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Creamy Potato Leek Soup with Stilton & Sautéed Pears

  • Author: Helen Kain

Description

This soup is at home at the most elegant dinner party, or served in thick mugs alongside crunchy crudités, paté and cheese for a mid-winter lunch. The Stilton gives a salty note, and the sautéed pears provide a sweet counterpoint.


Ingredients

  • The Soup
  • • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • • 2 c chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (about 3 medium)
  • • 1 c coarsely chopped celery
  • • 2 lbs (about 4 medium) red-skin or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” cubes
  • • 4 c chicken stock (preferably home made)
  • • ½ tsp crushed dried or 1 ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • • 10 oz crumbled Stilton or other blue cheese
  • • ½ c half-and-half
  • • kosher salt
  • The Garnish
  • • 2  Bartlett pears, ripe but not too soft
  • • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • • ½ tsp sugar
  • • small rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. Heat butter in a large, heavy pot set over medium heat. When hot, add the leeks and celery and saute, stirring, until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the cubed potatoes, stock and rosemary.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered until vegetables are very tender (about 20 to 25 minutes).
  2. Puree using an immersion blender (or in batches if using a blender or food processor).  Set the pot over low heat. Whisk in most of the cheese until it melts, preserving some for garnish.  (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat over low heat.)  Whisk in the half-and-half and cook 1 minute longer.  Taste soup and adjust seasonings.
  3. To make the pear garnish, peel, core and halve the pears lengthwise.  Cut each half into ¼” thick slices.  In a medium skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. When hot, add the pear slices and cook until golden brown on the undersides (about 2-3 minutes).  Sprinkle with a little sugar.  Turn and cook until golden brown on the other side (1-2 minutes).
  4. To serve, ladle the soup into six bowls and garnish each serving with two to three pear slices, some crumbled Stilton and a small rosemary sprig


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6