Leek and Spinach Soup

Leeks in a basket at a market• In the Spring, I make this same soup with watercress. If you want to make it super easy, grab a box of frozen organic spinach.

• Of course you do not NEED chives and tarragon, but they sure add flavor.
• For a brilliant green taste and color, let the soup cool completely before blending in the spinach.

6 medium leeks, about 3 pounds
6 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup rice
8 cups hot chicken broth or vegetable stock
1 pound baby spinach, washed, or package of frozen spinach
Salt and pepper
Garnish (optional) 
Olive oil
½ cup cultured sour cream
Minced chives and/or tarragon
Cut away the outer layers of the leeks. Cut the leeks in half diagonally and rinse away all the dirt. Use your fingers to open the layers so the water can run through and remove all the grit.
Save or freeze the dark green parts for your veggie stock.
Cut white and light green parts into 1-inch pieces.
Melt butter or add oil to a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat.
Add leeks. Cook, stirring, until leeks are wilted, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add garlic, rice, salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon each).
Cook for 2 minutes or so.
Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until rice is very soft, about 25 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool completely before proceeding.
Using a blender, purée the raw spinach with the cooled soup mixture.
You may add more or less broth depending in the consistency you like
If desired, garnish with sour cream and chives or tarragon.
If you want a super-creamy soup, take the time to strain it through a fine-meshed sieve. I prefer a more textured soup.

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