For those of us living in the Eastern U.S., a powerful winter storm has hit our area and with it came snow, ice, biting winds, and frigid temperatures. Hello January!
Trying to stay warm, many of us think about tucking into comfort foods, which are often not the healthy food choices we resolved to make on New Year’s Day. Enter soup. Soup is a great option for cold winter days, not only to warm you up, but also to fuel you with nutrients and antioxidants. What I love the most about making soups in the winter is that they make excellent leftovers, reheat quite easily, and you have ready lunch waiting in the ‘fridge the next day.
This easy cream of leek, potato, and watercress soup is adapted from a very old “Bon Appetit” magazine (which added pan-seared scallops). It is a family favorite for this time of the year with the earthiness of the potatoes complimenting the mellow leeks and peppery watercress.
The soup only requires a handful of ingredients: some leeks, potatoes, and a bunch of watercress, milk, and sour cream. The toppings can be as simple as some extra watercress sprigs or you can add toasted croutons, a swirl of cream or even crumbled bacon. This soup is bright, colorful, hearty and very satisfying, especially if you enjoy it with some toasted French bread!
- 2 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil (or butter)
- 3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
- 1 russet potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 1 bunch watercress, trimmed, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- --- salt and freshly ground pepper
- --- watercress sprigs for garnish
- --- bread croutons (optional)
- Set a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. To the saucepan add the leeks and sauté for 5 minutes. Next, add the potatoes and sauté for a few minutes more. Add the chicken broth, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the chopped watercress, cover again and let stand for 5 minutes or until the watercress wilts.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender (or use an emersion blender to do this directly in the saucepan). Return the soup to the saucepan. Whisk in the sour cream. Thin the soup with the milk to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with some bread croutons and the reserved watercress sprigs and serve.
Here are a few more winter soups from the blog’s archives that you might enjoy:
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