Sometimes, when you can't decided between two options, combining them is the best idea ever.
I really love Julia Child's Leek and Potato soup. I really love Butternut Squash Soup. I was in the mood for both and just couldn't decide what to do. Although I was leaning a bit more towards the leek soup, the butternut squash really needed to be used soon.
Using Julia's recipe as a guide, and her often simple, basic seasoning technique that allows the main ingredient's flavor to shine like a star rather than the supporting spices and herbs, It's surprising how a bit salt and pepper is the only seasoning this recipe needs. Trust me, hold back on the urge to add the garlic or cumin, or whatever your go-to favorites are. Try it in it's true form first and remember that you can add other seasonings later if you choose.
Butternut and Leek Soup with Red LentilsPrintable Version
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" cubes
2 leeks, including tender greens, sliced and rinsed
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1 cup diced butternut squash
2 quarts of water plus more as needed
1/4 cup red lentils, uncooked
1 tablespoon salt
White pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of butter
Chives or parsley
In a large put simmer the vegetables, water and salt, partially covered with a lid for about 30 minutes. Add the lentils and continue simmering, partially covered for another 20 - 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add warm water as needed to keep the vegetables under water.
Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender) puree until smooth and creamy. Adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper if needed.
Off heat and just before serving, stir in the butter, a spoonful at a time until melted and garnish with croutons and chives or parsley
The lentils were added to thicken the soup (instead of rice) and also for their nutritional value. The butter is added at the end to add a bit of depth and richness. It is of course optional. You can add cream instead if you'd like. Croutons are just so much fun in creamy soups.