Lent soup: Leek and potato soup
I believe when I first started writing about soup and bread for Lent, I suggested an orzo and pea soup for the second to last week. Having run out of garlic this weekend, I was unable to make the garlicky broth that soup calls for, but having both potatoes and leeks around, I decided to make this one instead.
Whenever this soup comes together, I’m bewildered that such mild ingredients can contribute to such a rich dish. Not counting salt and pepper, there are a mere four ingredients (five, if you count water): the potatoes and leeks of course, butter, and thyme.
Like the tomato soup, this one is also adapted from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food . As the Lent season winds down, we pray that the simplicity we’ve honed continues past Easter.
Leek and Potato Soup
Adapted from The Art of Simple Food
Makes 2 quarts, 4-6 servings
2 lbs leeks, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thin (be sure to rinse in cold water and drain to remove any leftover sand and dirt)
1 lb yellow or red potatoes (halved and sliced; I always leave the skins on, but Waters suggests peeling them for a smoother soup)
3 Tbsp butter
2 thyme sprigs
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot, then add the leeks, thyme, and a big pinch of salt and saute for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the potatoes and cook for a few minutes.
Add six cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cooking until the potatoes and leeks are tender, about 30 minutes.
When finished, turn off the heat and remove the thyme sprigs. Using a hand blender, puree the soup until smooth. You can also do this in batches in a regular blender.
Garnish with fresh parsley (it’s nice chopped and mixed into some butter) and a slice of warm bread. This soup calls out for an accompanying bread with a stronger flavor, like pumpernickel  or sourdough rye .