1 large or 2 small leeks, trimmed to white portion, halved lengthwise, rinsed and sliced
1 buttercup squash, halved, seeded, peeled and cut in 1” cubes
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 1” cubes
1 sprig fresh sage
6 cups vegetable stock or water
2/3 cup whipping cream
6 ounces smoked cheddar, coarsely grated
Freshly ground white pepper
Combine the leek slices, squash and potato pieces with sage sprig in a heavy 5 quart saucepan. Cover and sweat the vegetables over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add the stock or water and bring to a simmer. Add ½ tablespoon salt if using water or an unsalted broth. Simmer, partially covered for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove the sage and coarsely puree. Stir in the cream and return the soup to a simmer. Off the heat, stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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