Bright Green Leek Soup 23-Jan-2015
Leek soup adds brightness and warmth to winter. Prepare them carefully and leeks will shine as a main mealtime ingredient.
- 6 medium leeks, about 3 lb.
- 4 tbsp. butter
- Salt and pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1/2 c. rice
- 8 c. hot chicken broth or water
- 10 oz. baby spinach, washed
- Grated nutmeg, to taste
- 1/2 c. crème fraîche (see Note)
- 2 tbsp. thinly sliced chives, for garnish
- 2 tbsp. thinly sliced tarragon, for garnish
Trim leeks of outer layer and stems. Chop white and tender green parts into 1/2-inch chunks (discard tough gray-green parts). Soak leeks in a large bowl of lukewarm water, swishing to dislodge sand. Drain and soak again, then lift leeks, leaving sediment behind.
Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and season well with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until leeks are wilted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne and rice and cook for 1 minute. Add hot broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Simmer until rice is very soft, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely before proceeding.
Using a blender, purée raw spinach with cooled soup mixture. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve, discarding any fibrous solids. Adjust seasoning and add grated nutmeg. Thin with broth or water if necessary. Heat soup before serving, to preserve bright green color. Garnish with a tablespoon of crème fraîche and a sprinkling of chives and tarragon.
Crème fraîche is a thickened cream, similar to sour cream, which could be substituted.