Hello December! Soup season is in and the abundance of great ingredients at local organic markets, and farmers markets is evident in the bundles of leeks, bags upon bags of different colored and flavored potatoes, along with celery, onions, carrots, all beautiful produce to create a delectable bowl of creamy, smooth, comfort and heartfelt goodness. This is how our latest soup recipe came to be, strolling through the isles of great vendors at the City Hall downtown market and there we saw them bundles of leeks, celery, carrots, potatoes, the day a bit cooler in temperature and our insides craving something to warm us from the inside out and what better way to do that than to make a soup as we did out of leeks and potatoes and so Chunky Potato Leek Soup came to be.
The base of any great soup is broth whether it be a slowly simmering chicken broth made with an old chicken “old chickens make good soup” as my mother used to say on our regular Saturday treks to the downtown market to pick up chicken and other things. A good vegetable broth made with onions, celery, carrots, the mighty mirepois, a good beef broth made with beef bones great for a beef and barley soup, this creamy soup demanded a veggie broth, together with the potatoes and leeks, a few herbs and you are left with spoon after spoon of soothing creamy goodness leaving you wanting more after the first bowl is gone. One of my go to things to use for soups or stews is bay leaf. It intensifies the flavor so well, the only thing to remember is to take them out when pureeing because if not you are left with shards of dry leaves, not something you want in a soup.
When I was pureeing this soup I decided not to blend it too much and leave some of the potatoes chunky, this added a nice variety to the texture and flavor. A garnishing of deep fried leeks and avocado oil, and a drop of sriracha, give this bowl of soup some artistic flair, color, and dimension. I have to say that Nicoletta works hard to get the picture just right so that you are pulled in spoon, bowl, soup, and tastebuds. This challenge of food photography is one I think all food bloggers go through, lighting, staging, theme, effect, and outcome, probably the product of many moments of anxiety. I call it performance anxiety, I would have it prior to going on stage to perform musically always worried about screwing up, forgetting things, but that never happened and it was the ammunition I used to rationalize that fearful voice rearing up, leaving it in the shadows of a better progressing future. I personally think that Nicoletta presented this soup beautifully, but I am biased lol. But even if I am biased I can’t lie the pictures have me wanting that soup again and looking at them make my heart and soul soar. I know Nicoletta would try to dispute this fact but I am long winded and persistent.
The smell of this soup lingered in our home for a few days in a good way. In the early morning waking up and opening the door and smelling that soup made me think this place smells like a restaurant, a good one, and a smile came to my face as I wonder what it would be like to have a restaurant, anything is possible. To all of us food bloggers and photographers I leave you rockin’ to a classic song: Def Leppard “Photograph”.
Enjoy the soup, and rock it in the kitchen.
- 5 Yukon gold potatoes
- 7 stalks of leeks
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/4 of a yellow onion
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce
- 4 cups of vegetable stalk
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup of half and half cream
- Wash and cut potatoes into chunks.
- Place potatoes into a pot of water covering the potatoes well. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes.
- In a soup pot drizzle in olive oil. Toss in onions, leeks, celery, leeks, and potatoes.
- Add butter.
- Keep some of the leeks for garnish.
- Cook till onions and leeks have softened.
- Add bay leaves, salt and pepper.
- Pour in the vegetable broth. Simmer for about 1 hour.
- Add half and half, stir well. Take off heat and remove the bay leaves.
- With a hand blender blend soup minimally leaving some chunks.
- In a frying pan pour in canola oil and heat to 325° F.
- Separate remaining leek strands and place carefully into the oil.
- Cook till leeks become crispy, then remove from oil and place on some paper towel to cool.
- Plate soup, add crispy leeks, drizzle some avocado oil, and a drop of sriracha.
- Ready to serve.