Leek and potato soup

A base for many soups

Leeks are, like celery and chives, one of the first plants available in the spring, because they’re stalks and not leaves. So leeks are a great seasonal food for early spring. Leek and potato soup is great by itself, but it’s also a good base for many other soups. Add chopped carrots with the potatoes to make carrot soup, or add frozen peas to make pea soup. Or mix carrots and peas. Spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, arugula, or sorrel will all work too.

How to make leek and potato soup:

Put a large saucepan on medium heat with an eighth of a cup of olive oil in the bottom. Take two leeks and cut off the roots and the stalks (everything beyond where they turn from pale green to darker green). Slice the leeks into quarter-inch slices and toss into the olive oil. Stir frequently for about ten minutes until the leeks soften.

[If leeks are too expensive, onion and potato soup also works and tastes good.]

Meanwhile, peel three potatoes and cut into eighths, and toss them into the saucepan as well. Stir for another ten minutes, and then add about four cups of water or leftover miso or chicken soup (there’s not really any need to defrost it, you can just add it to the soup as a frozen block and it will melt in the pan, but add some water too).

Simmer over medium-high heat until the leeks and potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender, or just mash with a potato masher. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with a couple of spoonfuls of full fat Greek yogurt in each serving if you like. You can sprinkle some chopped parsley or chives over the top to make it look prettier.

Serve leek and potato soup with crackers or bread, or with a green salad.

Vegetarian or vegan?

Leek and potato soup is entirely vegan, unless you add the yogurt at the end. If you don’t want yogurt, try adding a little tarragon to give the soup more flavor. If you like meat, you can add a chopped strip of bacon with the leeks at the beginning of the recipe.

Will leek and potato soup keep?

Soup will keep in the refrigerator in a closed tupperware for about a week. Reheat it in the microwave. You may need to add more water if the soup gets too thick. You can also freeze leek and potato soup in tupperwares for a couple of months.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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