As soon as the temperature drops, I begin thinking of making a quick pot of soup. Last week, I made Broccoli, Leek and Potato soup.

This soup, which takes less then an hour to make, can be served before the meal or as a light meal with a small sandwich or salad.

Leeks are related to onions and garlic, but their flavor is more subtle. Use the white part only.

Dirt gets trapped in the tightly bound leaves of the leek; once you cut off the rootlets and the white part, slit the leek lengthwise in half or quarters and rinse well under cold water before coarsely chopping and adding to the pan.

The leeks and potatoes are sautéed for a few minutes before the broccoli and broth are added and the soup cooks until the vegetables are tender. Purée the soup in a food processor or in the pot with an immersion blender.

Adding yogurt, sour cream, heavy cream, half-and-half or whole milk to the puré

e adds creaminess and smooths out the flavor of the soup.

After serving, garnish the top of each bowl with a few reserved broccoli tips and grated Parmesan or toasted croutons.Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at