Potato, Leek and Watercress Soup

Farmer Tom from Hope’s Edge delivered gorgeous fronds of leeks to me in early May last year – not nearly far enough into the growing season to have them as large as they were.  But these leeks were special.  They’d been heeled in and over-wintered under a deep layer of straw.

Spring pulled Leeks

When we had a bumper crop of King Richard leeks last fall, I decided to give it a try.  Who knows, right?  As E and I tromped out to the garden to take a look, I could see bits of brown stem poking through the straw and I wasn’t sure they’d made it.  Our property is windy and the deep bed of straw had been partially blown off – by all those blizzards this winter.  But some stuck and that was enough!  While I couldn’t make a stock out of the tips, I was  sure I could use the tender white and lime green parts closer to the roots.

This recipe used up the rest of the watercress from a batch of local cress which I wrote about in the Maine Ingredient – Creamy Potato and Watercress Soup.  Similar, to this soup, but creamier and more elegant.

Potato, Leek & Watercress Soup by Annie Mahle

Potato, Leek and Watercress Soup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups diced onions; about 1/2 a large onion
4 cups diced leeks; about 5 medium leeks
6 cups white potatoes, quartered and sliced thinly; about 4 potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
several grinds of fresh black pepper
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups lightly packed watercress leaves and stems, coarsely chopped into 1-inch lengths
1/2 cup cream fraiche

In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the onions, leeks, salt and pepper and sauté until the vegetables are translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add the potatoes and white wine and bring to a simmer.  Add the broth and bring to a simmer again.  Simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are cooked through and beginning to break apart slightly, about another 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the watercress.  Serve immediately with a dollop of cream fraiche on top.

Serves 4 to 6

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3 Comments

  1. colleen duffley
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hey it’s colleen. I have 4 more peeps for trip. Call me :)

    Colleen Colleen Duffley Productions Studio b. the beach 214-415-0476

  2. Posted April 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi, this was a nice post. I wondered if you would like to link it in to the new Food on Friday which is running right now over at Carole’s Chatter. We are collecting recipes using carrots and/or leeks. This is the link . I hope you pop over to check it out. There are lots of great recipes already linked in.

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