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Silky Leek and Red Wine Soup
© Quentin Bacon

Silky Leek and Red Wine Soup

  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • FAST
  • MAKE-AHEAD

Marcia Kiesel knew this lush leek soup would be a great complement to left bank Bordeaux because of the wine's firm structure.

  1. Four 1-inch-thick slices of peasant bread (4 ounces), crusts removed
  2. 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  3. 1 garlic clove
  4. Pinch of saffron threads
  5. 3 medium leeks, thinly sliced crosswise (3 cups)
  6. 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry red wine
  7. 3 cups chicken stock
  8. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  9. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet; brush with the oil. Bake until crisp, 10 minutes. Rub with the garlic and tear into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add the saffron and all but 1/2 cup of the leeks. Cook over moderate heat until tender, 4 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of red wine; reduce over high heat to 2 tablespoons. Add the stock; simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the toasts and simmer 3 minutes.
  3. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan. Stir in the cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon of red wine, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  4. In a nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add the reserved leeks and cook over moderate heat until softened, 3 minutes. Using a heatproof spatula, form the leeks into four 2-inch rounds. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cheese over each round. Cook over moderate heat until melted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the rounds to a plate and let cool until crisp.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the leek crisps and serve.
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