Yum, Yum, Yum!!! This is the first time I've decided to blog about someone else's recipe but this was so delicious and easy that I couldn't resist! My friend Maribeth sent this to me and she got it from her dad, but is unsure of where he got it. I'm telling myself it's an old family recipe of theirs that they're just passing down generation to generation for everyone to enjoy. Regardless of where it came from, it's awesome and I'm grateful that Maribeth was willing to let me post it.
It's sweet and creamy and incredibly filling. I totally thought I'd have room to scarf down some bread and veggies with it (as usually is the case when I eat soup!) but I only had a few bites when I decided to forfeit the other parts of the meal. Pardon my lack o' pictures-I decide mid-bowl that I may want to post the recipe so I didn't take any pictures of the steps to make it.
I followed Maribeth's recipe pretty closely and made just a few substitutions (and added measurements where there was none) based on what I had in the house. Also, if you are looking to add a little something extra, I tossed some smoked oysters in (2 cans, rinsed well and chopped) since J seems to have a stockpile of them growing in our cabinets but otherwise followed her recipe. Rockin! It's a little time consuming (cooking time as well as cleaning the leeks) but it's packed with so much flavor and took so little effort that I think this is something I will make again and again.
Now what to do with all that extra buttermilk in the fridge???
3 - 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 leeks, dark greens and roots discarded
3 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cream or half & half
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
(optional: 2 cans smoked oysters)
Cut the white and light green part of the leeks in half lengthwise and then slice each half into semi-circles. Put all the cut leek pieces in a large bowl and fill with water. Leeks collect lots of dirt and grit and if you don't wash the layers carefully you're going to end up crunching on something you don't want to. Use your hands to move and break up the layers of the leeks. The dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl and the leek pieces will float. Remove the leeks, drain the water, rinse the bowl of sand and repeat. You may have to do this in batches.
Once your leeks are clean, drain well and melt the butter in a large dutch oven. Toss the leeks in when the butter is melted and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kosher salt and cook leeks on low medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Add potatoes and vegetable broth and simmer for 35 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor and then add back to the pot. Add the cream (or half and half), buttermilk and pepper. If using smoked oysters, stir them in when you remove the pot from heat. Serve with crusty bread.
All text and photographs © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley