8 leeks, white part only. Save the tops for another project.
6 cloves garlic
10 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups / 1.5L chicken stock
2 cups / 475 ml heavy cream
1/2c (1 stick) / 113g butter
We’re going to begin by cleaning the leeks thoroughly. So remove the green tops, the first layer of the leek which is always papery, and the root. Split the leek down the middle lengthwise and slice into strips. I like to put them into a large bowl of water and agitate them until all the dirt and sand falls to the bottom. Change the water if your leeks are very dirty. You can then put them into a salad spinner to dry them off, or lay them out on a towel to drain. Take a large handful of these leeks for frying later.
Grab a large pot and melt the butter in the pan. Once it foams add in all of your leeks, and a hefty pinch of salt. It will look like a lot but the leeks will cook down. Sweat down these leeks on low heat (no color, no browning.) for the next ten minutes and then add your sliced garlic. Continue cooking until the leeks are translucent and almost falling apart, another ten to fifteen minutes I’d say. And while they’re sweating, start peeling and quartering potatoes.
When the leeks are ready, add the thyme, bay leaf, potatoes and chicken stock. Cover your pot and simmer for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft.
Add your cream, and fish out the thyme and bay leaf.
Blend your soup with an immersion blender, or if you’re using a standing blender be sure to not overfill it and make sure there’s plenty of liquid in each batch so you don’t overwork the potatoes and make glue. An optional step is to pass your soup through a sieve, not necessarily a fine mesh like a Chinoise, but strain to remove any large lumps for a silky smooth soup.
Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Serve or cool for later. Use within 1 week.
leeks, sliced (from above)
A neutral oil for frying (I use sunflower oil)
Grab a small pot with tall sides and place the leeks inside. Cover with cold oil and bring the heat to medium. If you have a thermometer handy try to get the oil to 350f/176c and keep it there.
Fry the leeks stirring very often to cook evenly for around 8 minutes. You’ll want to pull them when they turn a light blonde, just barely turning golden brown. They will carry over and darken up more as they cool down.
Remove them from the oil and lay the leeks on a towel to drain and cool. Season with salt right away.
Parsley and chive oil
175 ml sunflower oil
15 grams parsley
10 grams chives
Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and have a bowl of ice water nearby.
Drop your parsley and chives into the boiling water for 15 seconds then pull it out and plunge into the ice water.
Once the herbs are cold squeeze out as much water as you can.
Place the herbs and the oil into a blender and blend for 3-4 minutes.
strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Let this strain for an hour or so. Discard the solids and reserve the green oil.