My Vita-Mix is a new gadget that I have had a good time learning about. It is very efficient in chopping. Instructions call for using small volumes of food to chop. That is important because the chopped pieces are thrown against the sides of the container, and chopping stops before the food is turned into mush. That means that chopping large amounts of food requires several passes. That slows down the process, but still – 10 seconds to chop a cup of carrots is a remarkable efficiency. The big bonus is puréeing large volumes of soup into the smoothest dish one can imagine. You get to do both of those processes with the recipe for leek and potato soup. Actually, I think you could do the same thing with a food processor or an old-fashioned blender. For that matter, you could even use a knife and chop things by hand. But then it wouldn’t be as much fun.
Leek and Potato Soup
- 3 large leeks, cut into 1 inch slices, white and pale green parts only
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 sprigs parsley
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- Set Vita-Mix controls to Variable and speed 3. Fasten the lid with the center cap removed. Turn on the machine and by cupfuls, pour the cut-up leeks through the opening. Pulse 10 times. Turn off the motor. Transfer the chopped leeks to a bowl. Repeat the process until the leeks have all been chopped.
- Repeat the above steps to chop the onion.
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion, stir and cover. Sweat the vegetables until they are translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, chicken broth, cream, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Use more if needed for taste. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 4o minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Remove from the heat.
- Cool the soup mixture until it is easy to work with. Remove the parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Then, in three divided portions, add the mixture to the Vita-Mix container. Make sure the top and top are well seated on the container. With the settings on “Variable” and “8” speed, process the mixture for 30 seconds until it is smooth. Combine the three batches. Reheat, garnish with minced scallion greens or chives if desired, and serve immediately. You may also refrigerate and then serve chilled. Makes about 12 cups.