Time: 1 hr 10 minYield: 8 servings
8 cups chicken stock6 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces4 leeks (whites only), thoroughly washed and sliced3 stalks celery, roughly chopped1 bay leaf1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thymeSalt and freshly ground pepper1 cup heavy cream
Put the chicken stock, potatoes, leeks, celery, bay leaf and thyme in a large pot and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Boil until the potatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.Remove the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor), blend the soup until smooth.
Pour the soup into a medium pot; add the cream and simmer until the soup has thickened, about 20 minutes.BLENDING HOT LIQUIDS:
When blending hot liquids, remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.
Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway.
If using a blender, release one corner of the lid; that prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions.
Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times, then process on high speed until smooth.