Guiltless Leek and Potato Soup (in only 4 ingredients!)

Leek season is upon us! It's a fleeting time of year - a brief period of time when it makes any kind of budgetary sense to buy leeks. Onions and I have a troubled relationship made complicated by my uncooperative digestive system. Leeks however, have never done me wrong. What's more, leeks, like other onions, are great for lowering cholesterol, which is all well and good as long as you don't slather them in cream and butter, which are the leeks most common pot-fellows. So, with that in mind, here is a super easy recipe for leek and potato soup sans cream (but with butter). I think this would be worth a shot with margarine, or even without butter at all, but I can't say I've tried it. Let me know how it works out if you do!

You'll need:
  • Soup pot
  • hand blender (other blenders are fine, just messier)
  • 3 large leeks, cleaned and sliced
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 2-3 tbsp butter (depending on how much leek you get...they tend to vary a lot in size)
  • two russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
 Let's do it!:
  •  To prepare your leeks:
    •  wash all visible dirt off the outsides to keep your cutting board clean
    • Chop off the dark green leaves, leaving light green ones (they're perfectly fine in a soup)
    • Slice off the root and about 1/2-1 inch of the bottom white section, leaving as much as possible.
    • cut in half the long way. It doesn't have to be perfect- remember you're going to puree these anyways
    • Wash out all the dirt you can (I like to give them a good scrub using a vegetable brush) from the outside and inside of the leaves
    • Slice width-wise to get nice, manageable half-rounds of leek. 
  • Melt butter in your soup pot.
  • Add the leeks, and stir to coat.
  • Cook down for anywhere from 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until your leeks look translucent. I set my burner to medium heat and it worked well.
  • Add potatoes, stir.
  • Add bay leaf, if you're using one.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes begin to soften.
  • Add stock.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for another ten minutes or so.
  • Let cool.
  • Remove bay leaf .
  • Once cooled, blend with the hand blender.
Serve hot, with freshly cracked black pepper if you like.

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