On a recent visit to the vegetable market I found some very nice looking leeks. Nice unwrinkled white stalks with bright green stems, fresh looking, just begging to be sold. So I bought a few, even though they were not on my list, and I figured that I would find something to make with them when I got home. No problem there. Leek and potato soup just happened to be on the December list of recipes to be made for French Fridays with Dorie. I had a project, the leeks had a purpose, and all was right in my kitchen.
I have to tell you that I love leek and potato soup, I make it often and I have a very nice recipe of my own, which by the way is posted here. But, why not I thought, try Dorie Greenspan's recipe, from her cookbook "Around My French Table." Just for comparison.
Dorie's recipe contains the usual ingredients such as onions, garlic, broth, milk, and of course, leeks and potatoes. It's seasoned with thyme and sage, and Dorie recommends to add fennel or spinach to the broth, and to top the soup with croutons, or truffle oil, or grated cheese. Very nice suggestions.
I started off by cleaning the leeks well. I cut off the root ends and discarded the rough green leaves. I kept the white and light green parts of the leeks. I Cut them in half lenghwise, and rinsed each half several times under cold running water. This ensured that any soil that had remained between the leaves was washed off. Leeks need a good washing because during farming, in order to keep them white, soil is mounded high up on their stalks. The result of this practice is that dirt seeps down between the leaves. Therefore, leeks always need an extra "rinse cycle."
The next step was to puree the soup. After that was done, the soup was ready to eat. Preparing the soup was very easy. Very little labor involved. I boosted the flavor of the original recipe by adding more garlic and herbs. As for the topping, we had a little bacon loitering about, so I put it to use by cooking it and throwing it in the soup. That was a one time thing though. The best topping for this soup is some grated cheese and a few croutons!