makes about 5 cups, serving 4 as a small first-course
2 lbs. leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 bunches)
3 T unsalted butter
1 1/4 t sugar
1/4 c vermouth
3 1/2 c chicken broth
Optional garnish: 4 t finely sliced fresh chives & Raclette cheese toasts
Halve leeks lengthwise and thinly slice crosswise. In a large bowl of cold water wash leeks well and lift from water into a large sieve to drain. In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook leeks in butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until some begin to turn golden, about 40 minutes. Stir in sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in vermouth and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated and most leeks are golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Deglaze kettle with 1/2 cup broth and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes more, until liquid is evaporated and leeks are deep golden. Add remaining 3 cups broth and bring soup just to a boil. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Tip from my kitchen to yours:
I've made this twice now. First time, I stirred it too often which messes up the carmelization process. It was still delicious, but the second time, I forced myself to stop stirring so much, which browned them more (see third picture) and created the burnt bits at the bottom of the pot which you then deglaze. I think it was better the second time!
recipe from Gourmet Magazine.
& for some Hunt attempted-Christmas-traditions, go here.