No matter how many dazzling things we have the good fortune to eat in our lives, we often remember the simplest meals with as much power and affection as the fanciest. A humble, pureed vegetable soup is among those particular pleasures. Also, Proustian prose aside, if you’re feeling lazy, you can get from a few ingredients to deliciousness in no time.

The only work involved here is remembering to stir the leeks fairly often for 20 minutes. You’ll want to keep them on medium-low heat and take the full amount of cooking time so they become meltingly tender and only lightly browned; turning up the heat to rush the process may result in them burning, and they won’t get as lushly soft over higher heat.


Start to finish: 40 minutes

Serves 4

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

6 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and well rinsed

1 garlic clove, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 (14.5 ounce) can less-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

3 tablespoons heavy cream

Chopped fresh herbs to serve (optional)

In a large pot, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat until the butter is melted. Add the leeks and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes until they are very lightly browned and quite tender. Remove a few tablespoons of the leek mixture and set aside. Add the broth and 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the leeks are very soft, about 10 minutes.

Puree the leeks and liquid in a blender or food processor until completely smooth, and return to the pot. Do this in two batches, transferring the first half to a bowl if necessary (too much hot liquid in a blender or food processor is not a good idea). Stir in the heavy cream, and taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve chilled. Place a small mound of the reserved sautéed leeks on top of each serving, and give each bowl a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of any minced herbs you like. Season once more with salt and pepper.

Nutrition information per serving: 184 calories; 86 calories from fat; 11 g fat ( 5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 23 mg cholesterol; 541 mg sodium; 20 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 3 g protein.

Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, “Dinner Solved!” and “The Mom 100 Cookbook.”

This Week's Circulars