Today is my first Cooking for Twosday! Most recipes are made for 4 servings or more, and as a newlywed I find myself either trying to cut recipes in half, or having lots of leftovers that are rarely eaten.
So here’s a little something I’ll be posting every Tuesday: a meal for two. Whether it’s you and your better half, or your roommate, or your sister, brother, mother, or dog trainer, the two of you will definitely enjoy these dishes!
My first Cooking for Twosday is a light and luscious Herbed Potato Leek Soup.
Long, long ago, in a far off place called California Pizza Kitchen, there was a potato leek soup on the menu that was to die for. It was a simpler time.
Lately, I’ve put my mind to attempting to re-create that soup of wonder which was lost to the sands of time. Thus, I failed. I couldn’t replicate that soup. But in the process, I ended up with this recipe which turned out to be a chunky, creamy, earthy substitute. So I called it a day.
After all, if you try to paint the Mona Lisa but you end up painting The Starry Night, it’s best to leave it be. Did I just compare this soup to one of the most famous works of art in the world? Yes. Yes I did.
I love this recipe for two reasons. First, it gives me a chance to use my pink immersion blender which is the handiest kitchen tool ever. Second, the recipe includes herbes de provence.
Herbes de provence is an fragrant mixture of dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, and lavender, among many others. It’s such a versatile seasoning – you can use it on chicken, vegetables, eggs, and in soups, sauces, and so much more. If you don’t have any in your kitchen cabinet, I highly recommend getting some for those nights when you just don’t know what’s missing from your dish. Because it’s usually this seasoning.
And now for the soup…
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ a white onion, diced
- 1 leek, cleaned and chopped (see note below)
- 4 medium potatoes (I used russet), cleaned, blemishes removed (skin left on), and roughly cut in ½-inch cubes
- ¾ tsp herbes de provence
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth*
- 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 2 tbsp green onions for topping, chopped (optional)
- Melt the butter in a 3 quart pot over medium heat, then add the onions and leeks. Saute until the onions are translucent and a few bits are lightly browned, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and about 3 cups of water, or just enough to cover the potatoes. Add the herbes de provence, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Stir together. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and partially cover. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. (To test for tenderness, stick a fork in a potato chunk. If it goes through without resistance, the potatoes are tender.)
- Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, or in batches with a regular blender. Place back on low heat. Stir in broth, then slowly stir in the cream and keep stirring until heated through. Season to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with green onions.
For chunkier soup: When onions and leeks are sauted, add the water. Puree the onion and leek mixture in the water with your blender. Add potatoes and resume making the soup. When potatoes are tender, use a potato masher in the pot until soup is at your desired consistency. The rest of the recipe is the same.
*Low sodium broth helps you control the amount of salt in your dish. If using regular broth instead of low sodium, only add 1 tsp salt at first, then season to taste at the end of the recipe as always.
*Some broths may not be gluten-free. To be on the safe side, check the label or the product's website.
Looking for something to do with the rest of your heavy cream? Try these:
Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and Parmesan Linguini
Creamy Alfredo Sauce