- 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 4-5 pounds leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced (about 11 cups) and rinse thoroughly
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 3/4 lbs red potatoes (5 medium), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried)
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the leeks and garlic. Cover and cook until the leeks are tender, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the broth, potatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Smash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot to thicken soup. Discard the bay leaves. Salt and pepper to taste.
HINT: Sweating the leeks in a covered pot, just before adding the liquid, is key to this recipe. It might seem like this recipe calls for a lot of leeks, but the large quantity – which cooks down considerably when you sweat them – is necessary to develop a deep, well-rounded flavor for this soup.
This soup can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to one month. Reheat over low heat, adding additional water or both to adjust consistency.