1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 medium russet (baking) potato
1/2 cup chopped shallot
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 bunches Chinese celery (1 1/2 lb total), top leaves discarded and stalks cut
into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (32 fl oz)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 (1/4-inch-thick) diagonal baguette slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Garnish: fresh Chinese parsley
leaves or flat-leaf parsley leaves
Wash leek well in a bowl of cold water, then lift out and drain well. Peel and
chop potato. Cook shallot in butter and oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over
moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add leek and cook,
stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add celery and potato and cook,
stirring, 2 minutes. Add wine and boil 1 minute. Add broth and simmer, covered,
until celery is very tender, about 1 hour.
Purée soup in batches in a blender until very smooth (use caution when blending
hot liquids), then pour through a large medium-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing
hard on solids. Discard solids. Transfer soup to cleaned saucepan, then stir in
cream, salt, and pepper and heat over low heat until hot. Thin with water if
Make croutons while soup simmers:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Brush baguette slices with oil and
season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Arrange in 1 layer on a baking
sheet, then bake in middle of oven until golden brown and crisp, 12 to 15
Serve soup topped with croutons.
• Soup can be made 1 day ahead and
cooled, uncovered, then chilled, covered.
• Croutons keep in an airtight container at room temperature 2 days.
Makes 6 servings.