Dec 24, 2012

My "Love-Child", Rustic Potato Leek Soup

Rustic Potato Leek Soup
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Rustic Potato Leek Soup
"Love-Child" might be going overboard, but I have to admit that this is one of my favorite soups of all time. Part of it is that I happen to love potatoes, but when you combine potatoes with leeks, onion, garlic and cream, how can you go wrong. Normally this soup is blended until smooth, but I prefer my "rustic" version with small slices of potato that have the skins left on. The Germans and Portuguese would have liked it this way. They brought the potato to Hawaii many years ago. This is a simple, straightforward soup, and is a great first course when guests stop by unexpectedly, or to enjoy by yourself on a cold day.
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced, about 1 cup
3 small leeks, split open, washed to remove any grit, then thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large russet potatoes, washed, thinly sliced with the peeling left on
1 bay leaf
4 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth (or enough to barely cover the potatoes)
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon mace
salt and black pepper to taste
fresh chives for garnish, chopped

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat, with olive oil. Add onions, leeks, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring, until onions are limp and just slightly brown for about 10 minutes. Add sliced potatoes and bay leaf to the pot with chicken broth to cover, stir. Continue cooking over medium low heat, stirring often for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Break up potatoes with a wooden spoon, but don't mash. Add half-and-half, and mace. Stir and taste for seasoning. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf. Serve and garnish bowl with snipped fresh chives. Other garnishes might include, croutons, sour cream, crumbled bacon, grated cheddar cheese, or fresh dill. Serve with hot crusty bread. Makes 4-6 servings.

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