Jackson Leek and Potato Soup

This used to be the Wednesday soup du jour at Galatoire’s, but they don’t make it often anymore. Probably because it’s very, very homely. I always liked it, because it’s one of the few potato soups in which the potatoes are not mashed. They make it with green onions, but in my version leeks are substituted, with some finely chopped green onions used as garnish. If you have a ham bone, make a stock with it and use it here.

By complete coincidence, Jackson is the name of my first grandson, a year and a half old and having a ball with his dad (my son Jude) in Los Angeles, where he lives. I think I’ll make a batch of Jackson soup while I’m there in a month.

  • 2 leeks
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 3 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 4 cups ham stock or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 lb. ham, sliced or finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • /2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Tabasco
  • 1 green onion, tender green parts only, sliced thin

1. Cut off the bottom half-inch of the leeks (with the roots) and the tough upper parts, keeping about 6-7 inches of the leeks. Slice them open from top to bottom, then across to make slices about a half-inch wide. Rinse these very well under running water.

2. Heat the butter in a saucepan until it bubbles. Cook the leeks in it until just barely soft.

3. Add the potatoes, cut into quarters. Add the stock, ham, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to the lightest boil and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender. Stir the pot gently now and then, to dissolve some of the broken bits of potato into the soup to thicken it.

4. Add half-and-half, salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Garnish with sliced green onions

Serves six.

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