potato and leek soup

sometimes i just like to go to my local farmers market for inspiration and cook according to what they have that day. the williamsburg farmers market is tiny. it contains maybe 6 stands, not much room for variety, yet the products are generally satisfying. this saturday i got 2 huge bunches of leeks, a bag of potatoes and carrots. by the time i arrived home i knew what i wanted to cook and got to work right away.

i love a variety of vegetable soups and eat them all year round. even though it was warm outside it did not prevent me from making this great soup. most potato leeks soups recipes require some cream in them, but i usually omit that part. also, i like to add parsley to this soup. i feel it enhances the flavor of other ingredients. parsley does not hold up well during cooking, so add it to the cooked dish at the very last minute. in this particular case, before you puree the soup.
INGREDIENTS3 tbs butter
1 celery stalk diced
1 large carrot peeled, diced
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise,
thinly sliced (about 4 1/2 cups)
2 large russet potatoes, peeled, diced
4 1/2 cups (or more) chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup parsley chopped
PREPARATIONmelt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
add celery, carrots and leeks; stir to coat with butter. cover saucepan; cook until tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
add potatoes. cover and cook until potatoes begin to soften but do not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes.
add 4 1/2 cups stock and bay leaves. bring to boil.
reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
add the chopped parsley simmer for few more minutes
puree soup in batches in processor until smooth.
return to saucepan. thin with additional stock if soup is too thick.
season with salt and pepper.
soup can be prepared 1 day ahead. cover and refrigerate. bring soup to simmer.

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