Nothing like a healthy and refreshing summer soup to get through the warm months ahead!
- 8 medium-sized leeks (3 lbs), trimmed, leaving white and pale green parts only, and chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ C (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 small boiling potato (6 ounces)
- ½ C dry white wine
- 3 Cs chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth (24 fluid ounces)
- 3 Cs water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ Cs fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ¼ C all-purpose flour
- ½ C chilled heavy cream
- 6 sprigs of fresh parsley
Wash sliced leeks in a large bowl of cold water, agitating them, then lift out and drain well in a colander.
Cook leeks, onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper in 4 tablespoons butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, then add to onion mixture along with wine, stock, water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in parsley and simmer soup, uncovered, 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf and keep soup at a bare simmer.
Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then add flour and cook roux, whisking, until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 cups simmering stock (from soup), whisking vigorously (mixture will be thick), then whisk mixture into remaining soup and return to a simmer, whisking.
Blend soup in 4 batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), about 1 minute per batch, transferring to a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Reheat if necessary, then season with salt and pepper.
Beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it almost forms soft peaks. Serve soup topped with cream and garnished with parsley.