1 pound leeks
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cups celery stalks
4 medium potatoes
3 cups water
3 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon Vegetable MagicTM spice
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
up to 1 cup grated cheese, optional
PREPARATION OF THE LEEKS
Cut off and remove the tough dark, green parts. Remove the bottom part with the little roots. Cut the leeks into pieces and swirl them in water to remove bits of dirt. Pat down the pieces with a towel to dry them. Put leeks into a food-processor and mince them.
PREPARATION OF THE SOUP.
Melt butter in pan. (Note it is much easier to measure 3 tablespoons from a stick of butter than from a tub.) Mince the celery. Add leeks and celery to melted butter.
Saute on low heat and stir frequently for about 6 minutes or until onions are soft. (Reading War and Peace is not advised at this point.)
Chop up potatoes until they are small enough to put into a blender. Blend the heck out of them. Put 3 cups water into pot. Heat water to boiling. Cook for about 15 minutes this way or until potato bits are tender. (Note you should gradually turn down the heat. The soup will still boil and you will avoid painful geysers of hot potato water. (A great reason not to cook in the nude.)
Dice cilantro until you have 1/2 cup. Add sauteed leeks, celery, milk, cilantro, vegetable spice, celery salt, parsley, and salt. Cover and cook at low heat for 20 minutes. Taste soup. Sprinkle in other spices if you wish. Some people love onion salt, garlic salt, or Tabasco sauce in everything. If you are that kind of cook, go for it!
Add grated cheese to taste.
EATING OF THE SOUP
Nom, nom, nom.
1) The potato was cultivated by the Incas. The Spanish took it back to Europe and gave little in return.
2) The potato revolutionized warfare. Previous to widespread cultivation of this amazing tuber, armies on the move stripped the conquered territories of any food growing above ground. Farmers could now wait until the invading hordes left and dig up enough potatoes to survive. Armies could also feed themselves on the potatoes they brought along. There is a sketch of the great French general Napoleon asking a foot soldier for a potato.
3) The Irish depended quite heavily on the potato for their nutritional needs. When the potato crop failed in 1848, many Irish starved and large numbers of them migrated to America.
4) Indeed, loud guffaws never swirled around the humble potato.
5) Until HasbroTM created Mr. Potato HeadTM in 1962. Now we can all eat the potato or play with it.
6) Mr. Potato HeadTM seems so obvious now. That’s why genius is genius.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.