2-3 large or 4-6 small leeks (about 3-4 cups) 3 Tablespoons butter 3 large baking potatoes (about 3-4 cups), peeled and sliced 2 quarts homemade gf chicken stock 1/4 cup heavy cream Salt and fresh ground white pepper Fresh snipped chives for garnish
Cut leeks lengthwise. Wash them carefully in running water, rinsing any mud or sand down and away toward heavy green top of leek. Slice white and light green parts of leeks only.
In a 5 quart sauté pan, sauté leeks in butter until tender. Add potatoes and gf chicken stock to sautéed leeks.
Bring liquids to a boil and reduce heat to maintain a low simmer. Partially cover pan and cook 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are very tender when pierced with tip of a small sharp knife.
Mash potatoes roughly with a large fork. Add cream. Correct seasonings with salt and white pepper to taste. Serve soup garnished with fresh snipped chives.
Use this potato soup as the basis for the following soups. Purée the soup and use milk, half and half or additional cream to thin.
Adjust to taste by adding more or less of the vegetables or herbs. Serve the soups hot or cold.
Cream of Spinach: After the potatoes are cooked and tender. Add the shredded or whole leaves of a 1-1/2 pound bunch of spinach. Simmer just until the leaves are wilted. Purée the soup. Season with fresh grated nutmeg. Thin to taste with milk or cream.
Cream of Watercress: Set aside a few pretty sprigs of watercress for garnish. Chop the rest of the leaves of 2 small bunches of watercress. Add the watercress to the soup near the end of the cooking time. Simmer for 5 minutes. Purée, season and thin the soup to taste.
Cream of Fresh Herb: Purée the soup with 1/2 cup each loosely packed Italian parsley and dill sprigs, chopped or other herbs of your choice.