The blur that was October has come and gone, and suddenly I find myself a week into November. I don’t know how I got here. The Fall has been beautiful thus far. The leaves have turned, the sun has been shining, the air is crisp. There isn’t much better than fall in Portland. I am thankful for so many beautiful days…it has done my heart a lot of good.
And with the fall comes the cold – the scarves, the jackets, the sweaters – and the brisk bike rides to work. And with the fall comes the endless opportunities to make big batches of delicious soup. And, this, my friends, is the best thing about fall: it is officially soup season! (Let it be known that I am strangely insistent in the fact that I will only eat/make/enjoy soup when it is cold outside. I just don’t think that hot soup makes sense in the summer!)
So, soup season is finally here. And what better way to ring in the season than with an old classic? I kicked off soup season with an old standby: Potato Leek Soup. And while this soup is anything but fancy (and I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “healthy”) – it is so very simple, hearty, and delicious. It is the perfect comfort food! And, since the main ingredient in the soup is potatoes (which are usually dirt cheap) – this is a very affordable way to feed a crowd. For all of these reasons, this is one of my absolute favorite soups to make. It is warm, comforting goodness in a bowl.
So, here is to fall! To the changing of seasons, to cold nights and cute jackets, and to big bowls of goodness (aka Potato Leek Soup!).
POTATO LEEK SOUP
5-6 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 large (or 3 small) leeks, washed and sliced thinly (white and light green parts)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream (or milk)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (homemade is best!)
2- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the leeks, and saute until soft (7-10 minutes). Add in the chopped potatoes, bay leaf, and thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add in the stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft (can poke a fork through them). Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne (note: depending on the type of stock you use the amount of salt you need to add will be quite different. Just salt to taste!).
Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Puree the soup – using a blender, immersion blender or food processor (if you don’t have any of these – you can just use a potato masher!). After the soup is pureed, stir in the cream. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary.