The nutmeg and cayenne add a flavor signature which is not common but which I find addictive. (This also makes a good breakfast if your taste runs to the untraditional as mine does.) I have tinkered with it, of course, and my variations are listed below the main recipe. The other variations are James Beard's.
Leek And Potato Soup
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups potatoes, diced
1 quart chicken broth
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
Wash the leeks, split them lengthwise, and cut into thin slices after removing all sand. Saute in 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet for about 4 minutes. Add the potatoes and the broth and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Season to taste with salt, cayenne and nutmeg. Strain out the vegetables and puree in food processor. Return to the broth. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir in the flour. Add 1-1/2 cups of the broth and blend well until the mixture thickens. Return to the kettle and stir until soup comes to a boil.
- Use a small onion instead of leeks
- Use 4 cups potatoes and do not thicken with roux.
- Use 1/8 t. cayenne
- Prepare soup as above and allow it to cool. Add 1-1/2 cups heavy cream and blend well. Chill in refrigerator. Serve chilled.
- Or chill the soup without the heavy cream. Serve in chilled cups with a large spoonful of sour cream and chopped chives.
Do not put the vegetables through a food mill but serve pieces of leek and diced potatoes in the thickened soup.