Leek and potato soup

This simple, healthy, chunky leek and potato soup is one of my favourites for two reasons: it’s warm and savoury, especially when the weather turns colder; and it’s the first homemade soup that I ever made, way back when I was a clumsy teenager (but far from clumsy in the kitchen).

My passion for making soups has never left me. At university, I was nicknamed “the soup lady”.  Being on a tight budget, homemade soup is what kept me going.

Most homemade soups are the ultimate health meal because they are made with raw vegetables and other fresh ingredients that simmer and merge together. Packed with a variety of disease-fighting nutrients that react together, soup not only keeps you hydrated, it also gives your immune system a boost and helps stave off cold and flu. 

Easy to make in one pot, you don’t have to add cream in this soup; the potatoes do all the work to make it creamy. 

Enjoy!

Leek and potato soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups sliced leeks, cut lengthwise and crosswise into ¼–inch (.6cm) slices
  • 1 medium-size shallot -or- one small cooking onion (red, yellow or white), diced small
  • 2 tablespoons (tbsp) vegetable butter
  • 6-7 cups low sodium vegetable broth, preferably homemade (can sub. with chicken broth)
  • 900 grams (2 lbs) potatoes (e.g. Yukon Gold, Russet or Pommes de Terre Farineuses), peeled and diced into ½-inch (1.5cm) chunks
  • 1 teaspoon (tsp) salt (I use pink Himalayan)
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary or ½ tsp dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • A few dashes of Tabasco sauce (can sub. with any red chili sauce)
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce (vegan or regular)
  • Some cracked pepper and additional salt as needed
  • Topping (option): Dry red chili flakes 

PROCEDURE

Cut and slice the leeks (both white and tender green parts) as instructed above and shown below. Transfer the leek slices into a big bowl.

Prepare all remaining ingredients.

Fill the bowl with the leeks with cold water. Move the leek slices around with fingers to dislodge the earth. Then, with a sieve, strain the water. Rinse the leeks a second time in the sieve under cold running tap water. 

In a big soup pot, melt the butter and reduce the heat to medium. Add the leeks and onion and sauté until they are coated with butter. Lower the heat and gently cook the leeks and onion with the lid on until they are soft, about 10 minutes. The leeks and onion should not brown; so make sure to stir them regulary and maintain a low heat. 

Add the broth, potatoes, salt, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Raise the heat to high and bring the soup to a gentle boil. Then, immediately reduce the heat to a low simmer. With lid half on, let the soup simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender but don’t fall apart. Mix the soup from time to time. 

Take out the sprigs and bay leaf and transfer half of the soup (about 5 cups) to a stand-up blender and purée until creamy. Pour the purée back into the soup pot.

Add the parsley, tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes. At this stage, the potatoes may have absorbed the salt, so do a test taste and add some extra salt, if needed.

Serve.  

Enjoy as is or with a sprinkle of dried chili flakes or fresh herbs of choice. 

Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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