Tuesday, April 7, 2009
last week i shopped the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. it's a great market. known as the market "where all the chefs shop", it boasts some of the most amazingly fresh produce you'll find in LA. if you live in LA and haven't been yet, i urge you to check it out!
i came across a booth selling an assortment of root vegetables. the farmer had everything from jerusalem artichokes, fingerling potatoes, to a wide variety of carrots and baby carrots. when i saw the pile labeled "french fingerling potatoes", i had to buy some. they looked so creamy just as is, i knew they'd make for a fabulous soup. i've been wanting to try making potato & leek soup so i picked up some leeks as well and my menu was set.
fingerling potato & leek soup
serves 4 (generously) - 6
2 large leeks
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. fingerling potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup white wine
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup cream
*reserve some of the leeks to use as garnish. see instructions below.
you only want to use the white and pale green parts of the leeks. cut off any dark green part and discard. leeks have a lot of layers which hold a lot of dirt so it's really important to clean your leeks well. to do so, split the leeks length wise and rinse under water. then dice them and put in a large bowl with water. rinse and strain. repeat a couple times until leeks are clean and free of all dirt.
in a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter. when the butter melts and starts to foam, add the leeks, salt and pepper. cook until tender but not brown, about 8-10 mins.
add the garlic and diced potatoes and mix in well with the leeks. add the wine, bring to a boil and simmer for approx 3 mins. the wine will mostly absorb into the vegetables. add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 30 mins or until the potatoes become extremely soft. add the cream and simmer for a couple more minutes.
blend 4 ladle fulls of the soup in a blender and return back to the pot. i wanted a chunky soup so i only blended 4 ladle fulls. if you want a smooth, pureed soup, you can of course blend all of it.
for garnish, julienne the leeks, approx. 2-3" in length. heat a small skillet with enough oil to coat the bottom. once the oil is hot, add the leeks and fry until lightly golden brown. make sure to keep an eye on them as they will brown quickly.