I may say this every time I make soup, but here it is again… I’m not a huge soup person. I love the aroma that a delicate, layered broth sends throughout the home, but soup is still not my go- to in most circumstances.
It is not the same for Eric – he loves soups and could have them almost every day (unless it’s a cold soup, like gazpacho – he’s not a fan). The CSA brought us leeks 2 weeks in a row this past fall and aside from my Accidental Leek Tart, I hadn’t worked with this vegetable much.
So I went on a hunt to figure out how to use this fun veggie in a different way. This led to 25 minutes of a spiraling web searches that all brought me back to leek soup (each one with potatoes). Since the weather is getting colder and I’m needing socks in the house, I resigned myself to the reality that it is now soup season and I am looking forward to making this leek and potato soup.
Every website or cookbook you read about leeks gives the same direction (and they are all correct), that you need to slice the leek lengthwise and rinse the leeks thoroughly after chopping. Leeks grow with a root in the ground and soil easily hide in between its’ layers. Separating the leaves and rinsing is a necessity, as neither you nor your family/guests want to eat sand.
The recipe I came across called for either chicken or veggie broth. I chose to go with the combo of both to add more depth to the broth. I feel very fortunate that the leeks, potatoes and garlic came from the CSA and all the herbs from our planter – feeling very locally farm to table with this meal. The broths were store bought and a pantry staple in our house at the ready for everything from stroganoff to risotto. At times, there are dreams of having the time to make and store all of my own broths…until that time, the pantry is my friend.
What a fun dish to make this was! With the garlic and leek sauteing and filling the house with smell of home cooking. The relaxation that comes with the needed patience to make a dish like this – as one thing sautéed, I cleaned over here or prepped the bread for toasting. As the soup was simmering, my mom video chatted and we talked through me using the immersion stick blender to smooth out the soup (found later that I missed one potato and Eric was quite happy to find it).
Then finish off with a quiet afternoon, a creamy soup and butter toasted rosemary foccasia bread. Not to mention that there were leftovers for days…this soup was good until the last spoonful. It just so happens that as I write this, I’m planning on restocking our fridge with more today.
Leek and Potato Soup
- 3 Tbls butter
- 5 cups chopped and cleaned leeks, white and light green parts only
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 lbs golden potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium sized red potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Fresh chives, minced
In a large stock pot, melt butter over med-high heat. Add leeks and garlic and sauté until tender and fragrent, approximately 5-7 minutes. You’ll want a good sauté to bring out the depth of flavor, being mindful to adjust the heat down if needed to not burn the leeks.
Next add potatoes, both broths, bay leaves, thyme and salt and pepper to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Less simmer, stirring frequently, for approximately 20 mins. Test the potatoes for resistance with the point of a knife to check for readiness. The knife should have no resistance going into the potato.
Remove the bay leaves and thyme. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.
- Option 2 – working in 2- 3 batches, use a blender for smoothing out the soup and continue to next step below.
- Option 3 – remove a few of the potatoes before pureeing, chop them up smaller and add back to soup after the rest has been smoothed out.
Once the soup is smooth, add the heavy cream, and let come to simmer once again, stirring often to not burn the cream.
Top with minced chives and rustic bread or crackers. Enjoy!
Happy Soup Season!
*Recipe close variation from ‘Once Upon a Chef’ website