I have a secret. I wish I had the willpower to be a vegetarian. I LOVE most vegetarian food, and when I go out to restaurants I try to order vegetarian food because it always tastes so good, and I didn't have to cook it, or listen to complaints from the teenager for daring to serving something vegetable based.
When I lived in Vermont there was a vegetarian restaurant called The Horn of the Moon Cafe in Montpelier. The restaurant is gone now but the cookbook lives on. This was one of my first cook books that I purchased while in college, and living as a vegetarian (it was short lived). I used to make this soup once a week in huge batches and freeze it. It tastes the same out of the freezer as it does fresh. I will admit to you up front that when I went to make the soup I was still getting over the flu and when I opened the pantry I found beef stock and no vegetable stock so mine isn't vegetarian but I almost think it taste better with vegetable stock. Either way, it's warm and filling and fantastic with fresh bread to clean the bottom of your bowl when you're done, it's so much more refined than licking it clean.
Potato Leek Soup
Horn of the Moon
6 cups of water or stock
6 cups diced potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced leeks (washed well and just the white part)
1 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour (leave out for gluten-free it will still be thick)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
Bring water or stock to a boil in a soup pot. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until tender (20 to 25 minutes). Turn off heat.
In a 10-inch fry pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and sauté the leeks, celery, thyme, and dill weed until the leeks are well coated with butter. Cover and cook on low heat until the leeks are tender (10 to 15 minutes). Add to the potatoes and broth. Blend in a blender, if you want lumpy soup only puree about 2/3rds of the vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In the same pan in which the leeks were sautéed, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, then add the flour. Brown for 1 minute on low heat. Whisk in cream and turn off heat. Add to the soup, then add parsley. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, uncovered.
If you're leftover soup gets too thick add a little more water or stock to thin it out as you reheat it.