Saturday, September 17, 2011

Potato Leek Soup

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to spend the morning at the Denver Art Museum with a dear friend. We were going specifically for the Marvelous Mud Exhibit...which was exactly that! As I spent a few hours, basking in the creativity of artists and their works of clay (or more appropriately, mud), I was reminded that we all need a creative outlet. For some it is a paintbrush, for others it is words and writing. For me, creating in the kitchen is my delight.

The curator of the Marvelous Mud Exhibit beautifully displayed thought provoking quotes from literature about mud. One of my absolute favorites was the following quote from Lao Tzu:
 Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?  Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?
 Such a perfect quote to remind us in our busy lifestyles to take a step back and let life settle a little. To keep our minds and hands from interfering with what will happen naturally, if we let it. 

After viewing the exhibit, my friend and I shared a relaxing lunch at Palette's, at a small table next to big windows with lovely afternoon light. As we ate potato leek soup, a Caesar salad, and seared tuna, we talked of life, art, and the quotes that meant the most to us. I made my recipe for potato leek soup this week and reflected on my Saturday at the Denver Art Museum and Palette's for lunch.

Potato Leek Soup
Source: original recipe
Prep: 20 minutes   Cook: 30 minutes

3     leeks, sliced thinly and rinsed
1     onion, diced
3     tablespoons butter
5     cups potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs potatoes) 
4     cups chicken stock
1/2  cup heavy cream
       salt and pepper to taste
      Garnish with green onions, bacon, and cheese (optional)

In a large stockpot, melt butter. Add onion and leeks and cook until soft . Stir in potatoes and chicken stock and bring to a slow boil. Simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Stir in heavy cream. With an immersion blender or in a food processor, puree soup to a smooth texture. 

Harmony's Thoughts
To rinse the sliced leeks, place in a large bowl of cold water and swish around to let the sand fall to the bottom of the bowl. 
Cleaning the leeks
I use my immersion blender to puree soup to a "partly smooth with a few chunks of potato" kind of texture. 
Feel free to add more heavy cream for a richer flavor.
The potato leek soup at Palette's was garnished with bacon, shaved leeks and a swirl of basil oil. A basil oil with this soup is delicious!

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