Once the borscht was finished off, I made up a batch of my potato-leek soup. My version of this simple classic has been changing over the years, moving away from traditional definition so far as to be renamed: Allium Stew.
6 large leeks
2 large white onions
2 heads garlic
4 Yukon Gold potatos
1/2 pound butter
2 quarts chicken stock
salt, white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg
Trim Leeks rather deeply; remove rootlets and most all the green portion, leaving 3″-4″ of white leek intact. Peel off the outer layer. Th goal here is to avoid any tough leaves, and preserve a pale/mild colour.
Slice trimmed leeks lengthwise, then finely slice crossways. Collect cut leeks into a large bowl brimming with cold water, agitate well, then allow to soak; this is to get any sand in the leeks to settle out.
Trim, peel, and small-dice the onions. Peel and small-dice the potatoes. Trim and peel all the garlic cloves.
Melt the butter in a large pot, and hold over medium-low heat. Run all the garlic through a press into the butter, followed by the onions. Double-check the leeks for sand, then shake off the excess water and add them to the pot. Add a pinch of salt. Cover and sweat the alliums until they reduce in apparent volume by about a third.
Now season with another pinch of salt, a few grinds of white pepper, a bare shake each of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Mix up well, raise heat a little to get the butter bubbling, then add the stock. Let the stock come up to temp a bit, then in with the taters. Add a quart or more of water as you go from here.
Barely simmer until potatoes are just getting fork-soft, then off the heat and run the whole works through a food processor and/or work it over with a stick-blender. Back onto medium heat and stir away any mealiness. Hey, maybe there’s a better cooking schedule here, but this is just how I’ve been doing it… Suggestions welcome.
My favourite part of this is that there’s no cream/milk, and I don’t think it needs it. Enjoy!