leek soup

When the weather gets colder my mind goes to one place. Ok, two... Soup and hot tubs. Since we don't have a hot tub, I mainly just think about the soup. This year I tried a soup I had never made before. And the main ingredient is a vegetable I had never even cooked with before. But, when I saw this recipe for leek soup in the October issue of Bon Apetit (and I saw how easy it was) I couldn't wait to try it.

We've made this soup many times now and it's so delicious--creamy, smooth, and the potatoes on top add the perfect bit of crunch. This is the ideal fast meal after a day of skiing.

Leek soup with shoestring potatoes and fried herbs
Serves 8

For the soup you're gonna need...

1 stick of butter
6 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 small onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
2 cups of whole milk, divided
1 cup of heavy cream, divided
1 cup of plain whole fat yogurt, divided
Black pepper

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks, onion, and garlic and then season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are very soft, 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then add the milk, cream, and yogurt. Mix together and then, using an immersion blender, blend all of the ingredients together. Return the soup to heat over medium and add small bits of water in 1/4 cup increments if you think it is too thick. It should be thick enough to hold the potatoes on top but thin enough that if a spoon is dragged along the top it doesn't leave a trail. Season with salt and pepper.

For the potatoes you're gonna need...

1 russet potato, cut into thin matchsticks
Vegetable oil for frying (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley
1 sprig of rosemary
Kosher salt
Flaky sea salt

Rinse the potatoes under cold water and then pat until completely dry. If they're too wet, they will splatter a lot when placed in the hot oil. Fit a medium sauce pan with thermometer, pour in the oil to measure about 2 inches deep. Heat the oil until the temperature comes to 350 degrees. Working in batches and returning the oil to 350 degrees, add the potato by the handful and fry. Turn them occasionally until they turn golden and crispy--about 2 minutes. Then, using a slotted spoon, take the potatoes from the pan and place them on a paper towel to drain. Fry the parsley and rosemary for about 15 seconds. Mix the herbs with the potatoes and let cool. Season with salt and place them on top of the soup like a little nest when you're ready to serve.