January is National Soup Month.
When we were stationed in the French speaking region of Belgium,while Tony served with NATO at the S.H.A.P.E., Supreme Headquarters of Allied Powers Europe location, we sought to become acquainted with the local cuisine. We ate with neighbors, at Belgian school events, local restaurants and trying recipes from a Belgian cookbook. One of our all time favorite soup recipes is for Belgian Leek and Potato Soup. If you love the combined flavor leeks and potatoes this soup will fast become a favorite of yours.
Here is a recipe from Once Upon a Chef
By Jennifer Segal
A French classic, this creamy potato leek soup is quick, easy, and delicious!
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
7 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
Chives, finely chopped, for serving
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until soft and wilted, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary so as not to brown.
Add the potatoes, broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper to pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.
Fish out the thyme sprig and bay leaves, then purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth. (Alternatively, use a standard blender to purée the soup in batches; see note.) Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If soup is too thin, simmer until thickened. If it's too thick, add water or stock to thin it out. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.