By Caitlin Gaylord Churchill, Perishable & Dairy Buyer and Comanager
When I was in my late teens and early twenties I would sometimes go into The City (you know, New York) for a weekend with friends. I had very little money, but what money I had I hoarded and then spent exclusively on restaurant food. I would walk all over and eat samosas in a basement level quicky mart with cab drivers on the lower east side, and then oysters at the cavernous Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. One place that was frequently on the list to visit was Angelica’s Kitchen – one of the first hip vegetarian restaurants ever. Gluten Free Corn Bread – they had it before it was cool. This potato leek soup is like a free trip to that restaurant. It’s familiar and comforting but somehow also bright and healthy. It comes out a lovely green once it’s pureed. The only next level cooking tool you might need is an immersion blender – you could use a regular food processor but it would take a lot of ladling hot soup back and forth – not my favorite way to pass the time.
- ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large leeks, whites only
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 4-5 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 pound yukon gold potatoes diced into ½” cubes
- 2 bunches of spinach or watercress, washed, drained and coarsely chopped (frozen is fine if defrosted)
- 1 tablespoon tarragon, leaves only
- Juice of 1 lemon, fresh
Combine the ¼ cup oil, leeks and whole garlic cloves in a heavybottomed pot or deep sauce pan over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
Add pinch of salt, lower the heat, cover and cook 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
Add the potatoes and enough stock to cover them, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Add the spinach or watercress to the soup and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add tarragon and remaining olive oil, and then blend the soup until creamy with an immersion blender, or in a blender or food processor. Stir in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste.
If the soup is too thick, thin with additional stock to desired consistency.