There's nothing quite like a warm bowl of soup on a frigid winter day. This is one of my favorite soups and an easy crowd-pleaser. The not-so-secret ingredient is the leeks. If you have never tried cooking with leeks, that needs to stop here. Leeks have such a delicious flavor that is difficult to mimic. You could easily substitute onions for leeks in this recipe, but you will NOT get the same flavor. Leeks are part of the onion family but they have a much more pleasant, almost sweet, flavor. Just make sure you wash them thoroughly. Dirt gets it way into each section quite easily. I have found the most effective way to clean them is to cut the leek length-wise (just the white part since this is all you need for this recipe), and then run my fingers through each layer under running water. You can discard the greens or save them for a yummy vegetable stock (which freezes beautifully).
4 TBS butter
3 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
6 cups of broth (chicken or veggie)
1 lb mushrooms (I prefer mixing button and cremini)
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup soymilk
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup heavy cream (this is optional, but we all know cream adds that extra flavor)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dill
3 bay leaves
In a large pot saute the leeks and carrots in half the butter for about 5 minutes. Pour in the broth and seasonings. Add potatoes and cook for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Meanwhile melt the remaining butter in a saute pan and cook the mushrooms. Add these to the soup.
In a separate bowl add the flour to the milk and cream. Mix thoroughly and add the the soup.
Let it simmer for about 5 minutes or until the soup thickens. Remove the bay leaf and serve immediately.