Friday, September 21, 2012

Potato Leek Soup with Sweet Corn & Basil

I was shopping the other day, and came across leeks. I love leek. There is something to be said for the sweet mild onion flavour that comes from a leek. I like them roasted, I love them braised, I like them in soup, I even like them fried. I guess I am a leek fan.

So, what started out as simple potato and leek, turned into a silky fragrant corn soup. When I got home and started putting the soup together, I found corn in my fridge and thought I would make a kind of chowder. And, when I looked over at my windowsill and saw my basil plant leaning dangerously close to death, I picked off the leaves and added them too. I am a habitual plant killer. I buy plants like cut flowers because in the back of my mind, I know I am going to have to throw them into the compost.

Back to the soup. My thought process was that potatoes and leek go well together, corn and potatoes are delicious together and I really like corn and basil together. So, with corn tying all ingredients together, what could go wrong? And I was right - it works to create a warming and hearty soup. It warmed and filled up our bellies last night.

Potato Leek Soup with Sweet Corn & Basil
Makes 6-8 serves

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
3 leeks, tough green part removed, white parts rinsed well and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon flour
2lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup corn kernels (from about 2 cobs of corn)
2 liters chicken stock
1 cup cream
1 cup corn kernels, extra (from about 2 cobs of corn)
2 tablespoons (about 8 large leaves) chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt, extra
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat butter in large saucepan. Add onion, leek, garlic and salt, and cook gently until leek is softened, but not browned. Add thyme and flour and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes.
Add potatoes, 1 cup corn kernels and stock. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are softened and cooked through. Remove from heat and puree. Stir in cream, remaining 1 cup corn kernels and season well with salt and pepper.


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