If you're lucky, you have a loved one who cooks for you, whether it's a friend, a parent or another family member. And if you're even luckier, that person handed down a recipe for something you loved eating, so that when you miss them all you have to do is head to the kitchen and make their dish to have a little bit of them with you.
That's the case for Nicole from the blog Pinch My Salt, who shared her late mother's recipe for potato-leek soup. Her mom was killed by a drunk driver while Nicole was in college, and the soup has become something that holds a lot of memories of her. It's a really touching story, and a great soup; exactly the kind of thing you want after a chilly fall day. It's also easy to make, converts easily to vegetarian, and freezes well.
K.'s Potato-Leek Soup (adapted from Pinch My Salt):
3 tablespoons butter
3 leeks, thinly sliced (clean the leeks well and use only the white and light green parts)
1 medium or large onion, chopped
6 – 8 russet potatoes, thinly sliced (use your food processor, if you have one, and you can leave the peels on; it adds to the texture of the soup)
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (enough to barely cover potatoes; vegetable broth works fine here too)
1 cup heavy cream (half and half is lower in fat and still nice and creamy; even whole milk would be fine)
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
How to make it
1) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat then add onions and leeks. Cook, stirring, until onions are limp and just slightly brown.
2) Add sliced potatoes to saucepan then pour in enough chicken broth to just barely cover the potatoes. Continue cooking over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Using a potato masher, mash and stir potatoes until desired consistency is reached. As you mash the potatoes and the soup thickens, turn down heat and stir frequently with a large spoon to prevent scorching on the bottom.
3) Add one cup of heavy cream (or more to thin) and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook 15 minutes more over low heat, stirring frequently, then remove from heat and serve.
Image via ilovemy pit/Flickr