Wednesday, October 13, 2004

SWEET POTATO AND LEEK SOUP

Time: 45 minutes

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (4 to 6 leeks)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, in 1-inch dice
1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half
Salt and ground white pepper
1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves for garnish.

1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Add leeks, and sauté slowly over low heat until tender but not brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic.

2. Add sweet potatoes and 3 cups water. Simmer about 20 minutes, until tender. Purée.

3. Return purée to saucepan, add milk or half-and-half, bring to a simmer, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups more water to make soup no thicker than heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a dusting of cilantro.

Yield: 8 servings.

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