Leek and Potato Soup

Soup is one of Chef Jason’s favourite things to cook. Spring is an exciting time with the beginning of new life poking through the garden beds and the smell of wild leek across the forest floor. It’s a time of inspiration and the welcome of new ideas with fresh ingredients. Leeks, garlic and potatoes are some of the heartiest ingredients, when prepared well in harmony together, layering their flavours, these three sing a delicious springtime tune.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup sliced shallots or ramp bulbs
1 cup sliced leeks, white part only
2 tablespoons sliced garlic
2 cups sliced peeled potato
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon white peppercorn
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
3 cups whipping (35%) cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Method

    1. On low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium size 6 litre saucepan.
    2. Add the shallots, leeks and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.
    3. Prepare a spice sachet by placing the bay leaf, thyme and peppercorn in a cheesecloth or muslin and tie with butcher’s twine into a sachet or spice sack.
    4. Add the wine and reduce by 2/3 then add the sachet to the saucepan along with the potatoes and cook gently for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    5. Add the stock, season with salt and bring to a simmer, continue to reduce by half, add the cream and cover with a lid allowing steam to escape.
    6. Cook on a low simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes longer.
    7. When cooked, remove the sachet and squeeze the contents into the saucepan. Discard the sachet.
    8. Strain the liquid from the vegetables into another container reserving for adjusting the consistency of the soup.
    9. In a high-speed food processor, purée the vegetables, adding the liquid in a slow steady stream while blending to achieve a smooth, velvety consistency. You may not require all the strained liquid, however, if you use all the liquid and the soup is too thick, add a little more stock or water to thin.
    10. Once processed, adjust the seasoning with salt if required. Strain through a fine sieve back into the saucepan, keep covered and heat gently to serve.
    11. Suggested Garnishes: Finish the dish with one of your favour toppings:

Fresh chives, ramp leaves or tarragon leaves
Sour cream
Fennel pollen
Caviar
Smoked fish
Poached egg
Crispy fried leeks or shallots
Poached oysters
Buttered leek and potato
Broken salt crackers or potato chips

Enjoy!