Puréed green beans and fresh basil combine to form a compelling and sophisticated soup.
3 tablespoons butter
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
4 cups chicken broth
2 medium mealy potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (loosely packed), coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon chopped fresh savory
1/2 cup medium or whipping cream
Sliced raw mushrooms for garnish
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and garlic and toss to coat. Stir over medium heat until the leeks are tender. Pour in the chicken broth. Add the potatoes and green beans. Bring to a gentle bubble. Cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes and green beans are tender. Stir in the basil and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
2. Pour into the container of a blender or processor and whirl until smooth. Return to the saucepan and blend. Blend in the cream and place over medium heat. Warm gently, but do not allow the soup to boil. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with slices of raw mushroom.