JULIA'S BASIC LEEK AND POTATO SOUP
Yield: 2 quarts
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3 cups sliced leeks, white and palest green, trimmed and rinsed (from 12
ounces untrimmed leeks)
- 1 ½ cups sliced onions (about 6 ounces, or 2 medium onions)
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 6 cups water
- 4 cups peeled, diced potatoes, preferably russets, cut into 2-inch chunks
(about 1 ½ pounds)
- 1 ½ Tablespoons salt, or to taste
- ½ Tablespoons freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
Any of these enrichments and garnishes:
For a rich finish, stir any of the following into mashed or pureed soup base:
2 or more tablespoons of unsalted butter; ½ cup or more heavy cream or sour
To garnish, scatter any of the following over each serving: buttered
croutons; fronds of fresh chervil; chopped fresh chives; chopped fresh parsley. Or add a spoonful of sour cream or crème fraîche, in a swirl or a mound.
A large, heavy-bottomed 3- or 4-quart saucepan with cover
Melt the butter in the saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in the leek and
onion pieces to coat with butter, cover the pan, and reduce the heat. Cook
slowly, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are
very soft but not colored. Uncover, sprinkle on the flour, stir to
distribute it well, and cook for 2 minutes over moderate heat. Remove from
heat and let cool for a moment.
Then, stirring continually, gradually pour in 1 ½ cups of the water and bring
to the simmer. When the liquid is smooth and starts to thicken, stir in the
rest of the water, then add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Quickly heat the soup to a gentle boil, cover the pan, and lower the heat.
Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Correct
To serve, mash, blend, or purée the soup to the desired consistency and
adjust the seasonings. Garnish or vary the soup with additional ingredients
as suggested above.
To store the soup, let cool uncovered, then refrigerate or freeze.