Soups have always been one of my specialties. I started making them as a child impressed by the little effort they required and the delicious reward they provided. There is something so comforting about knowing that by simmering a couple of fresh and simple ingredients, you will have a pot to provide warmth on a cold winter’s evening. This is, indeed, one of those soups that feeds the soul in such a way. Hearty leeks, sweet shallots, and creamy peas make for big and steamy bowls of yum. The consistency is creamy, thick, and rich without actually containing any cream. Freshen up the flavors by adding fresh herbs right before blending. Also, feel free to thin down or thicken the soup to your liking by adding more or less stock.
INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 4-6
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks/500 gr./4 cups, white and green parts only, roughly chopped
4 shallots or 1 large onion, 200 gr., finely chopped
pinch chili flakes
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large yellow potatoes/600 gr./4 cups. cut into cubes
4 cups/ 500 gr. frozen green peas
2 thyme sprigs
5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock, boiling
1/2 cup/ packed handful cilantro or mint, chopped
1. Sauté the leeks, shallots or onion, chili flakes, and bay leaves in olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until soft and tender. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, green peas, thyme, liquid stock, a good grinding of freshly ground black pepper, and salt. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and stir in the cilantro, mint, or a combination of both.
2. Blend the soup in the pot using a hand blender or in a regular blender in batches until smooth or to the consistency of your liking. Check for salt and pepper, add to your taste, and serve. The soup will keep well chilled for a few days.