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3 fist-sized potatoes3 c. cleaned, chopped leeks1 stalk celery, chopped1 lg. carrot, chopped4 tbsp. butter3/4 tsp. salt1/2 c. stock or water3 c. milkOptional: snippets of fresh- herbs (thyme, marjoram, basil)Freshly ground black pepper
1. Scrub the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch chunks. Place them in a saucepan with the leeks, celery, carrot and butter. Add salt. Cook the vegetables, stirring over medium heat, until the butter is melted and all the particles are coated (5 minutes).

2. Add the stock or water, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft (20 to 30 minutes). Check the moisture level occasionally. You may need to add a little extra stock or water, if it gets too low.

3. When the potatoes are tender, remove the pan from the heat, and puree its contents in the milk (use a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade). Make sure the mixture is utterly smooth. Return it to the saucepan.

4. Add optional herbs (or not). Grind in some black pepper. Taste it to see if it wants more salt.

5. Heat the soup gently, covered, until JUST hot. Try not to let it boil. Serve right away.

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