Leek and Potato Soup

by Lana Stuart on March 12, 2013 · 17 comments

Leek and Potato Soup

If you’ve been reading along for a while here on Never Enough Thyme, you’ve no doubt heard me talk about my Irish ancestors and about our trip to Ireland a few years ago. I wish that I had started this blog when we took that trip. However, that wouldn’t happen for another year yet, so I wasn’t focused on photographing all the wonderful food we enjoyed while we were there.

I do recall several notable and remarkable meals that we enjoyed during those ten days. The Irish breakfasts we had each morning with fried eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, and delicious whole grain breads. It was wonderful to wake up with the anticipation of that each day.

Then there was afternoon tea. A lovely time to relax with a warm cup and a nibble before heading out to do or see one more exciting thing before dinner time. Oh, and I can’t forget, ever, the bread and butter pudding. Oh my word. How I’d love to have some of that bread and butter pudding right now. Creamy, luscious, and loaded with plump, juicy sultanas. Ummmm…

But the thing that I remember most of all is the potatoes. Potatoes with everything it seemed. No matter what we ordered, it came with a side of potatoes. And, oh my gosh, how delicious were those potatoes! Always fried and always, always crisp on the outside and soft and almost creamy on the inside. I had absolutely no problem being served those potatoes at every meal.

The one thing, though, that was notably absent from menus in Ireland was corned beef and cabbage. See, that’s not really native to Ireland. It somehow became associated with Irish immigrants in America and later became a St. Patrick’s Day standard here, but not there. If you find it in Ireland, it will be in places that cater to the tourist trade. Irish folks themselves don’t identify it as part of their culture.

So, in homage to real Irish cooking, I’m sharing with you a fairly traditional Leek and Potato Soup. It’s my own recipe based on many I’ve read over the years and I hope I’ve done my Irish ancestors proud with this one. It’s simple, honest cooking made with the best, freshest ingredients available to me. I hope that’s a fair way to pay tribute to my roots.

Prepping leeks for Leek and Potato Soup

Start by prepping the leeks. Cut off the root end and the tough, darker green ends and discard them. You want to use only the white and lightest green parts for your soup. Cut through the leeks from top to bottom and then cut crosswise. Leeks typically have a bit of dirt inside between the layers, so you need to wash them thoroughly. I find the best way is to put the cut leeks in a big bowl of cold water. Rub them together gently to separate the layers and agitate the dirt. Let them sit for a while and the dirt falls to the bottom of the bowl. The leeks will float on top of the water, and all you need to do is lift them gently out of the water leaving the dirt in the bowl. Don’t pour them off or you’ll end up with the dirt right back in the leeks!

Drying leeks for Leek and Potato Soup

Put the cleaned leeks on a thickness of paper towels to drain while you proceed.

Prep potatoes and onion for Leek and Potato Soup

Peel the potatoes and cut them into rough chunks. Do the same with the onion.

Cooking Leek and Potato Soup

Melt the butter in a large, deep saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, leeks, and potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Saute, stirring gently, for 5-6 minutes or until the onion and leeks have softened but are not brown. Add the stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are quite tender.

While the soup is cooking, prepare the croutons and bacon.

For the bacon: cook 4 slices thick cut bacon. Crumble and set aside. For the croutons: trim the crusts from 4 slices of whole wheat bread. Cut the bread into cubes. Toast the croutons in a skillet with 2 tablespoons butter, and a dash of salt and pepper.

Pureeing Leek and Potato Soup

Remove the pot from the heat and use either an immersion blender or food processor to blend the soup to your desired degree of smoothness. Stir in the Half and Half or light cream. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

Serve the soup in individual bowls topped with snipped fresh chives, croutons, and bacon.

Even though you may think of this as a winter soup, it’s really good all year round. In the winter, I serve it with the garnishes here – bacon, croutons, and chives. But in the summer, it’s great to serve chilled with just the chives for garnish. Either way, it’s always delicious!

Enjoy!

Leek and Potato Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Leek and Potato Soup

A tribute to my Irish heritage - Leek and Potato Soup.

Ingredients

  • 4 tblsp. butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 leeks, cleaned and sliced (white and lightest green parts only)
  • 3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half or light cream
  • For the garnish:
  • 2 tblsp. snipped fresh chives
  • Toasted, buttered croutons (see below)
  • Crumbled bacon

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, leeks, and potatoes. Saute, stirring gently, for 5-6 minutes or until the onion and leeks have softened but are not brown. Add the stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are quite tender.
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and use either an immersion blender or food processor to blend the soup to your desired degree of smoothness. Stir in the Half and Half or light cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. While the soup is cooking, prepare the croutons and bacon.
  4. For the bacon: cook 4 slices thick cut bacon. Crumble and set aside.
  5. For the croutons: trim the crusts from 4 slices of whole wheat bread. Cut the bread into cubes. Toast the croutons in a skillet with 2 tablespoons butter, salt and pepper.
  6. Serve the soup in individual bowls topped with snipped fresh chives, croutons, and bacon.

Notes

This soup may be left chunky or pureed to creamy smoothness. It's good hot in winter or chilled in summer.

All text and photographs on Never Enough Thyme are copyright protected. Please do not use any material from this site without obtaining prior permission. If you'd like to post this recipe on your site, please create your own original photographs and either re-write the recipe in your own words or link to this post.

http://www.lanascooking.com/2013/03/12/leek-and-potato-soup/

Other Irish recipes you might enjoy from previous posts on Never Enough Thyme:

Internet resources for traditional Irish recipes:

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amanda March 13, 2013 at 7:40 am

Sounds positively delicious Lana, I love potato soup and leeks are among my favorites too!

Reply

2 Lana March 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Thanks, Amanda. You won’t believe just how delicious this soup is.

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3 nest of posies March 13, 2013 at 9:44 am

oh my! this looks insanely yummy! i love leeks & potatoes – so this is going to be a win/win recipe for me!

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4 Lana March 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Hope you enjoy it!

Reply

5 Maria March 13, 2013 at 11:16 am

Love this soup!

Reply

6 Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles March 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Visiting Ireland would be such a treat! Beautiful soup, Lana!

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7 Lana March 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Thank, Brenda. We loved our visit to Ireland and hope to go back again some day.

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8 Sues March 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I’ve never made a leek and potato soup and this looks incredible!!

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9 Lana March 13, 2013 at 6:55 pm

It is, Sues! Pretty darned incredible soup.

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10 Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste March 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm

This look so rich and flavorful, and like the perfect way to combat the cold weather in NYC! Thanks for sharing!

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11 Lana March 15, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Thank you, Kelly. It’s really great for cold weather. Warms you through and through.

Reply

12 Marti March 15, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I have all of the ingredients to make this soup. Will be adding 1% milk and a little whole milk instead of the cream. I found giant leeks at the store yesterday, so soup will be full of that yummy leak flavor.

Thanks for the recipe.

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13 Rachel @ Bakerita March 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm

This sounds amazing! My mom makes a delicious potato leek soup, but I’ll need to try your version. It looks heavenly. Pinned!

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14 Lana March 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Thanks, Rachel. Hope you enjoy my version as well.

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15 tasha February 27, 2014 at 11:37 am

How many people will this recipe
feed. I have a large family and I want to make this badly I just need to make sure there is enough to feed everyone

Reply

16 Lana Stuart February 27, 2014 at 11:43 am

The recipe makes 4 servings, Tasha.

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