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Cooking With Leeks | Potage Parisien | Vichyssoise

Potage Parisien (Potato and Leek Soup)

Image of a bowl of soup - potage parisien

Leeks have an ineluctable connection with French cooking. In Potage Parisien we find a potato and leek soup that is rich, flavorful and finely tuned to the palate. Do the French have the best cuisine in the world? The point is debatable and yet no one can deny its ability to warm the cockles of the heart and spread satisfaction throughout the innards of humankind.

Ingredients:

1 pound of leeks (white part and tender part of green leaves only)
2 tablespoons butter
1 16 oz can chicken stock
6 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon crushed thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 strips of chopped bacon
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
dash black pepper
salt to taste
2 to 4 cups whole milk

Instructions:

Clean and cut potatoes into cubes. Place potatoes in pot and just cover with water. Clean the leeks. Slice the leeks into thin rings against the grain. Separate rings and float in water in a separate bowl to remove sand or dirt. Add leeks to pot. Bring water to boil, then reduce to simmer. Skim off any major scum that arises from potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender.

Pour off about 1/2 water from pot. Put back on simmering burner. Add stock and milk until ingredients are covered. Toss in chopped bacon, basil, parsley, and thyme. Stir. Add butter and pepper, as well as salt (if using this ingredient). Cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add wine, and allow to simmer for five more minutes.

This dish is great with corn muffins. I usually serve this in a deep bowl and just push the corn muffin right into the soup (sans muffin cup, of course).

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