Food For A Rainy Day
Yet another in a series of rainy days. Nothing special in Seattle, an everyday sort of day. You go out and do whatever you want to do, because if rain kept you home in Seattle you’d be housebound, a perpetual hermit. But here, a rainy day is really noticeable. When you walk everywhere you go, it’s not nearly so much fun in the rain. And since you’re always carrying groceries while walking, and the downpours can be truly torrential, that’s even less fun. The vegetables in your basket do fine in the rain, but the bread really objects to a cold shower. After two rainy days life starts to get discouraging. The stuff you put off doing yesterday is piling up, and still it’s another stay-at-home sort of day. Three or four rainy days in a row, oh là là. Time to make soup.
This soup of leeks and potatoes, Potage Poireaux Pommes de Terre, is a classic springtime warmer-upper. There are as many versions as there are cooks, but this is how I made it today. And really, I can’t think of how it could have been any better. It’s light and savory and fresh-tasting, warming and soothing, a medley of comfort.
2 oz butter
10 oz thin young leeks, white and pale green parts
10 oz potatoes
1 small onion
4 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 T cream
salt, pepper, grated nutmeg
Slit the leeks lengthwise and rinse under running water to remove any sand. Slice them into thin half moons. Finely dice the onion. Melt the butter in the soup pot, and when melted add the leeks and onion. Stir to coat the vegetables with butter, then cover and sweat over low heat while you peel and dice the potatoes. Add the diced potatoes to the pot, then the bouillon cube and the water. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
With an immersion blender, purée the contents of the pot until creamy and smooth. Add the cream, salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg. Serve hot with a little garnish of chervil leaves. This will serve two as a generous main course or four as a starter.
It’s great with a sandwich of fruity Comté cheese, which blends marvelously with the flavors of the soup. If you try it, let me know how the rest of your day turns out. Our was warm and cozy and indoorsy, as a Sunday has every right to be.