, chives, whatever! I like my potato leek soup with a lot of black pepper, salt, rosemary, and some dill.
  6. enjoy your delicious soup with a baguette and some butter.
note: this soup keeps really well. I am of the opinion that it's even better after having sat for a day or two (in the fridge). You can use this potato leek soup for a bunch of things too. My old roommate liked to sear some salmon and eat it swimming on a plate of potato leek soup. Tasty.

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