Home Books Buy Appearances Op-eds Reviews & Interviews Bio Contact & Media
$64 tomato

Recipes from the Garden
Leek Potato Soup

Caprese Pasta

Anne's Peach Pie

Bread and Butter Pickles

Anne's Applesauce

Potato Apple Thyme Gratin
Leek Potato Soup
"'Why can't Dad be more like other dads?' Katie asked my wife recently. 'All my friends' dads spend Sundays watching football and drinking beer.' ... I was flabbergasted when I heard this. This is a thirteen-year-old's ideal of a father? ... While this conversation was taking place, I was in the garden, of course, even though it was December. The first hard freeze of the season was coming in overnight, and I needed to harvest the remaining leek. Later, while the Jets were blowing a close one, I was in the kitchen, making steaming leek potato soup that Katie positively swooned over at dinner. And she wanted to trade me in for a beer-drinking couch potato?" — The $64 Tomato
This is a remarkably comforting soup on a cold winter day (while the Jets are blowing a close one). With a loaf of fresh bread it becomes a meal. In the spring, substitute fresh asparagus or peas for the leek, and you have two more reasons to cook soup.

  1. Cut off and discard the roots and green tops (leaving about an inch of green) from three to six leeks, depending on their size. Discard the outer one or two tough leaves. Slice the leeks down the middle lengthwise and clean well under running water, then slice into about ½-inch pieces. Reserve one piece for garnish, and sauté the rest over medium heat in a soup pot in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter for about 10 minutes, until the leeks start to soften and turn translucent.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and cut 3 medium potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold, into chunks. Add the potatoes and 3 cans or one box of low-salt chicken broth (yes, homemade is always better, but who's got the time?) to the leeks. Bring to a low boil, then turn down and simmer with the lid ajar for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leek are tender and the potatoes are soft. Slice the reserved leek into thin slivers and set aside.
  3. Remove the pot from the stove and use an immersion (stick) blender to thoroughly puree the mixture. If you have only a standing blender, transfer the soup in batches until it is all pureed. You will probably go out and buy an immersion blender soon afterwards.
  4. After blending, return the soup to the stove and whisk in ½ cup heavy cream. Wisk more or less continuously until a simmer is just reached, then remove from heat and check the seasoning. If you used regular broth (as opposed to low-salt), you probably just need to add pepper. Ladle into bowls, add the leek garnish, and serve.
Serves 6.