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Leek and Potato Soup with Kielbasa

Last week we decided to put our air conditioners back in our apartment windows. Unfortunately we hadn’t expected the weather in New York to go back to being so cold and by Sunday, our place was like a meat locker! As we couldn’t reach anyone in the building to get the heat turned back on it seemed like the perfect occasion for a rustic, heart warming soup. The girls and I had visited the farmers market in Union Square on Saturday, they were giving out samples (always my downfall) so we’d bought a delicious┬áKielbasa sausage which I decided to plan the soup around. After a quick web search I came across an old Cook’s Illustrated recipe for a leek soup. With the addition of a few extra ingredients, as I believe leek soup should always have a little cream, we were soon dipping hunks of buttered bread into what has got be the best leek soup I’ve had in ages.

6 tablespoons or 3oz of unsalted butter
5lbs of leeks trimmed and washed (see note below) and cut in half then into 1 inch
1 tablespoon all-purpose (plain) flour
6 cups chicken stock or broth
1 bay leaf
2 pounds red potatoes (about 6 medium) peeled and cut into inch chunks
12oz Kielbasa sausage, cut into sliced and halved
3 tablespoons heavy cream (also called double cream)
Salt and ground black pepper

* NOTE: To trim the leeks cut off most of the dark green tops leaving all the white area and as much light green leek as you can, then trimming off a thin sliver of the root end. Wash them by cutting them in half almost all the way to the end and then rinsing them under running water.

Heat butter over medium heat in a large pan (dutch oven or stock pot), stir in the leeks, cover them and cook giving them an occasional stir until the are very soft but not mushy about 15/20 minutes.

Sprinkle in the flour, stir until it mixes in completely, increase the heat and add the stock making sure to stir well as you do. Add in the bay leaf and potatoes, bring to a boil then reduce back to a simmer, cover the pot and cook until the potatoes are almost tender – about 10 minutes. Add in the kielbasa and continue to cook for about another 5 minutes. Put the cream in, check for seasoning adding salt and pepper to taste and serve. – Melani

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