Mary Anne's Potato Leek Soup

Hot soup and a cold winter day go together like nothing else. The smell of simmering onions in butter is like perfume to me. It's like culinary foreplay, if you will! This is similar to the recipe from the queen herself, Julia Child.

3-4 cups of diced peeled potatoes (1 lb)

3 cups thinly sliced leeks, including the tender greens

2-3 medium-sized shallots

1/2 cup shredded carrots

3 tablespoons butter

2 quarts water

1 Tablespoon salt for soup water

Salt and Pepper, to your liking

6 tablespoons heavy cream or 3 tablespoons softened butter (I like both, just less butter)

3 tablespoons minced chives or parsley

-Saute' shallots in 3 tablespoons butter. Simmer vegetables, shallots, salt, and water together, partially covered for 40-50 minutes in a 3-4 quart saucepan. Mash the vegetables into the soup with a fork, hand-held blender or pass through a food mill.

-Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. If you want you can stop at this point. When ready to serve, bring soup back to simmering. Then off the heat, stir in the cream and/or butter and top with chopped chives or parsley. It does not get much better than that! Makes 2 quarts of soup for 6-8 servings.