I remember the first time I took a cooking class. It was held by the Board of Education at a high school near my home. Our instructor was the executive chef for a major bank. I remember learning how to cook classic dishes like Beef Wellington, Boulangere Potatoes, Caesar Salad and Potato Leek soup.
A few years later I had that same soup at an upscale restaurant in Toronto called Fenton’s. For years Fenton’s was my favourite place to eat for special occasions since the food was superb. Their chef added a chunk of English Stilton to each bowl making the Potato Leek soup outstanding. Stilton is a relatively strong cheese which provides perfect balance to the creamy soup. I loved it so much I ordered it every time I ate there. Sadly, Fenton’s closed down many years ago, but I still make the soup the same way that they served it.
I have taken many culinary courses since then and have tried numerous soup recipes but Potato Leek is still my favourite soup on a cold winter’s day. It would make a great starter for a holiday meal or a wonderful lunch main course.
Many of my readers who live in the United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week.
I wish you and your families a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!
Potato Leek Soup with Stilton
2 tbsp. butter (30 mL) sliced to 1/4 inch
4 leeks, white part only, washed and
1 large onion, thinly sliced
5 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced to 1/2 inch cubes
5 cups chicken stock (1 L)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme (2.5 mL)
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper (1.25 mlL)
1/4 cup of whipping cream (60 mL)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives (60 mL)
4 oz. Stilton or blue cheese, crumbled (110 g)
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and onion and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, approximately 5-8 minutes.
Add the potatoes, chicken stock, thyme, and black pepper.
Bring the mixture to a boil; remove any scum that floats to the surface. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are soft, approximately 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Process the mixture with a hand blender until smooth. Add the whipping cream and mix well.
Ladle the soup into individual soup bowls. Add a 1/1/2 inch chunk of Stilton to the centre of each bowl and sprinkle each serving with the chives.