I love the snow. It might be the fact that I was born in December, or that I’ll always be a New Englander at heart, but something about snow always feels a little bit magical. It was one of the things I missed most while living on the West Coast. People out there always thought it was a little silly that I missed the seasons when the weather was so beautiful all the time, but there’s just something about having something to look forward to all the time – the first snow in the winter, those days in the spring when it’s warm enough to go out without a jacket, thunderstorms in the summer, and crisp nights in the fall. And this blizzard satisfied all my wishes for a real winter. My only regret might be that I experienced it in the city instead of back home in the boonies, so that I could build a snowman and go sledding and do all those wonderful wintry things. But instead, I had a lovely day cozied up inside watching the snow fall, relaxing, and making soup (and of course, Netflix). I had big plans to be super productive, but…well, it was just so tempting to relax!
I went to the grocery store on Friday evening to pick up some last minute supplies for soup and snacks, and I found that half of New York had had the exact same idea. Longest line I’ve ever seen at Fairway. My cashier commented that it looked as though the apocalypse was coming. With the two feet of snow that arrived, she wasn’t exactly wrong.
I had potato leek soup on the menu for Saturday evening. My mom had mentioned having leeks over Christmas, but they never materialized into soup, and I had been thinking about it ever since. I figured today was the day! I found a recipe on Serious Eats, and with a few modifications, I had everything I needed. I recommend this for a chilly night; perhaps with some bruschetta alongside it.
Potato Leek Soup, the easy version (adapted from Serious Eats)
Makes 4 very full bowls
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large leeks
1 quart vegetable stock (chicken will do just fine as well)
2-3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (mine were a bit smaller, so I used 3)
1 bay leaf
1 cup skim milk
1/2 heavy cream
Dash or two of cinnamon
Salt and pepper
Chives (optional, for garnish)
Rinse and slice the leeks up to the dark green and discard the ends. (When you’re rinsing them, make sure to get in there – I found a little dirt caught in between after chopping and that was not ideal). Get a large saucepan (that is going to fit ALL the soup, eventually) and heat the butter until it’s melted. Toss in the leeks and and sauté until they are soft. This took about 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them; if you let them linger too long, you’ll start to smell burning and that’s not good.
Peel and chop the potatoes into quarters or eighths while the leeks are cooking. When the leeks are done, pour in the stock, the potatoes and a bay leaf, and let it all cook together until the potatoes are tender.
Once the potatoes are tender, discard the bay leaf and add in the heavy cream and milk. Stir it in, add a touch of salt and pepper, and let it cool for a few minutes.
Pour it into your blender (in batches, if need be) or use your immersion blender to make your soup silky smooth. Once done, pour into a fresh pot and heat to a lovely warm temperature. Taste and adjust for seasoning, and then, add in a touch of cinnamon. I did two shakes of the spice bottle over the pot. It adds the nicest little hint of something different to the soup.
Pour into your bowl(s) and garnish with fresh chives. I personally like to go liberal with this touch (as you can tell from the picture). A glass of white wine is a lovely addition to the soup, too, in case you’re in the mood. I hope your snow day was as wonderful as mine!