Posts Tagged ‘leek’

Potato Leek Soup

Soups are one of my favorite things to cook up, particularly on chilly days like today.  A thick and creamy potato soup with the leeks I picked up from yesterday’s farmer’s market sounded like it would hit the spot!

potatoleeksoup_05

I was really excited to come home from the farmer’s market with these gorgeous leeks yesterday.  I nearly skipped my way into the kitchen with them.  “Hey Bikenut!  How would you like some potato leek soup?” I asked.  “Eh.  I don’t really like it.  I’m picky about my soups.”  *sigh*  That bubble was burst rather quickly.

Dejected, I sat in front of my computer, scouring the internet for a decent recipe for these leeks that didn’t involve putting them into soup with potatoes, because apparently Bikenut was burned out on potatoes too.  I found an awesome looking potato and leek gratin recipe, but again, potatoes.  I opted not to do anything with them last night, since I felt suddenly uninspired.

potatoleeksoup_01

What's not to like? Sheesh.

This morning when I got up, I saw those leeks sitting there, longing to be joined with potatoes in a comforting soupy concoction.  I turned to Bikenut and said, “I’m going to make potato leek soup, even though you don’t like it.  I’ll eat it every day this week for lunch if I have to, but I’m making it!”  He didn’t mind, so long as I wasn’t making HIM eat it, I suppose.

I went to work cleaning and slicing the leeks.  The dark green tops are very tough, so I only use the white and light green parts of the leeks, making sure to clean them well.  I usually split them in half lengthwise and fan the layers of the leek under running water to get all the silt and such out of them.  I cut them into roughly 1/2″ pieces, and tossed them into my pre-heated, enameled cast iron pot with a little olive oil and butter.

potatoleeksoup_02

I seasoned the leeks with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, a tiny dash of nutmeg (since it does great things for cream dishes), a little onion and garlic powder, and a few shakes of dried thyme.  When the leeks started to soften, I added the peeled and cut potatoes.

potatoleeksoup_03b

I stirred the leeks and potatoes together, added a little more of each seasoning, and let the mixture cook a bit longer before adding the chicken broth.  Once the broth went in, I turned up the heat to bring it to a boil, then covered the pot, turned the heat down to a simmer and let it sit until the potatoes were nice and tender.

potatoleeksoup_04b

After about 25 minutes or so, my potatoes were cooked through.  I wanted to preserve a little bit of the chunky potato and bits of leek in the final product, which meant that I really didn’t want to break out the stick blender and zap away all of the texture.  Instead, I took my trusty potato masher and went to smashing the potato bits into the soup.  This didn’t result in a texture that I was all that pleased with, so I ended up using the stick blender anyway, but made sure not to completely blend away every bit of potato and leek.

Now I was ready to add the cream.  I actually used half-and-half, but you could use whatever you have on hand — milk, heavy cream, half-and-half.  Heck one of my friends is lactose intolerant and uses a non-dairy creamer when a recipe calls for milk or cream.  I haven’t tried that one myself, but anything she ever brought to share was always good, so I’ll trust her on that one.  Anyway, in went the half-and-half.  I brought the soup up to a quick boil then shut it off.

potatoleeksoup_05a

I dished myself a nice bowlful of soup, and topped it with some cheddar cheese, and a nice crispy bit of bacon.  Mmmm, so good!  I think I could handle eating this all week!

peep_marker_trio

potatoleeksoup_05

Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder (or substitute fresh)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half (can substitute milk or all cream)

Directions:

  1. Trim, wash, and cut leeks into 1/2″ pieces.
  2. Peel and cut potatoes into 1″ cubes.
  3. In a large stock pot, add oil and melt butter over medium high heat.
  4. Add sliced leeks, salt and pepper.  Stir occassionally.
  5. When leeks begin to soften, add potatoes and all other spices.  Stir to coat.
  6. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  7. When pot comes to a boil, cover and turn heat down to a simmer.
  8. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through.
  9. Using a blender (countertop or stick blender), blend soup until almost smooth.
  10. Add 1 cup of cream (or more for desired consistency) and return to boil.
  11. As soon as soup begins to boil, stir and remove from heat.
  12. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and crispy bacon bits.