Potato Leek Soup
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 6 leeks, white parts only, washed well, thinly sliced
- 4 shallots, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 cups Homemade Chicken Stock Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make a bouquet garni: First wrap bay leaves, rosemary, parsley, and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth. Then tie with a piece of kitchen twine, and set aside.
Heat olive oil and butter in a medium stockpot. Add celery, leeks, shallots, and garlic; cook on medium-low heat until very soft, about 45 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Do not brown. Add potatoes, stock, and reserved bouquet garni. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook until potatoes are very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove bouquet garni, and discard.
Working in batches, pass half of the soup through a food mill, fitted with a medium disk, into a large saucepan. Add remaining chunky soup. Place the saucepan on medium-low heat to warm soup. Slowly stir in milk and cream, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.