4-6 medium to large leeks, thinly sliced, separate light parts from dark green
6 cloves of garlic, minced
5 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup fresh sage, minced
1/4 cup fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons butter (use olive oil for vegan version)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons milk or cream (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded pecorino cheese (optional garnish)
Melt butter over medium-low heat in a large pot. Add the dark green portions of the leeks and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, the remaining leeks and garlic and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.
Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a low boil. Then add the potatoes, sage, thyme and crushed red pepper and allow the mixture to simmer until the potatoes are tender.
Reduce heat and, using a potato masher, smash the soup right in the pot until it’s a desired consistency. We like a little on the chunky side, when less than half of the potatoes are mashed. Add milk, salt and pepper to taste and keep over low heat for another 5 minutes.
Ladle into large bowls and top with shredded pecorino.
Makes 8-10 servings.