Potato and leek soup

Slowly but surely, as the years whiz by, I am learning a thing or two. For example, I think I have finally driven into my thick skull the notion that making a grocery list first will prevent me from having to go back to the store for more ingredients. Three times.

I have also learned that it is not wise to paint your stairs the same colour as your cat. Cats are noble beasts and do not feel compelled to get out of the way.

And, it has finally dawned on me that Saturday is not really a day off, it is simply a day when you work for free. Mostly, my Saturdays are spent as a grocery delivery boy, a cranky chauffeur and a superbly unqualified handyman (though I am proud to announce that the cat flap was successfully installed and with minimum bloodshed, not that His Royal Highness The Cat is the least bit grateful).

Recently, it has occurred to me that days spent lining up at cash registers, cursing a conspiracy of stop lights and pretending to be qualified to operate electric saws are not days to be contemplating complicated lunches. Which is why the recipe below isn’t for, say,  lobster bisque. See, I’m learning.

Fortunately, I have also discovered that a little cream, like a little bacon, can elevate the simple into the sublime. And a little cream is just what’s needed on a hectic winter weekend. This busy-Saturday soup is fast, filling and full of flavour (and just a little cream).  Just remember to pick up the leeks on the first trip to the store. And, be careful on the stairs.

Potato and leek soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 leeks, cleaned and sliced (white and pale-green parts only)

1 garlic clove, minced

12 cups chicken stock

4 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup of 35% cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Fresh chives, chopped, for garnish (optional)

In a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients – over medium heat, sauté the leeks in olive oil for a few minutes until soft, adding the garlic for the last minute. Add the potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft.

Puree with an immersion blender (or, transfer to a stand blender and puree in batches). Stir in cream and add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy.

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