It’s 5 below in Newtown this morning, and I’m chilled to the bone! This kind of frigid weather calls out for one thing (other than summer!) – a bowl of piping-hot soup. Mmm.

Here’s one of my favorites…

Murph’s Potato Leek Soup

3 pounds red potatoes

2 bunches leeks

2 32-ounce chicken broth

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning

2 tablespoons powdered Ancho pepper

Half-dozen shakes of Worcestershire sauce

3 teaspoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon liquid smoke (I do believe this is the secret to Murph’s soups!)

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Scrub potatoes well under running water, cut out any eyes, otherwise leave skin on and cube.
  • Take a large cookie sheet, cover with aluminum foil and spray with oil.
  • Place cut potatoes on sheet – be sure to spread them out. Sprinkle with Old Bay, Ancho, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Lightly spray oil potatoes on top and place in preheated oven.
  • Cook until browned well and fork tender, approximately 40 minutes.
  • As potatoes roast, cut off the bottom ¼-inch of leeks, along with the top half of the green portion. Cut these leeks into 2-inch pieces, and then cut lengthwise.
  • Place cut leeks in the sink, pull apart leeks with you fingers, and methodically wash the sand from each piece. (Be careful and don’t rush, as any sand can ruin this soup.)
  • Heat large soup pot on the stove, and add butter and olive oil. Add the cleaned leeks. Keeping the heat at a low/medium to medium, stir leeks from the bottom. In time the leeks will begin to brown and caramelize.
  • After 20-30 minutes the leeks should be caramelized nicely. Add 1 1/2 containers of chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and liquid smoke. Bring to a simmer.
  • When the potatoes are done, place them into the broth leek soup. Simmer altogether for about 20 minutes to meld the flavors.
  • Finally, ladle mixture into a blender until about ½ full. Blend each batch very well; you are aiming for a creamy mouth feel. You may need to add a bit of the reserved chicken broth to loosen up the mixture as you blend. Place the blended batches into a large pot. When all blended, return to original pot. You may add chicken broth, milk or cream to the soup if it is too thick. Adjust salt and pepper.

Serve with Garlic and Herbes de Provence-sprinkled homemade croutons.

Hope this helps to warm you up!

Love, Nora

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