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Leek and Potato Soup

3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil -- may be tripled
1 medium yellow onion -- peeled and chopped
4 large leeks -- see prep
1 large carrot -- peeled and chopped or 3 medium carrots
3 medium russet potatoes -- peeled and sliced
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
salt and white pepper
freshly grated nutmeg -- to taste
4 cups cubed country bread
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove -- crushed and peeled


Prepare the leek: white part and light green part only, washed well and cut in 1/4-in. slices

Heat olive oil in large heavy pot saucepan, add onion, leeks and carrot, and "sweat" over low heat until vegetables are wilted. Add potatoes, season a bit then add stock and continue cooking until vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.

Strain vegetables, reserving liquid. Place vegetables in food processor fitted with steel blade. Puree until smooth, adding some of the cooking liquid through feed tube. Add pureed vegetables to rest of cooking liquid and bring to boil. (You can also puree with a hand held blender wand - a much easier process.)

Reduce heat and add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in very large nonstick fry pan, add one crushed garlic clove. (It should still be in one piece.) Quickly toss the bread cubes in the saute pan to brown evenly and coat well with oil.

Remove from heat and allow to drain on a paper towels. Toss or stir into soup to garnish.


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