19 November 2008

Leek Soup


In the book French Women Don't Get Fat, the author recommends, as a kick off to becoming French, that you start your French journey with a leek soup weekend.  A leek soup weekend is when you eat nothing but leek soup and drink leek broth and water.  When I first "became French" I was very scared of leek soup weekend and skipped it.  However last April I went to visit my parents in Hawaii for two weeks and gained 4 pounds while I was there!  To offset the weight gain and get myself back on track, I decided to do a leek soup weekend.  The leek soup I made was so thin, very watery, extremely unappetizing with yucky chunks of boiled leek in it.  Needless to say, I didn't make it 24 hours eating this disgusting fare.
However, for the past two weeks, we have been receiving leeks in our final CSA baskets of the season.  Finally, I had about 10 of them crowding my crisper drawer and it was time to clear some space.  Last night I decided to make a starter of leek soup as I knew I could do so much better than last time if I just put my mind to it.  What I created had very subtle flavors from white wine and chicken stock, had a little "meat" to it with added olive oil, and was chock full of yummy, sauteed pieces of leek.  Much, much better.  Now I understand leek soup weekend.  I could happily survive the weekend on this soup.  Last night it was relegated to a mere starter to a main course of baked salmon, but I can't wait for lunch today to give it a starring role all it's own.

Leek Soup by Joie de vivre

Made at least 8 big servings

10 leeks, cleaned and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
3-4 Tbls. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
2 quarts of chicken stock

*Note*  If you have never worked with leeks before, the key to using them is getting them clean.  The way farmers grow them is to mound dirt around the base to make for a longer usable white part.  This results in lots of dirt in those little groves.  What I do is chop off the green leaves.  These are good for stock but are not going to be used for the soup.  We are working with the white parts here.  Chop off the root of the white part, turn sidewise and slice long ways down the middle.  Then turn the leek and chop short ways into 1/2 inch size chunks.  Put these chunks into a salad spinner.  Continue in this manner until all of the leeks are cut.  Put the salad spinner insert containing the leeks into the salad spinner bowl and fill the bowl with cool water.  Swish around the leeks with your hands, lift out this insert and drain the water.  Repeat 3-4 times until you are convinced the leeks are clean.  
 
Instructions:

1.  Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot over medium low heat.  
2.  Add the leeks and sautee them, stirring frequently, until they are very limp and starting to stick to the bottom slightly (maybe 10 minutes)  Don't let them burn!
3.  Add the white wine and scrape the bottom of the pot clean with a wooden spoon.
4.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, give the pot a good stir and then add the chicken stock.
5.  Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil.
6.  Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy.

20 comments:

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Thanks for dropping by... First time here you have an awesome collection of recipes... I liked the soup, bare minimum ingredients and there is one nice comforting soup...

Emily said...

That looks wonderful! What a great way to use them up. Best, Emily Justeatfood.com

lisaiscooking said...

The soup looks delicious! I'm not sure I could eat only soup for an entire weekend but definitely a couple of times at least.

Joanna said...

this is so cool. i really want to try out the leek soup weekend now. is it a 2 day thing or 3 day? i hope you give it a shot. if you'd want, i would honestly do it with you and we could talk about our leek soup experience!! haha

i would do it this weekend, but definitely not next. after all, there will be thanksgiving leftovers!!!

and what exactly is the leek soup supposed to do? does it cleanse your body?

sowmya said...

nice recipe..

Esi said...

I love leeks! I think I could survive a weekend on a recipe like this.

Nicole said...

I didn't love the leek soup from the book but I was able to get through it. Chicken stock would help a lot in the taste department.

Elle said...

Love the idea of a leek soup weekend, especially with this leek soup recipe. Sounds divine.

Hopie said...

This looks simple but delicious! I love leeks and I often make potato leek soup, but I've never made plain leek. I'll have to give it a try. Nice idea with the white wine!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I like your focus on this blog! A leek soup weekend sounds like just the thing I should do.

ncfoodie said...

Those leeks are tricky to clean, but a leek soup weekend can do wonders. Love your website.

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Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Leek soup sounds appetizing to me. I discovered that I like leeks a couple years ago. Before that, I hardly had any leeks since my childhood. It definitely does not add a lot of calories to our diets. Leek soup weekend sounds like a good idea, but I am not sure if I could handle it :(

Katherine Aucoin said...

I love leek soup and yours looks extraordinary!

Lynnylu said...

I adore leeks and specifically look for recipes to use them in. I'll definitely make yours.

Bren@Flanboyant Eats said...

2nd time I've come across leeks today.. hmm. maybe a sign i need to make something with it. and soup is the perfect calling for this crazy weather!

Robin Sue said...

This soup looks delicious and simple to make. I love leeks so I will have to make this soon. Perfect for our cold January just around the corner. Your Frech Fridays sound like fun too. I have never read the book so I may join you all.

duodishes said...

Leeks are a wonder veggie. Those Frenchies are never wrong!

EAT! said...

I usually only add leeks to soup - not as the main ingredient. Your veersion looks delicious. Just what is needed after the busy, food-filled Thanksgiving weekend.

zerrin said...

I love this leek soup because I love all green veg. How about adding some lemon juice to this soup? I always add it on leek (in any version).

Karen Z said...

No boiled leeks for me either. You've created an outstanding improvement on the original French Women version! My own take on the recipe includes topping the soup with chopped flat-leaf parsley and a few croutons (sliced day-old bread sticks baked at a low temperature for about 10 minutes and rubbed with a garlic clove), along with a dusting of grated parmesan. I also add in a little lemon juice for brightness.

A quick, easy, low-calorie, and yummy lunch!

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