Potato Leek Soup with Hearty Croutons and Creme Fraiche


    As my cousin said, “very flavorful and not too rich”

    A soup before a meal really does not, and should not, have to be heavy and rich. You want to finish your soup feeling satisfied and ready for your main entree.
    I made this soup for a private dinner party that I catered. My ABSOLUTE favorite part of catering is working with clients to come up with a wonderful, creative, seasonal menu.
    This party’s menu was particularly lovely.
    Appetizers:
    Buckwheat blini with smoked trout and creme fraiche (recipe)
    Baked dates filled with cevre and wrapped in bacon (recipe)
    Crostini with Grilled Radicchio in a balsamic dressing topped with shaved Parmigiano
    First Course:
    Potato leek soup
    Main:
    New York Steaks (from Prather Ranch)
    Point Reyes Blue Cheese Butter
    French Fries
    Steamed Artichoke with lemon and thyme
    Dessert:
    Flourless Chocolate Cake
    (I’ll work on posting the wonderful recipes)

    I chose this soup because it does not call for cream, unlike a lot of potato leek soups. I think cream can make recipes too rich and fillling, not what i was looking to do here.
    Adapted from Simple Recipes
    This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled…
    Serves 4-6
    Ingredients:
    3 Large Leeks, cut lengthwise, white and light green parts only, chopped
    2 T butter
    2 cups water
    2 cups chicken broth (I used vegetarian, hey, why not!?)
    2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
    1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    2 t fresh thyme, chopped
    salt and pepper
    Cook leeks in the butter with salt and pepper
    (funny side note, I forgot I added pepper and thought that it was dirt from the leeks not being washed well enough! duh!)
    Cook until nice and tender- About 10 minutes- DO NOT brown the leeks. Browning will give the leeks a burnt flavor.
    In a stockpot add the water and broth. I then added the potatoes as I was peeling and chopping- keeping them from turning brown.
    Scrape all the leeks and their juices into the stockpot of broth and potatoes
    Bring to a low simmer and cok for 20 minutes.
    I used a hand blender to puree the soup. You can control the chunkyness… I pureed it completely because I didn’t want any chunks… up to you though.
    Add the parsley and thyme and some fresh pepper (not dirt) and salt to taste.
    Croutons:
    Preheat 425
    Find the hearty-est bread you can
    Cut into even cubes
    toss with olive oil, garlic oil and salt and pepper
    Bake on a cookie sheet, tossing frequently, 15 minutes

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