- light olive oil - 2 tbsp, or other cooking oil
- leeks - 2 (well-cleaned, white part only)
- onion - 1
- celery - 1 rib
- garlic - 4 cloves, chopped coarsely
- bay leaf - 1
- potatoes - 8, peeled
- salt, pepper - to taste
- thyme - 1/2 tsp
- chicken consomme powder - 2 tbsp
Garnish: Cut the first of the two leeks into short (1/2 inch) julienne sticks. Heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté leek pieces in oil until they begin to turn brown and caramelize around the edges (5-10 minutes). Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Soup: Chop the remaining leek, the onion and the celery (I do this in a food processor). Reheat oil in the pot and sauté the vegetables until softened, adding the bay leaf and garlic. Chop the potatoes in a processor, add to the pot along with the spices and enough water so that the vegetables pieces are floating loosely in the broth. Simmer about 30 minutes; discard bay leaf and puree soup (an immersion blender is the most practical way to accomplish this). Ladle into bowls and garnish with a sprinkling of the reserved fried leeks.