Thursday, February 04, 2010


My old standby recipe for potato-leek soup with plenty of dill and lemon is among my favorites, but it verges on the plain, and apparently I’m a sucker for potato-leek anything, so when I saw this recipe on Food52 (via Last Night’s Dinner), I was intrigued. Cheddar is hands down my favorite cheese, and I’ve been gradually coming around to Dijon—which used to gross me out—through its use in the dressings of a few of my recent favorite salads. I may have slightly overestimated the zip these two ingredients would give an otherwise simple soup, because even though the finished product tasted perfectly delicious, I was ever-so-slightly underwhelmed; it was still, after all, potato-leek soup, and it didn’t taste wildly different than my usual version. In particular, I wanted more cheddar flavor (this could be my own fault; I used my refrigerator staple, Tillamook Sharp, but this may have been an occasion to try something sharper and more aged). Still, this is a great recipe, and I think my initial reaction was mainly a product of my own overexcited expectations (not to mention the fact that I may have oversalted the soup a little in the heat of the moment). The leftovers have been lovely (especially last weekend when I was suffering through a cold), A was pleased, and I’d certainly make this again.

¼ cup unsalted butter
2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts, only)
Coarse kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
4 cups peeled, cubed red or Yukon Gold potatoes
2 tablespoons sharp Dijon mustard
1 cup firmly packed grated sharp Cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh dill, plus additional for garnish

1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot.

2. Add the leeks and a generous pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat until soft.

3. Sprinkle the flour over the leeks and stir until coated. Cook for a few minutes, then add the stock, potatoes, and mustard, stirring until the mustard dissolves into the soup.

4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork.

5. Turn off the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor).

6. Turn the heat back on low and add the cheese, stirring well until it melts into the soup.

7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the dill, stirring it through. Sprinkle additional dill on top of each serving.

Serves: 6
Time: 1 hour
Leftover potential: High; improves over the course of a few days and can easily be frozen

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