[103] Cream of Leek Soup

Another recipe that I learned from “Chef Diane”:http://www.fortheloveoffood.com/ when I was lucky enough to go to her cooking school!

Awhile back, I made “White Wine, Leek and Onion Soup”:http://www.metacookbook.com/archives/153-83-White-Wine,-Onion-and-Leek-Soup.html because Bill couldn’t find his leek soup recipe I couldn’t find the leek soup recipe I remembered from class.

This is the recipe I remembered from class. I was utterly thrilled to find it again. Not only because it’s delicious (and it is), but because it means I wasn’t losing my mind back then. I did, in fact, have a Cream of Leek soup recipe!

Now, actually, what I had was a “Cream of Anything” soup recipe. However, the night we made it in class, we made Cream of Leek (and maybe, just maybe, Cream of Parsnip?), and that’s all I can think of this recipe for now.

It’s delightful. And, like the last recipe I made from class, this seemed like it would make a a lot of food. So, like the last recipe, I halved it.


h2. Ingredients

Note: This is the full recipe. I normally post the halved amount if I halved it, but I’m not entirely sure I did halve it, so I’m throwing down the whole recipe. Looking at the ingredients photo, though, says I probably did halve it.

3 oz unsalted butter
4 oz onions, small dice

4 oz celery, small dice (I don’t think I had celery when I went to make this soup.)

2 oz carrots, small dice (I bet I made up for the lack of celery with carrots.)

1 lb Leeks, thoroughly washed, white and pale green parts, sliced

3 oz all-purpose flour

2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock

8 oz heavy cream, warmed


While pepper

More leek slices, for garnish (Optional.)

h2. Instructions

Saute the onions, celery, carrots and leeks until the onions are translucent and limp, but not browned. Add the flour and stir vigorously to combine. Continue cooking, stirring continuously, until the roux (flour + fat) develops a light blond color.

Add the stock, stirring/whisking vigorously to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil and boil for about 15 – 20 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more stock, a bit at a time, until it achieves your preferred consistency.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the warmed cream, then season to taste with the salt and pepper. Garnish and serve.

h2. Cooking and Consumption Notes

h3. Cooking

The hardest part of this recipe, for me, is avoiding lumps of raw flour when making the roux, and then avoiding the roux becoming lumpy when I stir in the stock.

In general, I think most people suggest a whisk for that kind of stirring. In this recipe, that doesn’t really work for me (it may for others) because the leek bits get tangled up in the whisk. So I’m stirring like crazy with my bamboo stir-fry paddle in all cases.

I’m actually pretty terrible at rouxs, I have to admit. This goes about double if I’m trying to make a roux after sauteing something in the fat. I tend to end up with the flour clumping on the “something”, rather than smoothing out nicely with the fat. If you have any tips on that, I’d love to hear ’em. Even if the tip is, “Use a whisk.”

On the other hand, this is a fun recipe because it calls for the use of an immersion blender. Immersion blenders can’t help it; they are simply fun. Sometimes messy, but always fun.

To warm the cream, I simply put it in my smallest saucepan, and then put it on the lowest heat my stove could put out. I stirred occasionally (with a different tool than my bamboo paddle) to break up the skin that forms on heating dairy products. I imagine the microwave would do just fine too, but I don’t tend to think of the microwave as something that does anything but reheat leftovers.

Sorry, microwave?

Oh. The microwave also makes it easier to juice citrus. So those two things.

h3. Consumption

This soup was just as good as I remembered. I wanted to eat it with a spoon!

So I did.

And some bread. I definitely served it with a good loaf of nice crusty bread; I think I had Bill bring stop somewhere on his way home from work. Good combo, bread and soup.

While this made a fine meal for the two of us (and Jessie?), it would probably make an even better first course, for those of you who are looking at dinner parties here soon. Despite being a cream soup, it’s actually fairly light in flavor and feel. I’m not sure why. It would do well paired with a salad before leading on to some delicious main course, maybe of fish?

Maybe I just like fish.

Anyway, I was truly glad to have found this recipe again, because it is really quite tasty. It won’t turn out as white as most people think of when they thing “cream of X” soup. Or, at least, it didn’t turn out as white as I thought it would. And that makes sense; I shouldn’t have expected a fairly white soup. I was using green and orange ingredients, after all.

Great. Now I’ve caused myself to wonder about the contents of our canned soup stash (for blizzards and such), and wonder why those always turn out so white. That was not the plan, here.

Thanks a lot, Natasha.

Okay, after that tangent, let’s come back to this leek soup.

It’s quite good, and I do think you should try it. It isn’t, as you can see, the most “diet-friendly” recipe. I think it actually violates “low fat”, “low carb” and “low GI” rules all at once. So, it’s not a soup you should have often, for all that it seems quite “light”, probably, but it’s a soup you should definitely have.

And garnish it, please? If you don’t, like I didn’t, it does look a little boring. Possibly it’s only weakness!

One thought on “[103] Cream of Leek Soup

  1. For non-lumpiness, use a whisk. It doesn’t matter if the leek bits (or whatever bits) get tangled up in it. Just keep whisking it to death and then whack the whisk on the side of the pot to get all the junk out of it. That’s how I handle that situation, anyway, when I’m supposed to make a roux *on top of* stuff that’s already in the pot, and I don’t usually get lumps. How skinny is your whisk?

    The soup looks yummy, by the way, and totally transformable to cream-of-anything, which I may take advantage of. I’m sure if you used milk instead of cream you could lighten it up without sacrificing too much, and you could probably reduce the butter too. Just in case you want to eat this more often!

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