Native to Mediterranean countries, leeks hold a flavorful spotlight in today’s culinary scene.
Although resembling a giant scallion or green onion, the leek is related to both the garlic and the onion, though its flavor and fragrance are milder and more subtle.
It has a thick, white stalk, cylindrical in shape and has a slightly bulbous root end.
Leeks are available year round in most regions.
Choose those with crisp, brightly colored leaves and an unblemished white portion.
Avoid those with withered or yellow-spotted leaves.
The smaller the leek, the more tender it will be.
Refrigerate leeks in a plastic bag up to 5 days.
Before using, trim the root end and the dark green leaves (although I have found some recipes which use these leaves to make a broth).
Leeks must be washed thoroughly, as dirt and small particles often become trapped in the tight woven layers of leaves.
I find it best to wash the leeks after I have prepped them, for easy cleaning.
I LOVE leeks. I enjoy their mild, onion flavor and how well they blend with potatoes.
The aroma of leeks, onion and butter sauteing is intoxicating.
This recipe is simple to prep and to cook.
Great for a weeknight, it can be served with your favorite bread for a warm comfy meal, on a cold winter night.
These quantities make 4 bowls of soup.
3 leeks, dark green leaves removed. Light green & white parts chopped to just smaller than bite size.
Make sure to place chopped leeks in a colander and thoroughly rinse. Sit aside to dry.
1 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoon butter, once melted, add finely chopped shallots.
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small russet potato, peeled, and cut up into 1/4″ bit size chunks.
2 bay leaves
chopped fresh thyme, about 1 tablespoon
Day old bread or loaf bread, toasted
Pour chicken stock and 1/3 cup of milk, chopped thyme, into a saucepan. Heat till it is simmering. You could add the CLEANED dark green leek stalks if you like.
After simmering for about 20 minutes, strain broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl.
Discard anything caught in the strainer, set aside liquids.
Melt butter, in the now empty saucepan over medium heat. Once butter is foaming, add leaks (light green & white parts), onions and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Saute until softened.
Increase heat to high, add the reserved broth, potato, bay leave. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Add toasted bread and simmer until bread is starting to fall apart (takes about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat.
Pour half the mixture in a Vitamix or a blender.
Blend at high speed for about 15 seconds.
Pour soup into serving bowl. Top with grated cheddar cheese and chopped chives.
Pour second batch of soup into blender/Vitamix and blend for 15 seconds.
Pour into serving bowl and garnish.