I thought for sure I’d blogged about this soup before, because I love it so very much, but it seems I have been remiss in sharing it with you. Julie Powell talks about this soup in her book, “Julie and Julia”, and it was her description of it that made me want to make it. It is the first recipe in MTAoFC, and it is quite the unassuming opener, but don’t let it fool you. This soup is golden.
It comes from humble beginnings: 1 lb leeks, 1 lb potatoes, 2 quarts water, 1 T salt. Somehow, when these two vegetables come together to gently simmer in water and salt for just under an hour, they become so much more than the sum of their parts. The soup’s flavor is of leeks and potatoes, yes, but there is a depth of flavor here that denies its simplicity, you swear there’s got to be more to it than that. It is at the same time light and refreshing, full-bodied and satisfying, comforting and invigorating. I could eat the entire 2 quarts myself if I’m not careful, but even that wouldn’t be so bad because there’s not a lick of fat in this soup, until you finish it with a couple tablespoons of heavy cream or butter. Even then, 2-plus quarts of soup plus 2-3 tablespoons of fat doesn’t add up to much fat in your bowl. I do believe it’s another case of food alchemy. After a spin in the blender, or a quick application of your immersion blender, the cream is added off the heat, and it’s ready. I garnished mine with some tarragon and toasted bread crumbs, but minced parsley or chives also work. Julia suggests all kinds of vegetable variations you could add to this, but I have to ask, why mess with this sublime simplicity?
That’s it for today, I’ll see you tomorrow for more from Julia.