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Potato Leek Soup (for two)

One pot easy. I use a low-sodium chicken stock in this recipe, but feel free to use veggie stock to make the dish vegetarian; omit the dairy at the end for a vegan version. No blender or food processor required – my version calls for an old fashioned potato masher.

2 leeks, white and pale green parts only
Olive oil
2 cups stock
2 medium Yukon Gold or other yellow potato,
peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh (or dried) thyme leaves
1/4 cup half & half or milk, optional
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Parsley or additional fresh thyme as optional garnish

Remove root end and slice leeks in half lengthwise, rinse to remove any sand, then place the leek, cut-side-down and thinly slice. Heat a medium pot over a medium fire and coat the bottom with a little olive oil. Add the leeks and saute, stirring often, until the leeks just begin to brown, about ten minutes. Pour the stock into the pot, add the potato and thyme. Bring to a boil. Let simmer about fifteen minutes, or until potatoes are very soft. Use a potato masher to smooth the soup to desired consistency (I like it a little chunky). Taste, and add salt and pepper as desired. If you would like a little silkiness, add a little half & half or milk. Serves 2.