leek + carrot + potato soup

This soup came together on accident. I was working on my knife cuts for culinary school - julienned carrots, potatoes cut into perfect ovals, onions + shallots peeled and cut extremely fine - and I found myself with 5 bowls full of perfectly good trimmings. I created this soup to use all the scraps. I encourage you to get creative, throw in extra vegetables (rutabaga, different potatoes...) and play around with the seasoning at the end.

2 leeks (pale green + white parts only), washed + chopped
1 shallot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into quarter sized pieces
1 turnip, peeled and cut into quarter sized pieces
1 qt chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves (or a bouquet garni if that's how you roll)
3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarter sized pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk (heavy cream or whole milk work, too)
Chives, chervil or parsley for garnish
Salt + pepper, to taste (white pepper is great, it won't show black specs in your pretty soup)

1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil or about 2tbsp of butter on medium low. Add in leeks + shallots + garlic. Don't brown, just sweat for 5 minutes. 
2. Add in carrots and turnips, and continue to sweat another 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add in stock, 2 bay leaves (or BG) and potatoes. Bring to a boil, then move heat to low, cover with lid and and simmer 15 minutes. 
4. Once potatoes are tender, turn off heat. Remove bay leaves and mix in buttermilk. Season with a little S + P.  Let cool a few minutes. 
5. Transfer to blender or remove potatoes and process through food mill before returning to pot. If you're going the faster blender route, blend on low speed until homogenous (about 2 minutes). You can do it in batches if need be. Taste, and season with salt and pepper - whatever you think it needs. 
6. Garnish with chopped parsley, chives or chervil. I like to top it off with a little olive oil and sometimes red pepper flakes for color and some kick.