Leek, Fennel, and Spinach Soup
Although I've listed this as a Passover soup, it's great whenever leeks are in season. I've adapted this recipe from that of my friend
and great chef, Laura Frankel. Laura has been my friend, teacher, and mostly fabulous chef as my family and I have followed her
from location to location in Chicago. Although Laura makes this soup with spinach, my family prefers it with broccoli or broccolini.
Yield: 6 servings
- extra virgin olive oil to coat saucepan
- 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped - I don't use the top sprouts or dark green fronds
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups water
- 1-2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli or broccolini (use just the florettes) or 1-2 cups fresh or frozen spinach
- 1/8 cup fresh parsley
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 T. fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil,
and slowly cook the leeks, garlic, shallot, potatoes, and fennel until the vegetables are soft and fragrant.
This should take about 10 minutes. Add the wine, and continue to cook until the wine is reduced by half. Add
the water and simmer for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Remove the soup from the heat.
Put the broccoli or spinach with the parsley in a food processor and pulse a few times until they are roughly chopped.
Add the hot soup in small batches and pureé until fairly smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan. Add
lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes.
The soup can be eaten immediately, allowed to cool to room temperature, or chilled for a few days. It's good
at all those temperatures. It even freezes well for a month or two.