Potato-Leek Soup with Cheese
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- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 4 large potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Additional grated sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leek and garlic; sauté until tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots; sauté 5 minutes longer. Add chicken broth and dill; simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add milk to soup. Transfer half of soup to blender. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese and stir over low heat until melted. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Bring to simmer before serving. Transfer to large serving bowl. Garnish soup with chopped fresh parsley and additional grated sharp cheddar cheese, if desired.