Monday, April 29, 2013

Potato Leek Soup

Let's talk about leeks, Baby. (Sung, of course, to the Salt-N-Pepa's melody, proving I spent a bulk of my formative years in the 90's -- which were great years to grow up in. We had enough technology to enjoy Mario on rainy days but not too much that we didn't pass up the chance to roller blade when we could.  And then we jammed to Can't Touch This on our Walkmans while organizing our Lisa Frank stickers... by the way, all you need to say is, "In West Philedelphia, born and raised," and I cannot help but finish the entire song. Don't believe me? Try it next time you bump into me...)

And back to leeks...

These things are amazing. I have used them a couple of times before, and every single time I have a ridiculously tasty dish in front of me.  Leek & bacon baked eggs and a leek & asparagus quiche were my introduction to them, both packed with immense flavor, both needing very little 'other stuff' added to make that flavor so wonderful.

Actually, the first time I used them I had no idea what they were and I couldn't find them except in the frozen food section, so I broke my usual rule of relying on fresh produce to be the bulk of my purchases.  Wasn't the best combo for what I was using them for.  The next time I decided to get the fresh ones, but had no idea what I was looking for, until I asked the worker at the store.  He looked at me a little funny and then pointed right in front me, where a fairly prominent sign read: LEEKS.

Whatever.  It happens.

One important thing to know about these flavorful giants of the onion family -- you need to clean them very well as dirt can be trapped inside.  The easiest way to do this (or so I read and then did with successful results) is to chop first and then clean in a cold water bath.  Since you will probably just be using white and light green parts (unless you are making broth) don't cut up the dark green tops.  Just put the lighter colored parts in the water, use your hand to agitate any dirt off of them, pour out the water, and then repeat another time or two.  Takes about a minute and ensures that your leeks are ready for you to use.

Apparently, potato leek soup is a classic.  But like many foods that don't come stamped with a Kraft logo, I didn't know that.  For me, it is a new found treat.  I am a lover of soup, which you probably have gathered by reading my blog for any time, and this was one of the best I have ever had.  My husband declared it gold star quality -- and he isn't a fan of soup that much.  The ingredients are simple while the flavor is powerful.

One of my favorite parts? Except for the heavy cream and salt, every ingredient I used came from the Farmers' Market or my own herb garden (the chives).  And you KNOW how happy that makes me ;)



  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and cleaned (see above)
  • 3 cups broth, either vegetable or chicken (You can make your own ahead of time or use canned/bullion/whatever suits you) + 1 ½ cups water
  • 3 medium red potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • fresh snipped chives, to top

1.      In a large pot, combine leeks, potatoes, broth, and salt.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are very soft (you can poke the potatoes with a fork to test).
2.      Working in batches of about 1/3 of the soup at a time, puree in blender.  Be careful to allow the heat to escape before closing the lid to the blender to avoid it exploding.  Transfer pureed soup to a new pot, and continue until all soup is pureed.
3.      Add heavy cream to soup, serve while hot, and top with fresh chives.

 COST: $5.10           COST PER BOWL (4): $1.28

Nutritional Information
calories 235   •    total fat 17.2g    •    fiber 1.8g    •    sugars 2.3g   •    protein 3.6g


  1. I love this post. You made me reminisce of the days of Lisa Frank and Fresh Prince. I have wondered about leeks! I saw a recipe for leek chips, but I too was pretty unsure of what they even looked like. I love potato soup so I'm thinking this will be a great intro to the possibilities of leeks!

    1. Lisa Frank and the Fresh Prince... :)

  2. Leeks are a huge part of Spanish cooking, and I love them. I think the potato-leek combo is indeed a classic, but there's no shame in discovering (or rediscovering!) them. This looks divine.

    1. Then there is a very good chance I would like Spanish cooking... :)

  3. I tried this at lunchtime delicious, thanks a lot. I often make a similar soup with onions, potato, and watercress, I will alternate between these two now.
    maggie at expat brazil

    1. Thanks for letting me know! I am glad that you enjoyed it and have a new soup to rotate into your life :)

  4. I love potato and leek soup!~ one of my favorites. Also... I have Fresh Prince of Bel air stuck in my head now. Thanks ;) I just did a blog post on the 90's yesterday... that show makes it on my top 10 list!

    1. "This is the story
      all about how
      my life got flipped
      turned upside down..."

      Me too ;)


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