Christmas Week Good & Quick dinners

When we recall Christmas past
we usually find that the simplest things,
not the great occasions,
give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
~ Bob Hope ~

Potato Leek Soup Jacques

A classic Jacques Pepin recipe from Chez Jacques is my go to recipe for potato leek soup so easy and filling just a cup with a wonderful mini croissant, smoked turkey and dill/Havarti cheese sandwich.  A perfect snowy night dinner…if one had snow!  With a forecast of 70º – 80º’s temperatures for us here in coastal Carolina for several days to come our cozy food will be served amidst rain showers maybe even on the covered back porch.  Still and all comfort food with a touch of French goodness, my TJ’s Roquefort cheese blended with a little homemade mayo for the sandwiches.  I skipped the croutons for the soup and garnished with plain chives, rich croissants is the bread of the night!

Perfect for a wintry pot luck dinner with friends.

Since I severely adapted the recipe because I had an overabundance of leeks, I’ve linked to the hot & cold versions of Jacques’ soup…
Step saver:  use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot

2 large leek (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil (I used butter)
1 onion (6 ounces), peeled and sliced
6 cups chicken stock
1 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt to taste, depending on the saltiness of the stock
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bread croutons, for garnish (optional)
6 tablespoons chopped chives
*optional additions of 2 tablespoons mascarpone or a little heavy cream

ADDITIONAL FOR COLD SOUP:
2 ½ cups cold milk¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Trim the leeks to white and light green parts only.  Split the leeks in half lengthwise, and cut it into 1/4-inch pieces. Clean the leek by immersing the pieces in a bowl filled with cold water. Lift the pieces from the water and place them in a sieve.

Heat the oil in a pot. When hot, add the leek and onion, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until they soften and begin to brown lightly. Add the stock, potatoes, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Boil for about 30 to 40 minutes, until tender.

Step saver: use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot or finish as follows…

Strain off most of the juices and reserve them. Add the solids with a little of the juice to the bowl of a food processor and process briefly, just until pureed. (If too much juice is added to the processor bowl, the mixture will become too foamy.) Mix the puree with the reserved juices. You should have about 7 cups. The hot soup can be served immediately, with croutons if desired.

Croissants