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Herbed Potato Leek Soup - spiffed up

This satisfying soup is my go-to should I find overstocked potatoes and leeks in our kitchen. Even better, when I have other delicious accoutrements that will add more layers of flavor and texture to this hearty and basic soup. The spiff up possibilities are endless... Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients for the soup

1 large Leek, white & light green parts thinly sliced

1 TBSP Oil

1 Carrot, peeled and finely chopped

2.5 lb Yukon Potatoes, peeled and quartered

6 cups of Water

2 TBSP Salt plus more to taste

1 tsp freshly ground Pepper 1 tsp Worcester Sauce 1 tsp each dried Marjoram, Chervil, and Thyme

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Spiff Up ideas, not exclusive:

Bacon bits: cut bacon strips into small pieces and render in a pan until crisp. Scoop out and let drain on a paper.

Mushrooms: sauté mushrooms lightly in a little bit of butter until they are softened.

Kielbasa, other sausages and meats: cut into bite sized pieces and brown in a pan.

Pickles of any kind: cucumbers, beets, pearl onions, capers etc. Just cut into small pieces that can be added for a tangy crunch.

Micro greens or fresh Parsley: add to the soup as a fresh garnish Flavorful oils like walnut or truffle or Balsamico vinegar: drizzle a couple of drops on top of the soup

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To make the soup:

Heat the oil in a medium sized, heavy pot. Add the leeks and sauté over medium heat until slightly browned, ca. 5 minutes. Take out the leeks and let them drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. Add the carrots to the pot and cook until slightly softened for about 2 minutes.

Add the potatoes, water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Take out half of the potatoes and set aside.

Add all but a quarter of the reserved leeks to the pot. Purée everything in the pot to a thick soup. Add the Worcester sauce, marjoram, chervil, and thyme. Adjust the taste with salt and more of the herbs.

Turn off the heat, add the remaining potato pieces and browned leeks to the soup, cover the pot and let the flavours meld as the soup thickens. Just before serving, reheat.

Serve the soup with any add ons on the side. This, everyone can customize their own soup.

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