Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Chicken, leek and potato soup

It was cold this evening in Dallas, so a warm soup seemed like a good idea. Also, I wanted it to fit into my tight schedule so it would be ready when Madame came home from school - famished as always. There were some nice looking leeks in the grocery store, so a chicken/leek/potato soup seemed like a good idea. It was! We ate it and Madame did her Oliver Twist impersonation, "More Please". so I guess it was a hit.

2T vegetable oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 medium leeks
1/2 cup dry white wine
2lbs red (waxy) potatoes
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half (light cream)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup pan (or dutch oven) until smoking. Place the salted and peppered chicken thighs in the oil to brown. Turn the heat back to medium and allow to cook. Trim and clean the leeks, then chop them into 1/2 inch strips. When the chicken is browned on all sides, tmove from the pan. Add the leeks and stir them in the hot fat for about 5 minutes - until softened. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, lay them on top of the leeks, place the chicken and any drippings on top of the potatoes. Cover the potatoes and leeks with the stock, leave some of the chicken exposed. Putthe lid on the pot, bring the contents to a simmer, and then turn down the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes - or until the potatoes are cooked. Remove the chicken from the pan, and dice into bite sized pieces. With a stick blender (or a regular carafe style blender), puree the soup roughly. You want to leave some bits of potato and leek as texture. This is a rustic soup. Put everything back in the pan, bring to a boil and turn th heat off. Wait for the boiling to subside and add the cream. I tempered the cream by adding some hot liquid to the cream first rather than subjecting it to the total heat of the soup. Stir, adjust the seasoning, and serve in heated bowls.

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