Ingredients:(Yields: 4 servings)
• 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
• 2 small Leeks, white part only, cut in half, lengthwise and thickly sliced (about 1 cup)
• 3-4 whole heads garlic, peeled and blanched
• 1 quart vegetable broth or water
• Salt & pepper, to taste
• ¼ cup White potato, peeled and finely diced
• Large pinch saffron threads
• 1 cup cream or half & half
• 3 tablespoons tomato, blanched, peeled, seeded, diced (optional)
• 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely sliced, for garnish
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and sweat the leeks over medium heat for about 6 minutes, or until soft, stirring often. Add the blanched garlic cloves, broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the potato and saffron threads, reduce the heat, simmer for about 7 or 8 minutes, or until the potato is soft. Stir in the cream and return to a boil. Immediately remove the soup from the heat and let cool slightly.
Transfer to a blender or food processor, in batches if necessary, and puree until smooth. Return the soup to a clean saucepan, heat through, and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Stir in the diced tomato, if desired.
Ladle the hot soup into warm soup bowls, sprinkle with the chives and serve immediately.