After a holiday season filled with decadent meals and endless desserts, I look forward to eating a simple meal of seasonal vegetables. Potatoes and leeks are bountiful in the fall and winter. Every time I make potato and leek soup I am amazed to taste the wonderful flavors created from simple ingredients. I like to garnish the soup with crispy shallots or thinly sliced serrano ham or proscuitto. The soup is delicious served alongside Kale Salad with Pickled Carrots, Pistachios, and Pecorino Romano. Alternatively, 4 ounce cod fillets can be simmered in the soup for 6 to 8 minutes prior to serving as in the original recipe.
Potato and Leek Soup
(adapted from Made in Spain by José Andrés with Richard Wolffe)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 leeks, white only, cut in half lengthwise and cut into ½-inch pieces, rinsed well*
- 2-3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 cups water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
- black pepper, freshly ground
- crispy shallots or thinly sliced serrano ham or proscuitto to garnish
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 10 minutes until soft and golden but not browned. Add potatoes to the pot with the leeks and stir to combine. Pour 8 cups of water into the pot to cover the leeks and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Allow the soup to cool slightly and blend in batches in a blender until smooth. Strain the blended soup through a medium mesh strainer back into the pot and add ¼ cup of the olive oil. Bring the soup back to a simmer over medium-low heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the soup in bowls with a drizzle of the remaining olive oil and garnish with crispy shallots or thinly sliced serrano ham or proscuitto.
*Rinse leeks in a large bowl of water to remove dirt and grit. Lift the leeks from the water leaving any dirt and grit at the bottom of the bowl of water and place on a towel to dry.
- 1/2 cup shallots, sliced thinly into rings (5-7 shallots)
- 1 cup canola oil
- sea salt
Heat the canola oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until hot but not smoking. Separate the sliced shallots into individual rings and add to the pan. Cook the shallots for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until they are golden brown. If the canola oil becomes too hot during the cooking process and begins to spatter, lower the heat and sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt. When the shallots are finished cooking, turn off the heat and remove them from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and place on a few layers of paper towels to cool. The crispy shallots can be kept at room temperature for several weeks in a glass jar with a lid.