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1 big fat leek, or 2 slightly slimmer ones

1 smallish onion

2 small-to-medium new potatoes

1 tablespoon butter

3 cups water or more

Salt, fresh ground pepper

1-2 tablespoons heavy cream, optional

Trim the leeks, discarding the tough green tops, and cut them into 1-inch chunks.

Rinse thoroughly and drain. Peel and chop the onion and potatoes.

Melt the butter in a heavy pot and saute the onion for a few minutes.

Add the leeks and potatoes and sweat them over low heat for another few minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil.

Cook at a lively simmer, with cover askew, for 1 hour, until the potatoes are velvety soft.

Now mash roughly with a potato masher or slotted spoon.

Add considerably more salt to taste, and a few grindings of the pepper mill. Serve as is, or swirl some cream on top.

Source: Judith Jones, “The Pleasures of Cooking for One” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)