Creamy leek soup [Photo/The New York Times]
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
7 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Optional: 1/2 cup milk, plain yogurt or a combination of milk and crème fraîche
For garnish: Chopped chives and/or croutons
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the leeks and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until leeks are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute, until the garlic smells fragrant. Add the stock or water, the rice, bay leaf and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
2. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or a food mill, or in batches in a blender, taking care to remove the lid or take out the center insert and to cover with a towel to avoid hot splashes. Return to the pot, heat through, and add pepper to taste and a pinch of cayenne if desired. Serve hot or cold. If you wish you can thin out with milk, plain yogurt or a combination of milk and crème fraîche. Garnish with chopped chives or croutons.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Advance preparation: The soup will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Nutritional information per serving (4 servings): 191 calories; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 34 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 62 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 7 grams protein
Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 127 calories; 2 grams fat; 0 gram saturated fat; 0 gram polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 23 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 41 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 4 grams protein
The New York Times