As it is February and still cold outside, soup is a great way to stay warm. The potato leek soup here at La Cucina di Famiglia in Philly is a treat which is simple and inexpensive. This whole stock pot of soup, which will last for a couple meals costs about $6, way less than a bowl of soup in a restaurant (although we do like when you come in).
All you need are a leek, a couple pounds of Idaho potatoes, half an onion, two garlic cloves, beef stock (or bone broth), a ham slice and a pint of heavy cream.
This entire process for prep takes less than 30 minutes of your time. Cooking will take a bit longer but that takes no more than 45 minutes before your meal is done.
Rinse and peel the potatoes and set aside. Peel and rinse off the leaves of the leek as most dirt and mud are between the layers.
Get out a soup/stock pot and melt some butter in the bottom to saute´. Dice up the onion and throw in bottom of pot to saute´in butter. When onion is starting to soften, chop or mince the garlic and throw it in with the onion. While the onion and garlic are making your kitchen smell magical, cut up the leek leaves. They don’t need to be super small so you can have them as large chunks (your choice on size) and as you cut them up you can toss them in with the onion and garlic. Let all these items soften and blend their flavors together.
As the leeks soften you can start adding the broth. This allows the flavors to blend slowly. Once broth is added, let the mixture simmer for a little while. You can take a bathroom break or have a cup of tea while this is going on. Once you are back in the kitchen, dice up the potatoes, they can be small or large, your choice, and add to the pot. While these are cooking, dice up the ham into small pieces and add to the pot.
Go sit down and watch a show for 30 minutes. When show is over, remove pot from stove and set on a cutting board (to protect your countertop). Take a potato masher and mash up 1/2 the potatoes right in the pot. You can now return the pot to the stove and add the cream. Stir this up and set the table. One table is set, the soup should be done.
Mangia e divertiti!