Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Potato & Leek Soup

This past weekend I was the head chef for the Boal Mansion Museum's annual grand dinner in Boalsburg, PA. This was the first time I had to come up with an 8-course classic french menu and I really enjoyed the challenge. For the soup course I made a pureed Potato & Leek soup which turned out fantastic. Potato & Leek is a very classic soup and in french cuisine it is most often served as a cold soup or a vichyssoise. It is a very simple, delicious and quick soup. Bon Appétit!

  • 1 pound leeks, cleaned and dark green sections removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Heavy pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 3 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Diced chives; for garnish
  • Crème fraîche ; for garnish

Chop the leeks into small pieces.

In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of slat and sweat for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with a blender until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream, buttermilk, and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Ladle into a bowl, add a dollop of crème fraîche, sprinkle with some chives and serve immediately, or chill and serve cold.

**Note: Leeks can be a little intimidating to dice so here is a video demonstrating how to go about doing it.**

 Kitchen Word of the Day 

Purée and (more rarely) mash are general terms for cooked food, usually vegetables or legumes, that have been ground, pressed, blended, and/or sieved to the consistency of a soft creamy paste or thick liquid. Purées of specific foods are often known by specific names, e.g., mashed potatoes or apple sauce. The term is of French origin, where it meant in Old French (13th century): purified or refined.

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