Apologies for the lateness, folks.
Now that the cold, nasty weather has finally approached Philly, I feel like it'd be a grand idea to share one of my favorite soup recipes. Crock pot is recommended (unless you are more adept at sensing cook-times than I am, which shouldn't be too hard), and a blender of some sort is required.
I make the soup vegan - you can choose to substitute with actual milk or chicken stock, if you like.
You will need:
3-4 medium sized potatoes (I like the gold-fleshed variety, but all work fine) - peeled, in about 1.5" dices
1 medium sized onion - finely chopped
1/2 cup soy/rice milk
1 1/2, and about 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 T vegetable oil
1 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp dill (or 3 fresh sprigs)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
frozen corn or asparagus tips, if desired
1. You will only need the white parts of the leeks. Hack off the green bits and bulb-end, and discard. Slice the leeks into "coins" about 1/4" thick - that is, fairly skinny.
2. Heat up the vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Dump the leek slices in the pan, and sautee until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Put the cooked leeks in the crock pot.
3. Add the 1/4 of stock into the pan and deglaze over medium heat, being sure to scrape up any brown leek-bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. When liquid is mostly cooked down, add whatever's left in the pan to the crock pot.
4. Add the finely chopped onion to the crock pot, and on top of that, add the diced, peeled potatoes.
5. Pour in the soy/rice/cow/goat/aardvark milk, as well as the remaining 1 1/2 cups of stock. Add water until all the food is covered.
6. Add thyme, dill, pepper, and salt. Stir, put the lid on the crock pot, and cook - 3-4 hours on high, or 6-9 on low.
7. After everything is all nice and cooked and softened - you'll need to blend it all together. This is very easy if you have an immersion blender, and less easy if you have a conventional blender. I do, and I've gotten used to it. Just make sure you have a big pot to pour the blended soup into once it's nice and liquidy. At any rate, blend in SMALL batches. This is vitally important. You do NOT want your kitchen coated in very, very hot soup. Once you've got silky, potatoey, leeky goodness, you can enjoy.
If you are so inclined, add some frozen corn niblets or asparagus tips to the hot blended soup. The heat of the soup should thaw them out pretty well, and they add some texture and vegetable goodness!
Enjoy with crusty bread - makes a wonderful lunch, and is basically the best thing ever if it is rotten outside.
Because this is closer to how I look...