Leek, Potato and Fennel Soup

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm so ready for winter to be over!  This last week has been a rough one with each and all of us coming down with the wretched flu, despite having had our flu shots.  Jim toughed it out and worked right through, while I, just gave in to it.  My daughter and her family have had it as well.  I worry so for my little grandson, but he, like the rest of us, has turned the corner and is now feeling better.  

One last bit of comfort food was in order and lots of Mint, Lemon, Honey and Ginger Tea for the cough that lingers.

The fennel adds a slight anise flavor. 

Leek, Potato and Fennel Soup

Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 leeks, tender white parts with a little green only, thinly sliced, washed throughly
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into small dice
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Salt to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  add the sliced leeks, fennel and garlic along with a generous pinch of salt.  Cook without browning, just until the vegetables soften.

Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the potatoes, and stir.  Add the stock, and bring it up to a boil.  Turn down the heat again, and let the soup simmer for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are all very soft.

Let the soup cool until no longer steaming, and then blend the soup using a hand or stand blender until it has a smooth, velvety consistency.  Season generously with salt and pepper and stir in the heavy cream (if using). 

Reheat and ladle the soup into bowls.  

Photos By: Ryannan Bryer de Hickman