This creamy soup, along with French bread, makes a delicious and filling meal. Leftover soup keeps well in the refrigerator and can be reheated the next day. (Make sure that you donsoup because boiling will make the dairy curdle, or form lumps.) This soup can also be eaten cold. The French call the cold version vichyssoise.

Potato-and-Leek Soup

3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
3 medium-sized leeks, washed thoroughly and sliced 1/8-inch thick (do not use the tough, dark green part), or 3 medium-sized yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 10 3/4-oz. cans (about 4 1/2 c.) chicken broth
1 chicken-broth can of cold water
1/2 c. whipping cream (add up to an extra 1/2 c. milk if you like your soup thin), or half and half, or evaporated skim milk
2 tbsp. butter or margarine(optional)
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
chopped chives

*To lower the fat content of this soup, use low-fat chicken broth and substitute evaporated skim milk for the whipping cream. To turn this into a vegetarian dish, substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth.

1. Combine potatoes, leeks or onions, chicken broth*, and water in a large heavy pot or saucepan and cover.

2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 35 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3. Without draining off broth, mash vegetables in the pan with a vegetable (potato) masher until they are fairly smooth. (If they will not mash easily, soup has not cooked long enough. Let it simmer 10 to 15 minutes longer.)

4. Add cream (or half and half, or evaporated skim milk), butter (optional), salt, and pepper. Heat soup just to the boiling point. (Do not boil.)

5. Sprinkle each serving with chives.

Preparation time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves 4 to 5