Leek and Potato Soup

August 1, 2012 § 3 Comments

I am so done with winter. I want to break up with winter. I want to tell winter it’s not me, it’s YOU, and you are the worst.

But short of flying to Queensland, which is not really on-budget, it seems I’ll have to go back to bed for another month or so and wait till it’s over.

There are some (small) consolations. One of these is soup. In this case leek and potato soup which I’ve only really discovered this year after tasting it once as a child and deciding I didn’t like it. Fifteen years later, and I’ve been won over by pumpkin soup’s wholesome, ugly, green cousin.

Makes about 6 servings of soup.

Ingredients:
30 grams butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 leeks*
1 large brown onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, gently crushed and sliced
1 stick of celery, sliced (if you have it)
Around 4 potatoes, diced
Salt and ground black pepper
Water or Vegetable Stock

Garnish with:
Sour cream/crème fraîche/cream
Chopped chives/parsley
A couple of slices of fried chorizo (why not?)

Clean your leeks thoroughly. They will often have dirt in them, so I find the best way to do this is to slice them in half longways, and then you can run each half leek under the tap while separating the outer leaves and ensuring you rinse away any dirt. Tear away and toss only the darkest green/driest outer leaves. The rest is fine.

Slice up the leeks. Put the butter and oil in a large pot and turn heat to medium to melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic to this, and cook until just translucent. Add the leeks and celery then put the lid on the pot and turn the heat to medium-low to allow the contents to “sweat”. There will be a lot of leek, but it reduces in no time. Give the contents of the pot a stir and another 5 minutes with the lid on. Once all the leek has softened, add the diced potatoes then enough water or vegetable stock to just cover the contents of the pot. Liberally salt and pepper the soup. Leek and potato soup requires lots of seasoning, but of course, you can always add more later. Allow to simmer gently until the potato has softened completely, around 15 – 20 minutes (depending on how big the pieces of potato are).

Blend the soup with whatever appliance you blend soups with, I like it to be really smooth, but potato pieces left in are nice too. Taste and season a little more if necessary. I find the taste improves after a day too.

Serve with whichever garnishes above you like/can afford and lots of buttered bread.

* Leeks can be bought for about a $1 each, or 3 for $2.50 at the markets at the moment.

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