1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium leeks, trimmed (leaving most of the green), split, washed and sliced
12-15 garlic cloves
7 cups homemade chicken stock or low-salt, canned chicken broth (try using a vegetable broth for a meatless option)
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 cups cubed (1/2-inch) firm-textured white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy pot. When it is hot, add the leeks and garlic and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the stock, potatoes, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and boil gently for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet. When it is hot, add the bread cubes and sauté, stirring almost continuously, until they are evenly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. When the soup is cooked, push it through a food mill (no food mill? use one of these alternatives). Stir the butter into the hot soup and serve with the croutons.
Recipe adapted from The Splendid Table
Cook Time: 45 minutes