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Send winter's cold packing with a hearty, heartwarming soup

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

1 baking potato, 6 to 8 ounces (185 to 250 g)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream

1/2 cup (125 mL) packed fresh chervil leaves

Kosher salt

Freshly ground white pepper

Freshly squeeze lemon juice

Put the stock or broth in a large pot, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat and continue boiling steadily until the liquid reduces to about half its original volume.

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Trim the leeks, cutting off the root ends and the tough dark-green leaves. Carefully cut the leeks in half lengthwise, and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove all sand or grit from between the leaves. Cut the leeks crosswise into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices.


Peel the potato, and cut it into quarters. Cut the quarters crosswise into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes longer.

Stir in the reduced stock or broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the leeks and potato are very soft, about 45 minutes.

While the vegetables are simmering, put the cream in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and continue boiling steadily, stirring frequently, until the cream has reduced by half. Set aside.

When the vegetable cooking time has ended, stir all but 2 tablespoons of the chervil leaves into the pot, reserving the remainder for a garnish. Cook the vegetables and chervil for 15 minutes longer.

When the vegetables are done cooking, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a food processor or blender, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding. Add a little of the cooking liquid to moisten the vegetables and puree them; then, transfer the puree to a bowl while processing or blending any remaining batches.

Return the puree to the rest of the soup's cooking liquid in the pot and stir in the reduced cream. Simmer over low heat for several minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and a little lemon juice.

Before serving, mince the remaining chervil leaves. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with chervil, and serve immediately.



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