I made a delicious batch of potato leek soup the other day. Nothing special, just potatoes, milk, cream, onion, leek, and bacon.
But it was really terrific. Smooth and creamy with bits of onion and bacon. It was yummy not because of the ingredients, but because of the process I used.
Can you smell it?
At this point in a typical post, I'm usually writing the recipe. I'll do it, but this soup is about process not product.
How I made it is more important that what I put into it. That said, here are the ingredients for....
Potato Leek Soup
5 medium-sized, smooth skinned potatoes
8 oz bacon, brunoise (cut into matchsticks)
1 leek, chopped, white plus 1 inch of green
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tbspn unsalted butter
3 cups (or more) milk
1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the potatoes into an even medium dice. Cover with cold water, add 1 Tbsp salt, and cook until soft.
While the potatoes cook, saute the bacon in a stock pot. Add leeks and onion and cook until translucent. De-glaze with white wine, and add butter.
When the potatoes are done, strain them into a ricer, food mill or wire colander -- reserving the cooking liquid. Rice, process or press the potatoes into the cooked bacon and onion.
This is what makes a beautiful, smooth soup with lots of stuff to chew. The potatoes are re-textured, broken down, without pureeing the whole batch of soup. The skins are discarded because, well, they taste like dirt.*
Process the potatoes, add them to the stock pot, and add milk. Bring to a simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. Add cream and adjust seasoning, garnish and serve.
If you add potato water to thin the soup (as I did) check the liquid for saltiness. It's a bummer to add salty water to perfectly seasoned soup.
I garnished the soup with shaved red onion.
The finished soup is silky and smooth with stuff -- onion and bacon -- to chew.
Bon Appetit &
* I have nothing against dirt and am OK with eating potato skins, but this soup is just French enough to refine the humble potato. Discard the skins or feed them to the dog.
Many thanks to Jay Lake and Lisa for the lovely Christmas gift:
My tribe rocks!