Saturday, January 14, 2012

Leek Soup with Dill Oil

This recipe comes from a wonderful blog called which is written by Heidi Swanson, author of one of my fave cookbooks called SuperNatural Everyday...pretty healthy food with a gourmet sensibility.  This soup is fast, easy, delicious and at least one of my kids professed that it was good.  And those of you who know my kids know that they are of the "Kraft Mac n' Cheese" school, not of the "I will taste the beautiful vegetables on my plate and expand my universe" school.  So that is high praise, indeed.

Looking at this recipe, I thought the hardest part would be cleaning and slicing the leeks.  That is, until I just happened to find frozen cut up leeks at Trader Joes...Hallelujah!  That chore gone, the rest is simple.  I used two russet potatoes and peeled them, but feel free to use other potatoes and don't bother to peel them.  I also left off the cheese, just because I didn't have it and it still tasted great.  I am sure that if you add the cheese, you will swoon just that much more.  

1 small bunch of fresh dill ~ .5 oz 
9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3.5 pounds leeks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
fine grain sea salt
2 large, thin-skinned potatoes, thinly sliced
3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6.5+ cups good-tasting vegetable broth, preferably hot
toasted almond slices, for topping
grated gruyere cheese, for topping

Use a hand blender or food processor to puree the dill and olive oil into a creamy green emulsion. Set aside.
Cut the dark, tough green leaves from the leeks, trim off the roots, and wash/rinse well. You can slice the leeks lengthwise to get in between the layers, or make a few rough chops and give them a quick soak, or whatever method you prefer. Use a food processor to chop the leeks in two batches. You can also chop them by hand, but I was in a pinch for time here, and the processor made quick work of this step.
In a large soup pot, heat the butter and 5 tablespoons of the dill oil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, stir in the leeks and a couple big pinches of salt. Stir well, then cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks soften up and collapse, 6 - 8 minutes. Now, stir in the potatoes and garlic and cook, uncovered, stirring regularly, for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are very, very soft. If the leeks at the bottom of the pot are getting too much color, dial back the heat a bit more and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan when you're stirring. At this point you can mash everything with a potato masher or large fork. If you prefer a smoother soup, use a hand blender, but this soup is great a little on the chunky side. Stir in the hot broth, adjusting the amount based on whether you like a thick or thin soup. Bring back to a simmer, serve topped with almonds, grated cheese, and a generous drizzle of the remaining dill oil.
Makes a big pot - enough for 8 -10 servings.
Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 25 min

1 comment:

kewhite said...

Definitely worth a try. Very pretty, too.