This recipe from "The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook" is a classic. If you make it with vegetable stock, you have one more thing that the vegetarians at the table can enjoy.

Leek and Potato Soup

Time Estimates

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
  • 4 large leeks (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes (4 large bakers) Heaping teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • Unsalted poultry or vegetable stock or additional milk
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Snipped chives, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Slice the white and pale green parts of the leeks (everything that is closer to white or yellow than green) crosswise and place in a bowl of water.
  2. Pull apart the rings and swirl to remove any dirt.
  3. Lift the leeks out of the water and drain in a colander.
  4. Use the same water to wash the heavy green tops; save these for poultry or vegetable stock.
  5. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat.
  6. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted.
  7. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  8. Add the potatoes to the pot with water to cover.
  9. Add the salt, bring just to a boil, and simmer over low heat until the potatoes and leeks are both tender.
  10. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  11. Purée the soup in a blender in batches, then strain through a coarse sieve; or better still, put the soup through the medium disk of a food mill, which purées and strains in one action. The soup base can be made to this point up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated.
  12. Combine the soup base and milk, and add stock or more milk as needed to bring the volume up to 3 quarts.
  13. Season to taste with salt and pepper and reheat over moderate heat, stirring frequently; do not let the soup boil after adding the milk.
  14. Correct the seasoning and serve garnished with chives.

Yield: Serves 8-12.