A good potato soup is one of a handful of recipes every cook should master. The beauty of this soup is its versatility. You can use vegetarian or chicken broth, leave out the dairy all together or substitute a little sharp cheddar at the end in place of the cheese rinds. You’ll still end up with a great soup. —itsnoteasyeatinggreen
leeks (about 4), dark green parts removed
freshly ground black pepper
yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled
chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese rinds (about 7 ounces)
To clean the leeks, cut off the dark green tops and the root end. Split each leek longways and separate the layers. Rinse them thoroughly in cold water to remove all the hidden sand. Melt the butter in a large soup pot or sauce pan over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted add the leeks, salt and pepper. Allow the leeks to cook slowly until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes, broth and cheese rinds and bring to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft but not yet falling apart and the cheese rinds are well softened.
Remove the cheese rinds and puree the soup using either an immersion blender or stand blender. (If you use a stand blender be very careful to vent the top of the blender and cover with a towel so you don’t burn yourself or end up with a soup covered kitchen). If you want to leave the softened cheese rinds in the soup, chop them up and return them to the pureed soup. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.