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Potato, Leek and Onion Soup Recipe

Recipe by: Chef John V.

Serves about 6 to 8
Prep time: about 40 minutes

Amount/Measure/Ingredient

3 cups leeks, white part only
2 cups onions
3 tbsp. butter
2 quarts chicken broth
3 cups potatoes, diced
1 tbsp. chives, chopped
salt and ground white pepper

8 slices white bread, trimmed of crust, diced 3/8 inch
1/4 cup olive oil

Chef's cooking tip---
Leeks are grown in deep sandy soil, so they must be washed 2 or 3 times to remove the dirt before using them. Professional chefs first trim away the green tops and only use the white to slightly greenish lower 1/3 of the vegetable. They split the leek in half lengthwise but not cutting through the root end. They don't want all the other sections of the leek to fall apart, so by not cutting all the way through the leek, it will stay intact. Now wash it several times under cool running water, massaging and separating the leek to allow the running water to wash away the dirt. Dry with paper towels before slicing it.

Procedure:

The leeks, onions and potatoes are all cut in a 3/8 inch dice.

Heat the butter in a heavy bottom pot and then add the leeks and onions when the butter begins to sizzle. Cook without browning on medium-low heat until soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes, Add the broth and potatoes, increase the heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the soup is simmering. Cook 20 minutes and season to your liking with salt and ground white pepper.

For some croutons, cut the bread and fry it in hot oil until golden brown and then drain on paper towels.

Ladle up the soup and sprinkle with chives. Sprinkle a few croutons on the soup as you eat it so they are still crisp as you eat, adding more and more croutons until you finish the soup. Enjoy!

Chef's cooking tip---
Black pepper, white pepper, and green peppercorns are all from the same plant! Think about this; the plant grows and then blooms. The flower is pollinated and a berry forms and grows. The unripe berry is a green peppercorn, it ripens and first goes to red and then to brown. So what about the white peppercorn? It's the black peppercorn that has had the black outer layer or skin steamed off. More intense in spiciness, it is preferred by chefs to season dishes. The white peppercorn is for seasoning dishes in the kitchen and the black peppercorn is for the pepper mill or pepper shaker at the table! By the way, pink peppercorns are totally different and not related at all, they come from the bay rose plant.

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