I have a confession to make:  I have never been a big fan of Leek and Potato Soup.  So, when I was getting this week’s menu together and asked the mister what he wanted for Sunday night soup and he said leek and potato … well, I gotta admit, my heart sank a bit.  “What about that Mexican chicken soup I make?”  “No.  I’d really like leek and potato.”  Damn.

But, now I know why I never used to like it — until last night, I had only (reluctantly) tasted it from cans.  I had NO IDEA what a difference making it fresh could make!  Comparing the starchy, claggy stuff you get out of a tin to the creamy-yet-light soup I had last night … well … it would be like comparing summer tomatoes right off the vine to those things  (I refuse to recognize them as tomatoes) you get in the grocery in the middle of January.  There was just no comparison.    

And the best thing – all in, it takes less than an hour to make.  That’s NOTHING on a cold evening – heck, while that’s simmering away, you get out all your makings for sandwiches and you are set for a cozy feast!

Leek and Potato Soup

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large leeks (4 medium), washed well and cut into thin rings
  • 2 Tbsp crisp white wine
  • 3/4 – 1 lb. waxy potatoes (here, I use Charlotte potatoes – in the US, you can use Yukon Gold), peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or herbes de Provence
  • 2 or 3 fresh sage leaves or 1 tsp dried
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups milk (I use full fat – skim or 2% will be too watery)
  • salt and pepper
  • grated Gruyere or cheddar or crumbled Stilton or Gorgonzola

In a large pot over low heat, pour in a good couple of glugs of olive oil – 3 or 4 tablespoon’s worth.  Add the diced onion and garlic and cook until translucent.  Add a little salt here (a pinch) – this will help keep the onions from browning.  Add the leeks and white wine and cook about 5 minutes or so until wilted and the wine evaporated, then add the potatoes, herbs and liquds.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for 30-45 minutes.  About half-way into the simmer, taste for seasoning, then continue cooking. 

You have a choice – you can have the soup chunky-style or use a blender-stick and puree it down.  I prefer to mostly puree it down leaving a few chunky bits because that helps it to thicken and, I think, distributes the leek flavor throughout the broth.  Serve hot topped with one of the cheeses above and some crusty bread on the side!

Topped with crumbled Gorgonzola (front) or grated Gruyere (back)

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