Leeks, potatoes, and frozen green peas quickly cook into a creamy, hearty soup that tastes like spring.
Spring in Chicago is being its usual capricious self. Warm, sunny days mix it up with cold, blustery, rain-filled stretches. The range of our outerwear this time of year says it all. Leather jackets, sport coats, shirt sleeves, raincoats and, sadly, even our down parkas all see action.
It’s the same story in the kitchen. Longer days and soft breezes have us longing for fresh asparagus and other tastes of spring. Sudden blasts of cold send us running for comfort food. This soup delivers both. The sweet, green flavor of peas is filled with promise; the thick, hearty, potato-rich base soothes even on an unseasonably chilly night.
I’m normally not a huge fan of peas – unless they’re fresh peas which we often shell and devour on the way home from the store. But the peas in the deconstructed chicken pot pies I cooked a couple of weeks ago reminded me how much they taste like spring. The cold reality of springtime in Chicago, on the other hand, called for the comfort of a hearty potato soup. I decided to put them together.
Many green pea and potato soup recipes call for puréeing everything. While I like some creamed soups – especially vichyssoise – I generally prefer some recognizable chunks in mine. By puréeing only some of it, you get a nice creamy soup with actual stuff in it.
Creamy Green Pea and Potato Soup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced into thin half moons
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 clove garlic, minced