Snow Day in OK Today: Potato Leek Soup

Warm creamy deliciousness!

We don’t get many snow days around where I live in Oklahoma. About once every 5 or 10 years we might get more than one or two. Some years, we get none at all. Oklahoma’s weather is nothing if not unpredictable, so it’s always a nice surprise when the forecast is on point and that first, perfect snowfall arrives to coat the ground with several inches of white.

Lucky for me, today’s the day! It also happens to be the day before trash day and that means cleaning out the fridge. Once a week, my kitchen becomes the poster child for “Chopped.”

It’s soup day, naturally. What’s better than hot soup on a cold day? It’s also a “two-fer.” I’ll use ingredients that probably won’t make it another week and save money in the bargain.

The items up for consideration: potatoes, one leek, heavy cream, homemade chicken stock (jelly), and a clamshell of fresh thyme that is on the brink of being not-so-fresh. Add in a few staples (butter, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper) and, according to my Magic 8 Ball, the outlook is good for a lunch of Potato Leek Soup!

The Magic 8 Ball knows all!

I don’t usually follow a strict recipe for soups that I make on the fly, but I did write down what I used. Here’s the recipe:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (if you want to make this vegan, use oil or marg)

1 large leek, white & light green parts, well rinsed, chopped (about 2 cups)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds peeled potatoes, diced about 1″

3 cups chicken broth (vegetable for vegan/vegetarians)

1 or 2 springs of fresh thyme (if you like more, use more; if you don’t have fresh, then use 1 tsp. dried)

2 bay leaves

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 cup heavy cream

Fresh parsley or chopped chives for garnish

So that’s what I used, and here’s what I did:

Melt the butter in a 3 qt. soup pot
Add the leeks and the garlic
Saute’ over medium heat until tender
Add broth, or in my case, chicken “jelly”
Add potatoes, thyme, bay leaves, salt & pepper
Bring to boil (BTB), reduce to simmer (RTS)
Cover and cook til potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes
Tender taters
Remove thyme and bay leaves
Put at least half in a blender with extra liquid if needed
If you use a Vitamix, be safe and use variable speed 1 and bring the speed up gradually.
You can also use an immersion blender (stick blender) right in the cook pot.
BE CAREFUL … IT’S HOT!
Blend until smooth, add cream if desired, and stir into the remaining soup in the pot.

This is a very quick recipe to create and it makes about 8 large servings. If you want to make it vegan, it’s super simple to convert. Just leave out the cream, use plant-based “butter,” a butter-flavored olive oil, or just regular olive oil. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken, and substitute coconut milk or coconut cream for the heavy cream.

Feel free to add more of your favorite herbs and seasonings. If you like more thyme (like I do), then add a couple more sprigs. Oregano is a good substitute for the thyme if you’re in the mood for something with a bit more of an Italian flair. Or just leave it as-is, add a rosemary focaccia on the side and imagine you’re at a quaint little bistro in France.

ENJOY!

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