Leek Potato Soup

As I mentioned in the documentation of my corn asparagus leek tart, I overstocked my fridge with leeks a few weeks ago ... and needed to take care of the problem this weekend. When I mentioned this to my friend Meghan, she first suggested a potato and leek soup. I countered with "they all want bacon!" ... which of course wasn't entirely true.

My main concern with a potato leek soup was that it would be boring. Leeks aren't super exciting and neither are potatoes. Not exciting plus not exciting does not necessarily yield amazing.

But after a bit of research on Food52, I stumbled upon a few recipes that I thought had some promise for meeting my requirements to use the rest of the leeks, be easy, and be new. I settled on this one gem that for a  potato leek soup with cheddar and dill. Great combo.

I'm trying to keep my expenses low these days as I save for my trip to Italy and this soup helps with that as well. It calls for your pantry staples (chicken broth, olive oil, salt) with lower cost ingredients (leeks and potatoes). I elected to use dried dill from my spice store as opposed to going with fresh Dill. You could increase the cost of this soup by getting a fancier cheese ... but I went with a recommendation from my favorite meat and cheese hookup (Monica's Mercato). I wish I had written down the name of the cheese but I didn't. I asked for a cheddar-like cheese and they gave me lower cost South American cheese that was made by Italians. I'm not quite sure how that works but it was great.

Just like many of the things I've come to love in my kitchen, leek potato soup is not sexy, nor does it photograph really well. But, man is it good. It's one of those dishes that fills your belly in a great way and is the right balance of creamy without actually having any cream in it.

Next time I end up with a pile of leeks and no clear path for them, I'll be making this soup again.

Here's how it goes.

(Step 1) Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed soup pot.

(Step 2) Add the leeks and a generous pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat until soft.

(Step 3) Sprinkle the flour over the leeks and stir until coated. Cook for a few minutes, then add the stock, potatoes, and mustard, stirring until the mustard dissolves into the soup.

(Step 4) Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork. I'm not sure how long this was for honestly. I know that I had time to do the dishes and talk on the phone for a bit. My guess? About 20 minutes.

(Step 5) Turn off the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender.
(Step 6) Turn the heat back on low and add the cheese, stirring well until it melts into the soup.

(Step 7) Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the dill just before serving, stirring it through. Sprinkle additional dill on top of each serving.

Adapted from this recipe

Shopping List
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts, only)
kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
4 cups peeled, cubed waxy potatoes
2 tablespoons sharp Dijon mustard
1 cup firmly packed grated sharp farmhouse Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus additional for garnish

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