Yum Peaceful Cooking: January 2017

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Celery Soup with Potatoes, Leeks and Dill


When it's cold and rainy (a rare occasion here in Los Angeles) you have to take advantage of it and make yourself a good pot of soup!

Some of my most favorite soups can be found in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking Cookbooks, both volumes one and two. I haven't made one I didn't love.  True to Julia's style, there are a few steps. They are not hard steps but are worth it. 

Very much so. 

I did one thing differently. I added dill. I didn't have fresh dill on hand so I used a pretty amazing spice blend by WildTree called Dill Dip Blend. It does make a fantastically addicting dip but is equally delicious as a seasoning. 

Celery Soup with Potatoes, Leeks and Dill

Inspired by Julia Child

Celery and Leeks
3 cups sliced celery
2 Leeks, white parts only, sliced or 1 1/4 cups sliced onion
1/4 tsp salt
3 TB butter
4 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
1/3 cup uncooked white rice

3 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups water (important to measure this as it will be added to the soup)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk, heated
1/8 tsp sugar (pinch)
Salt and Pepper to taste (white pepper is recommended)

In a heavy bottomed 3 quart pot, melt the butter and slowly cook the celery and leeks with a 1/4 tsp of salt, covered, until tender but not brown. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in rice and Dill Dip Blend, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, uncovered for 25 minutes.

While that's going on, boil the potatoes with 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of salt. When tender, drain the cooking water into the celery and leeks. Puree the potatoes. I used a ricer and placed them back in the pan and whisked in the heated milk. If you're using a blender, beat along with 1 cup of the heated milk, place into the pan and add the remaining cup of milk.

Once the celery and leeks have cooked a bit, puree the mixture with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender. Add the potatoes and whisk everything together really well.  Bring to a simmer and then beat in the pinch of sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

When serving, add a dab of butter to each bowl. Blend the hot soup into the butter and top with croutons. Something about that dab of butter that adds a bit of richness. You can skip it if you choose, but treat yourself and give it a try it.