It may be a new year, but we are bringing to you a classic soup recipe that is so classic, it’s almost forgotten! Potato Leek Soup is a hearty, warming soup that can be made gluten and/or dairy-free to suit whatever dietary needs you want to abide by this year or anytime.
We love this recipe, not only because it uses seasonal ingredients, but many of the ingredients can be substituted, added, and subtracted, according to your tastes. Also, the recipe is naturally gluten-free! This soup will keep for about 3-5 days in the refrigerator and can be stored in the freezer for about 2-3 months.
The thing about leeks is that you have to clean them thoroughly. See, leeks have lots and lots of layers, kind of like it’s cousin, the onion. Because of how the leeks grow, dirt from the ground gets easily trapped in its layers. One way to clean a leek is to cut off the bottom stem and the top green parts so that you are left with a white cylinder. While the water is running, fan out the layers so that the dirt is washed away. You’ll want to do this for a while so that you can be sure that you’ve done a thorough job.
Another way to wash leeks is to also cut down to the white cylinder part of the leek (the same way as described above) and then chop the leek into rings. Grab a big bowl and fill it with cold water. Put the chopped leeks into the bowl and move the leeks around in the water. Then, grab a colander and with your hands, take the leeks from the bowl of water and put into the colander so that the excess water comes off and goes into the sink. By manually retrieving the leeks from their cold water bath to the colander ensures that the dirt you are cleaning off doesn’t transfer back onto the leeks.
An immersion blender is not necessary for this recipe. A regular blender will work perfectly for this recipe as long as you blend in batches.
2-3 lbs of potatoes; cleaned and roughly chopped
2-3 leeks; white parts only; cleaned very thoroughly; chopped
3 cloves of peeled and smashed garlic
4 sprigs of thyme
1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or more to taste)
7 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or, 7 cups water and 2 cups mirepoix)
1 cup milk or cream
fried sage leaves
substitute almond or non-dairy milk for milk or cream
substitute margarine or vegan butter for unsalted butter
use a mirepoix (onions, carrots, and celery that has sweat on the stove for about 5 minutes) and water instead of chicken or vegetable stock
A large, heavy bottom pot (ideally, it is nonstick)
Immersion blender, or regular blender
- Thoroughly clean leeks and potatoes; mince garlic; roughly chop potatoes.
- In a large, heavy bottom pot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the garlic and leeks. Cook these for about 10 minutes, stirring often so nothing gets too brown.
- Tip: add a little bit of regular olive oil to the butter so it doesn’t burn in the pan! Not too much though, you don’t want your soup to be oily
- Add potatoes, stock, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. If you’re using a mirepoix mix, add it at this stage.
- Let everything come to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover the pot and lower the heat so that the soup is sitting at a light simmer. Let this simmer for about 15-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
- Retrieve the thyme sprigs and discard them.
- If using an immersion blender, the time to blend is now and you do so directly in the pot. If using a regular blender, transfer the soup mixture to the blender in batches until smooth. For both methods, adding a bit of extra broth or water to thin out the soup mixture is up to you.
- Once the entire mixture is blended, add the cream or milk or non-dairy milk.
- *Note: if you are planning to freeze this soup, freeze it without the cream/milk/non-dairy milk. When you defrost the soup, add in a little bit of cream/milk/non-dairy milk to the portion, mix, and re-heat.
- Put the mixture back into the original pot and turn on the stove, mixing with a spoon to ensure that everything is combined and that flavors are melting together.
- Serve hot and garnish with your favorite toppings.