1In a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat, melt the butter (or warm the oil). Cook the leeks with a sprinkle of salt until tender, about 5 minutes.
2Add the potatoes, broth, and 1 teaspoon salt; stir to mix well. Bring to a boil, partially cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
3Depending on how smooth or chunky you like your soup, you can purée it in a blender (very smooth), puree it with an immersion blender (smooth), or use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until slightly chunky.
4Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve in warmed bowls.
Bacon, red potatoes, and leeks add a delicious dynamic to this classic.
Easy Potato Skins
Loaded potato skins are a perfect package: crunchy scooped-out spud shells filled with gooey, melted sharp cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and tangy sour cream. A classic bar snack or game day food, these are great any other time too, including for an easy dinner (just add a salad if you feel the need for a little more green than what the chives bring to the table). Read more.
Basic Vegetable Soup
This soup is an equally wonderful way to use up all the leftover veggie odds and ends in your fridge, or to celebrate the freshest produce in season by buying it specifically for the dish (and if you get a CSA box, it can serve both purposes). Whatever vegetables you use, this is an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal, and endlessly customizable. Fresh pesto makes a great, vibrant garnish, but you could also simply sprinkle on a bit of grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper. Read more.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Softened vegetables, including onions and bell peppers, amped up with spices like chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne, form the base of this tortilla soup. Chicken broth and tomatoes are added, along with soft corn tortillas that meld into the liquid to make a hearty, thick meal. Finally, shredded chicken is stirred in, and everything is garnished with crunchy tortilla strips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and scallions (avocados, pickled jalapeños, and cilantro would all work too). Read more.