Potato Leek Soup Shopping Tips
Only buy potatoes that are firm, intact, and without any sprouts or green parts.
Potato Leek Soup Cooking Tips
Potatoes oxidize quickly; have bowl full of cold water to put your potatoes after cutting them in order stop them from oxidizing.
Leek And Potato Soup
This savory leek and potato soup can be left chunky or blended smooth, but the best part is the crunchy garnish that tops each bowl. While many recipes using leeks call for discarding the tougher, more fibrous green tops, we reserve them, slice 'em real thin, and stir-fry them until crispy and golden. Sprinkled with a little salt, fried leek greens transform an otherwise fine bowl of soup into an outstanding one.
Working with leeks
The biggest disclaimer here is that when using leeks, you must take care to rinse them fully and thoroughly&mdashswipes of dirt and grit get trapped tightly between each layer and will make for one awful eating experience if left intact. My preferred method is to halve the leeks length-wise, rinse between each layer, slice the rinsed leeks thinly, then rinse them again over a large strainer again to ensure there's no gritty particles left.
Once it's all cleaned, pat the leek greens dry with paper towels to ensure they get crispy in the frying process. Smaller, skinnier leeks will have more tender greens, but because we are slicing everything super thin, even the most fibrous bits will turn delectably crispy once fried. The oil that's left in the pan becomes infused with leek-y essence, adding a whole other layer of flavor to the soup. Other less popular flavor agents in this recipe include anchovies and MSG, both of which are optional, but I dare you to give them a try just this once and be open to their seasoning potential.
To make it plant-based.
To make this soup completely plant-based, skip the anchovy, swap the chicken broth out for veggie broth or water, and use a plant-based milk instead of half and half&mdashcoconut milk would provide the most richness if you're okay with that flavor. Instead of sprinkling with Parmesan, you could sub it out for toasted nuts or seeds, croutons, or a hit of hot sauce. Or, if you're a meat lover, bits of cooked bacon is also perfect crumbled on top!
If you've made this recipe, be sure to drop us a line down below in the comments to let us know how you liked it.
Professional tips for making the best soup
- Base ingredients - Always start any soup by gently sauteing base ingredients like onion, garlic or other aromatics. It lays down the foundation for an exceptionally tasty soup with lots of flavour depth. Creamy soups like this one and more stewy soups like Ukrainian borscht or chanterelle mushroom soup all use the same principle.
- Never use water - Even if you make a simple vegetable or pumpkin stock with some onion skins and other vegetable trimmings like the roots of the leek and some garlic, it's still better than just using flavourless water. The blander you liquid the less flavour your soup will have.
- Don't add the liquid all at once - This is a big mistake lots of cooks make. If you add too much liquid to your base ingredients you will end up with a runny soup which is difficult to fix. You can always add a bit of liquid if it's too thick. Removing it is not so simple.
- Simmer don't boil - This goes for all soups apart from Ramen where the rapid boiling is needed to emulsify fats in the stock. Always simmer the soup gently as soon as your liquids have been added to the base ingredients. Boiling will cause some of the gentle flavours to literally boil away and you might end up reducing it too much.
- Use the green parts - Almost every recipe for potato leek soup will tell you to throw away the greens. They are terribly wrong. I made this soup in a Michelin starred restaurant every day for a year and I can promise you throwing out the greens of the leek is a terrible sin. They add incredible flavour and colour when cut correctly and cooked at the right moment.
- Always remove spices or hard herbs before blending - As soon as things like bay leaf, star anise or thyme sprigs have given their flavour to the soup, remove it. Blending these with the soup will ruin your hard work.
- Season, taste, repeat - The first bit of salt will go in when you are cooking the onions. This is so that the salt draws out moisture from them and helps to prevent the onions from caramelising before they are cooked. Taste at every step so you know how the flavours are progressing as you add ingredients. When the soup is done you should season little by little until you are happy with it. Take care not to taste ingredients or soup that is too hot. If you burn your tongue even slightly, you will have a hard time tasting properly and might over season the food.
Leek Recipes We Love That Aren't Just Potato Leek Soup (PHOTOS)
We love the whole onion family equally, but leeks are our favorite today. These slim green and white things pop up in probably every soup you've ever eaten, since their sweet, oniony flavor is the perfect base for -- well -- almost everything. We don't just love leeks for being a sturdy foundation to some of our favorite dishes, we also love them when they're the star of the show.
We happen to be of the opinion that potato leek soup, whether warm or cold, is a perfect food. Warm, thick and comforting in fall and winter and chilled, refreshing and elegant in spring and summer. Lovely with cream or without. Perfect with a big hunk of bread, a glass of wine or beer and the company of friends. We can't really think of a scenario where we wouldn't be excited to eat potato leek soup. But you, like us, probably already have a potato leek soup recipe that brings the house down every time. So we found a bunch of other ways to enjoy leeks, just as their peak season is on the horizon.
Potato Leek Soup Serving Suggestions
When you’re ready to eat, ladle the soup into bowls. If desired, top each one with a sprinkle of chopped parsley, pine nuts, and red pepper flakes. I also like to add a drizzle of olive oil on top for extra richness.
Jack and I often enjoy this potato and leek soup on its own, with good crusty bread, homemade focaccia, or dinner rolls on the side. If you’re craving a larger meal, I recommend pairing it with a salad. These salad recipes would all be great choices:
How to make Leek and Potato Soup
Leek are like onions – they have a pretty harsh raw flavour. So the key to a really great Leek Soup is to slowly sauté them in garlic butter until they transform and become soft and sweet. It’s kind of like caramelising onions for French Onion Soup – except we don’t take it as far.
