I found it incredibly difficult to pass up a recipe containing nothing but potatoes, leeks, water, and salt. I'm all for simple cooking, but this is ridiculous. From any other source I might have dismissed it, but coming from Julia Child (via the Splendid Table website), I was inclined to hear her out. Feeling flush, I went ahead and indulged in the optional fifth ingredient, a dollop of sour cream, and still created the cheapest lunch I've made this year. (A shower of black pepper was my second indulgence.)
Well, it was pretty good. This is peasant cooking at its finest, making use of every ounce of flavor that the ingredients hold. The result was light and filling. It would probably benefit from a blender to purée some of the solids, which would give the soup more body and creaminess. Or, the leeks and onions could be browned for a few minutes to develop some flavor before adding the water. But either way, this is a winning combination for its foolproof preparation and comforting result.
- Yield:4 to 6
- 3 cups sliced leeks (white and tender green parts)
- 3 cups peeled and roughly chopped "baking" potatoes
- 6 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche, optional
- Black pepper to taste, optional
Bring ingredients to the boil in a 3-quart saucepan. Cover partially and simmer 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Correct seasoning.
Serve as is, or puree, and/or top each portion with a dollop of the cream.