Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Potato Soup with Leeks, Mushrooms and Dill

Insanely delicious!

I woke up in the middle of the night and, at three in the morning I just couldn't stand it any longer. I methodically got out of bed and  found myself standing in front of the opened refrigerator door. I needed--craved--just one more tiny bowl of this amazing soup! Light, yet intense, with a perfect blend of flavors, every spoonful is savored. Even cold. You want more. And then you lick the bowl clean!

Yes, it's a lot of chopping. But, trust me, it's worth it! And do not, under any circumstances, sub onions for the leeks--NO NO NO! Feel free to mix in cream or sour cream at the end for a traditional "potage," but I found the flavorings perfect, not wanting them compromised in any way. 

  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only for 2 cups finely chopped
  • 2 pounds red potatoes (about 8 medium) diced, for 4 cups
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound mushrooms, chopped. If you don't have quite one pound then use:
  • 1, 4-oz. can/jar mushrooms, drained, reserve the juice (optional, see note below)
  • 6 cups chicken stock (canned is fine) or bone broth**, including the mushroom juice
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (use less to begin with)
  • 2-3 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • Pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • Butter and olive oil
Slice the leeks lengthwise and then slice each half again lengthwise. Finely chop. Peel carrots and chop. Slice and chop mushrooms, discarding stems if necessary. Peel potatoes. Slice into about 3/4-inch rounds and then slice each round into fourths or sixths. Set aside.

In a Dutch oven, add about 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil. When melted, add fresh mushrooms, a bit of salt and pepper and the dried thyme. Saute until soft and juicy, adding more butter if necessary. Remove to a small bowl and add in canned, drained mushrooms, if using.

In same pan, add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. When melted, add the leeks and carrots and cook for about five-eight minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add two teaspoons dried dill weed and minced garlic. Stir just until fragrant. 

Add chicken stock and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a simmer. Add diced potatoes. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until potatoes are soft but still hold together. Add mushrooms. Stir. Re-cover and simmer about 15 minutes.

Taste for seasonings adding salt, pepper, thyme, and dill if needed. Using the back of a slotted spoon, begin mashing about half of the potatoes against the side of the pan. This will thicken the soup. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for about 30 minutes. Stir before serving. Sometimes I add a tablespoon or two of butter.

If desired, serve in individual bowls with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of dill.

Lock the refrigerator door before going to bed.

Notes: If I don't quite have 1 lb. of mushrooms, I'll add the canned mushrooms.

** I recommend College Inn Bone Broth. Of course, home made is best ...