How to make this soup
Oh shit. This was a good potato leek soup.
Potato leek soup is one of those dishes that will make you feel like a professional chef because it's so delicious, but it's also outrageously easy to make.
I'm a huge fan of soups, both because of general deliciousness and also as a way of keeping up with my nutrition. You can hammer them full of vegetables, for one thing, and for another thing, they have a ton of volume for not a ton of food. I love to eat, but I don't love to feel stuffed, and I find soups to be a perfect way of modulating the two.
This soup made about 8 servings. If you've never prepared leeks, they need to be separated and washed by layer in order to get all the dirt off them. Dirty soup is sad. Cut the rooty ends off (not the entire white part, just the rooty part) and toss, cut the dark green parts off and toss, cut the remaining middles in half lengthwise and then they will easily split for washing.
3 TBSP butter
4 leeks (chopped)
As many chopped cloves of garlic as you like (I used 6 which is a lot but an ambitious garlic lover could do more and I would respect it)
Approx. 4 Yukon gold potatoes (diced into cubes)
8 cups chicken or veggie broth
3-4 bay leaves
Several sprigs of fresh thyme (I probably used 8)
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large soup pot and add the chopped leeks and garlic for a good 10-15min. You want them to look soft and buttery, but not brown so don't scorch the everliving hell out of them. They don't deserve that.
Add everything else into the pot and bring it to a boil. (Add salt and pepper to taste. I'm always hesitant to give quantities on salt and pepper because it's really up to you. Keep adding a bit at a time until you like how it tastes.)
Cover the pot so all your delicious broth doesn't boil away, turn down the heat, and let it simmer until the potatoes are cooked all the way through. Remove the bay leaves and thyme and throw them out. It's literally done.
Now it's chef's choice:
*You can purée the soup with an immersion blender or food processor if you want it to be smooth. I like to feel like I'm eating food in my soup, so I only blend it a little bit or not at all.
*This soup is traditionally made with heavy cream added. I pretty much always hate cream soups so I just leave it out entirely and don't care a bit. If you do care a bit, you could add a TBSP at a time, taste, and re-evaluate until you get the richness you're craving. But I promise you won't need much.
*Accessorize the shit out of it. For the soup at the top of the page, I used chopped chives, homemade croutons (out of old garlic ciabatta, fuck yeah what's up old bread I didn't have to waste), chopped bacon, and a squeeze of lemon. Plenty of other options, if you're feeling creative, look for something salty, something acidic, and/or something crunchy.
The whole thing probably takes an hour, if you're simultaneously singing and dancing while you cook like I do. You serve this with a salad for dinner, you're gonna feel utterly delighted with the meal. Plus you won't send your guests home overstuffed with a chance of diarrhea. It's a win-win-win.