It's chilly and rainy here in central Texas the perfect weather for a pot o' soup.
Potato leek soup is one of my favorites--it's quick and easy and rich and creamy. I like to make this soup with either red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, they are less starchy than russets. As for the cheese, use what you like--cheddar and swiss both work well, but I prefer to use Gruyère. Here's my basic recipe for this vegetarian classic.
Potato Leek Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 leeks, white parts only sliced and rinsed well
3-5 cloves of garlic minced
5-6 medium potatoes cut into hunks
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, stems removed
5 cups vegetable broth or stock
1 cup milk
1/4 lbs. of cheese (about 1 cup grated)
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
salt & pepper to taste
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy bottom stock pot. Add the leeks and cook until tender. Add the garlic, potatoes, thyme and toss. Add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered until the potatoes are very tender. For a more rustic soup mash with a potato masher or for a creamier texture puree with an immersion blender. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese, milk and chives. Season with salt and pepper.
serves 4-6 generously