- TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: MAKES ABOUT 3 QUARTS
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 6 pounds chicory, tough outer leaves discarded, the rest chopped
- 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mild honey
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks, celery and caraway seeds and cook over moderate heat until the leeks soften, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Wipe out the saucepan.
- Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the chicory in batches until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicory to the ice bath to cool. Drain and squeeze dry, add to the leeks and toss.
- Working in batches, in a blender, puree the vegetables and stock. Strain the soup through a coarse sieve into the saucepan; bring to a simmer. Stir in the vinegar and honey. Season with salt and white pepper and serve.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.