Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Potato/ Leek Soup (prep. time about 30 minutes. Yield about 6-8 servings)

2 Tb. olive oil

2 Tb. butter

2 large leeks, sliced, white portion only*

¼ tsp. celery seed

2 large Butter or Yukon Gold potatoes (about a pound-1 ½ pound), cubed

3 C. vegetable stock

3 C. 2% milk

½ C. sour cream

¼ tsp. thyme

large pinch of ground black pepper

salt to taste

(optional) 1-2 C. diced, cooked ham 

*Remember leeks can be very sandy. be sure to rinse thoroughly under running water after they’ve been cut in half in preparation for slicing. 

Bring water in a medium saucepan and boil the cubed potato until just fork-tender but not as soft as for mashing.  While the potatoes cook, heat oil and butter  in a large stock pot.  Add the sliced leeks and sauté until they start to caramelize.  Remove a scant quarter cup and set aside.  Drain the cooked potato and set about ½ cup aside for texture for the soup. When those are cool, dice them into smaller cubes.

Add the vegetable stock, milk, thyme, celery seed and larger potato cubes to the pot and bring to a simmer until the potatoes have finished cooking and are soft.

Remove from heat before stirring in the sour cream a little at a time to prevent ‘breaking’ in the soup.

With an immersion blender, blend until smooth. (Alternative: blend in small batches in a blender or food processor.)

Season to taste with liberal amounts of ground black pepper and salt.

Stir in the remaining potatoes and leeks. If you are adding ham, stir that in now.  I stirred in a few of the leeks, reserving a small amount for garnish and did the same with the cubes of ham.

Serve with slices of crusty bread.