After that, just plonk the potatoes and stock in, simmer until the potato is literally crumbling (the softer they are, the less blending we have to do = better soup texture, no risk of “gluey soup”).
Blitz, stir in cream and serve!
I like to serve mine with croutons. Just a teeny tiny sprinkle of crunchy buttery bread somehow magically makes any soup so much more fabulous.
And while this is a potato based soup, that still doesn’t stop me from tearing up hunks of crusty warm bread, slathering in butter and dunking into the soup.
Carb on carb fabulousness! – Nagi x
PS Or try one of these Soup Dippers – these existing on my website pretty much solely for the purpose of dunking into soups and stews.
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Hey everyone! I'm Cody. Great to see you enjoying my recipes and food travel posts. Hope you are enjoying your time here, and if you want to learn more about me click my pic and it'll shoot you right over to the About page.
How To Make Potato Leek Soup:
Detailed instructions are included in the recipe below. But here is a quick overview of how to make potato leek soup:
- Sauté the veggies. First, we’ll sauté the onion, leeks, celery and garlic in a large pot until softened, and then deglaze the pan with some dry white wine.
- Add the potatoes and broth. Next come the potatoes, vegetable stock, thyme, bay leaves, and cayenne.
- Simmer. Let the soup all simmer together until the potatoes have softened. (The amount of time will depend on how chunky your potatoes are).
- Season. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Give the soup a taste and season with however much salt and black pepper you think it needs. (This will also depend on how salty your veggie stock happens to be.)
- Serve. Serve warm, garnished with whatever toppings sound good, and enjoy!
The Best Potato and Leek Soup Recipe
This is the best potato and leek Soup Recipe. It was created from my loaded baked potato soup recipe. It is a much healthier version and I think it's just as delicious. One of the great things about this recipe is it utilizes so many fresh vegetables that are easy to grow in most climates or purchase at a local farmer's market. For me, that's important as we work towards growing more of our own food and learning to create recipes that are not only healthy but delicious. After all, it doesn't do any good to grow your own food if you don't use it or enjoy the dishes you cook from it.
The Broth or Base
Making your own roasted vegetable broth is really easy, incredibly tasty, and much more nutritional when compared to the store-bought kind. I do my best to make our broth in large batches and then canning up some of it and freezing some. You can find my vegetable broth recipe here. You can watch my process in this short series of videos where I take you step-by-step through the entire process including canning and freezing it!
This recipe quickly became one of our favorites because it uses so many fresh vegetables and has a creamy, rich flavor that makes you doubt that it's actually pretty healthy depending on the base and rather you choose cream or half and half. For the vegetables the fresher the better. Did you know that the older your potatoes are the less likely they are to soften? It's true, so you want the potatoes to be a fresh as possible. The bay leaf and thyme can be either fresh or dried.
What We Grow Ourself For This Recipe
What we grow for this depends on the time of the year. We always have chives and thyme growing inside and outside, almost year-round we have leaks and carrots somewhere in the garden. Currently, we have three small-medium size bay leaf bushes that I get our bay leaves from. I'm hoping to propagate more this spring/fall. Potatoes are not something I have growing right now but I plan to get them started very soon.
The Best Potato and Leek Soup Recipe
This soup DOES get better over time. Keep covered with plastic, not foil in the refrigerator, or it will pick up other tastes. Assuming it is properly stored, the leftover soup will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. I like to store our leftover soup in small plastic containers that are already portioned for a single serving.
- 4 Tbsp butter or olive oil
- 4-5 cups (whites only), thoroughly washed and sliced (from about 4 large leeks)
- 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 3 Carrots chopped
- 1 bay leaf (I grow ours)
- 1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 8 cups vegetable broth for a vegetarian version, or chicken stock for regular
- 2 teaspoons Sea salt (more to taste)
- 1 Cup of Half and Half or heavy whipping cream (We made the switch to Half and Half and love it)
- Chopped fresh chives for garnish
- In a large (6-quart) pot, heat the butter on medium-high heat until it melts and starts to foams up. Continue to heat until the butter just begins to brown.
- Immediately toss in the sliced leeks, carrots, and celery. Stir to coat with the butter. Cook until the leeks are translucent and slightly wilted.
- Put the vegetable or chicken stock, potatoes, leeks, celery, bay leaf, and thyme in a large pot and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Boil until the potatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Blend about ½ the soup depending on how chunky you want the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor) and return to the pan.
- Add the Half and Half or cream and simmer until the soup has thickened, about 20 minutes. Add more salt to taste. Serve garnished with chopped fresh chives.
Safety Note: When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.
Heat butter and oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the potatoes, leek, onion, garlic and bay leaves and cook on a low heat, stirring frequently until the leeks have softened.
Add the stock and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Remove the bay leaves and puree the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir through the cream. Season to taste. Add more chicken stock if necessary to give the desired consistency.
Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with parsley and, if desired, some of the suggestions below. Serve with crusty bread.
• As well as garnishing with parsley you can also serve the soup with some crumbled blue cheese and crispy pancetta, as pictured.
• If you prefer, use some grated aged cheddar, a spoon of creme fraiche or pan-fried speck as garnishes.
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