Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow?

Snow is threatening to fall today in San Antonio, Texas for the second time this winter. And I think it warrants something warm and comforting. Like a fabulous beef stew or grandma's chicken and dumplings.

But, since I don't eat beef or fowl (fowl is foul in my world), I am leaning towards making a big pot of soup. I love the smell of soup cooking on the stove...it makes me feel like I'm at my grandmother's house. And with snow looming (or, more likely, wet drizzle), and a fire roaring in the fireplace, soup sounds like a perfect way to end the day.

I picked up some carrots at the farmers market this weekend that I could use for the mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery), but I need to make a soup that David and I will both enjoy.

So in honor of the snow (if you call that snow...), I've decided on a potato soup made with leeks. It's a white, satiating soup that will certainly warm us up on this very cold and wet snow day.

Buen provecho!

Potato Soup
The Cowgirl Gourmet

Print Recipe

Serves 4-6

This soup is a perfect fix when you want a soup but don't have that much time. You can whip this up and have dinner on the table in 45 minutes or less. It's versatile, too, meaning that you can use leeks or onions. You can peel the potatoes or leave the skin on...I leave the skin on to retain some of the nutrients. You can add milk or cream or not. I choose fat-free milk so I can minimize the fat content, but that's not to say that I won't add a little cream to the leftover soup tomorrow. You can puree it all or leave some chunky for texture.

2 leeks, only the whites and light green part, chopped (you could use 1 1/2 cups of chopped yellow onions instead)
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4 Tablespoons EVOO or olive oil
5 cups russet potatoes, washed and chopped (about 4 large potatoes)
4 cups (or enough to cover the veggies by an inch) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (I use half veggie broth and half water to control the sodium)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste, if necessary
Fresh parsley or dill, chopped (optional)

Cut the dark green tops off the leeks leaving just the white and light green. Cut in half lengthwise and place in a bowl of water to remove any dirt. Dirt loves to stay in leeks so clean these carefully. 

Chop the leeks once they are clean.

Place a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat and add 2 Tablespoons EVOO. When the oil is shimmering, add the leeks and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir. Allow to saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped carrot and celery and let cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the diced potatoes, 2 Tablespoons EVOO and cook for 3 minutes. Cover veggies and potatoes with either vegetable or chicken broth or a combination of both. Drop in a bay leaf and stir.

Cover and bring to a boil. Once it boils, drop the heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and either puree the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot. I generally don't puree everything, but leave some a little chunky. Add milk or cream and stir. Turn on low heat and let cook for another 10 minutes. The soup will thicken up now.

Taste for seasoning and add a little more salt, if desired. Serve and top each bowl of soup with freshly ground black pepper and perhaps some fresh chopped parsley or dill.
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