Cook’s Illustrated new cookbook Vegetables Illustrated is a beautifully compiled cookbook of delicious, easy to make, and crowd-pleasing recipes featuring vegetables as the star. The cookbook reads like a reference guide with vegetables separated into individual chapters accompanied by tips, tricks, and innovative recipes that any meat lover will enjoy.
I chose the creamy leek and potato soup because I was craving something warm and comforting with the taste and colors of spring. April in New England is a bit like Jekyll and Hyde, sunny and warm one day then raw and raining the next! This soup did not disappoint in flavor or comfort. The flavor of the leeks shines through while the thyme compliments its earthy flavor. The addition of the russet potato and bread make this soup hearty without the addition of cream. Seasoning to taste with salt and pepper is important as both bring out the flavor of the leeks. I added a bit of Maldon sea salt flakes which is a must buy for any salt lover. Just a sprinkle is all you need. Serve this soup with fresh, crusty bread and you have comfort in a bowl.
Next on my list of must makes from this cookbook is the southwestern radish and apple salad, quickly followed by a carrot cake recipe that makes my mouth water every time I look at the photograph. With four hundred and eighty-five pages of recipes, I have a lot to explore and just in time with fresh produce from farmer’s markets arriving soon. You can purchase this cookbook here. I highly recommend it. Happy Spring!
I reached out to America’s Test Kitchen who sent me this cookbook for free. All opinions are my own.
Creamy Leek and Potato Soup
Serves 4 to 6
Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Vegetables Illustrated
2 pounds leeks, white and light green parts halved lengthwise and sliced thin, dark green parts halved and cut into 2-inch pieces, (be sure to wash all of it thoroughly)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken)
2 cups of water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
Kosher salt and pepper
1 small russet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼ inch slices
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh thyme or tarragon (I used thyme.)
1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, toasted a bit and torn into ¼ inch pieces
Add broth, water, and dark green leek pieces to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Using a fine mesh sieve strain broth over an empty bowl while pushing on the solids to release as much liquid and flavor as possible. Set aside.
Add butter to a now-empty saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Add sliced white bread, green leeks, onion, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Reduce heat to low and cook stirring often until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Next, increase the heat to high and add broth, potato, bay leaf, and herb sprig. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potato is soft and bread breaks down about 10 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and herb sprig. Process soup in batches in a blender or use a handheld immersion blender to save you time. Process until smooth. Bring to a simmer and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt flakes and thyme leaves. Serve with crusty bread if desired. Enjoy!