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Recipe for a rainy day: Leek and Thyme Soup
"It never rains in California...but girl let me warn ya
It pours, man it pours."
I always crave soup on a wintery day like today. Here's a favorite from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Soup. It can be served "peasant style" as shown in the photo or puréed smooth.
2 pounds leeks
1 pound potatoes
1/2 cup butter
1 large sprig of fresh thyme, plus extra to garnish (optional)
1 1/4 cups milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons heavy cream, to serve
1. Top and tail the leeks. If you are using big winter leeks, strip away all the coarse outer leaves, then cut the leeks into thick slices. Rinse thoroughly under cold water.
2. Cut the potatoes into rough dice, about 1 inch and dry on paper towels.
3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and 1 sprig of thyme, cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until soft. Add the potato pieces and just enough cold water to cover the vegetables. Re-cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
4. Pour in the milk and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes longer. You will find that some of the potato breaks up, leaving you with a semi-puréed and lumpy soup.
5. Remove the sprig of thyme: The leaves will have fallen into the soup. Serve, adding 1 tablespoon cream and a garnish of thyme to each portion, if using.
I'm headed to the kitchen. – Ho l'acquolina in bocca!