What do you get when you combine my absolute favorite recipe source with an intense need for a giant pot of soup to combat the gazillion feet of snow on the ground in Massachusetts?? Add that to about 4 pounds of leeks and you get an amazing meal. If you don’t know Cook’s Illustrated, they exhaustively test each recipe to determine what ingredients to use and how to cook the dish. Therefore, it would seem to defeat the purpose to deviate from their outline, right? Well, I did make a few tweaks but the recipe is still incredibly easy.
First, you need a lot of leeks. A LOT. It calls for 4-5 pounds of leeks. I bought everything the grocery had and it juuuuuust made 4 lbs. You also need about 5 cups of chicken stock, a bay leaf and some potatoes. Here’s how to clean leeks – they’re very sandy! Now, I decided I wanted to make it a white bean and sausage soup too, so to the potato leek base I added 2 cans of canellini beans and a sliced turkey kielbasa. Since I was adding these additional ingredients, I blended the soup with a hand immersion blender before adding the beans and kielbasa. The color looked like split pea soup but the taste was quite different. Then I decided to jazz it up just a bit with some cayenne. It also needed some salt and pepper.
The soup was creamy without any milk or cream added. I DID use the 3/4 stick butter (I know, I know), but next time would probably use much less and use some EVOO.