Summer soups are great because you can make them ahead of time and then enjoy a carefree evening. They are great for picnics, served in plastic cups. This particular soup is also the one I tend to make when someone in my family has oral surgery, since he or she usually needs to eat something soft afterwards, and the delicate flavor is one that everyone seems to like. Potato leek soup is delicious either hot or cold, but in the summer I like to chill it before serving.
3 leeks, chopped (use only white and light green part, discard dark green section)
1 stick unsalted butter (equivalent of a half cup)
5 large Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced thin with a mandoline
1 carrot, diced
5 cups water
1 ½ tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 cup light cream
2 cups milk
½ cup chopped fresh chives, plus additional for garnish
Melt butter over medium low heat in soup pot. Add leeks and stir. Cover pot and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrot, bay leaf and water. Cover and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook 5 minutes. Add potatoes, salt, and pepper, cover and simmer for about twenty minutes. You want the vegetables to be tender but if you overcook the potatoes the soup will become thick and gluey, so try to stop the cooking before it gets gluey. (If you miss this magical timing, don’t worry about it, just carry on!) Remove bay leaf and blend soup in the pot with a stick blender until smooth. Stir in cream and milk, then chives. Adjust salt and pepper as desired. You also can add another cup of milk if you prefer a thinner soup. Garnish with additional chives. Serve hot or cold.