With the UK seeing torrential downpours and storms forecast all through summer, I thought I’d share my version of this traditional winter warming leek & potato soup. Soups are healthy, cheap, and filling, making them the perfect excuse for a midweek meal when served with bread.
Ingredients for Leek & Potato Soup
White Onion – White onion sauteed in butter forms the base of this leek & potato soup. Traditionally, European soups are made from a mirepoix. This term describes vegetables forming the base of dishes such as soups and stews. These vegetables typically include onion, celery, carrot, and leek. However, leeks are already in use, and carrots would change the colour of the soup.
Leeks – Leeks have two different coloured skins: a tougher green skin and a softer-tasting white part. For this recipe, we’ll use the whites of the leek only as it helps keep the soup’s colour intact while giving it a strong leek flavour.
Potatoes – Any white potatoes can be used for this recipe, depending on what’s around. I often have Maris piper, which helps give them a smoother texture owing to their floury nature. However, soups were traditionally made using old vegetables, so don’t be afraid to use whatever potatoes you have.
I would caution against changing the amount of potatoes without altering the liquid used to make the soup. This is because the starch in potatoes will thicken the liquid when blended, which means too little stock or milk will result in a thick soup, and too much will thin down and force the soup to lose its creamy consistency.
Milk & Cream – These two dairy products enrich the leek & potato soup while helping to keep its colour a bright white without turning it brown off yellow. However, it’s mixed with vegetable stock to prevent the soup from becoming too heavy.
A Note on Nutmeg
I’ve listed nutmeg as an optional seasoning because it is. The soup will taste fantastic without it, but it will taste even better if you like nutmeg’s warming properties.
How to Make Leek & Potato Soup
Soften the vegetables in butter until they soften. Tip: Season the vegetables with salt to help break down the cell walls. Take care not to allow any of the vegetables to turn brown, or they’ll affect the colour of the soup.
Cover with liquid and boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes begin to break apart but haven’t broken apart. If the potatoes are allowed to turn mushy, the result will be a watery soup as the potatoes lose all their fresh flavour.
We must keep the liquid for this recipe, so don’t drain the vegetables. Instead, use a hand or standalone blender and blitz the soup until smooth. In restaurants, soups are often passed through a sieve-like piece of equipment called a chinois. However, keeping it a little chunky at home adds to the texture and helps keep you fuller for longer. Season to taste and serve.
Leek & Potato Soup
- 45 g Butter
- 1 Onion Sliced
- 2 Medium Leeks Whites Only, Sliced
- 300 g Whtie Potatoes Peeled and Cubed
- 500 ml Milk
- 500 ml Vegetable Stock
- 150 ml Double Cream
- Salt / Black Pepper to taste
- A pinch of nutmeg optional
- Chopped Parsley to serve
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and soften the onions until they soften. Next, add the leeks and cubed potatoes. Please do not allow any of the vegetables to brown, or they’ll affect the colour of the soup. Season with salt.
- Cover with the milk and vegetable stock and gently bring to a light boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Using a hand blender or a standing blender, blitz the soup until smooth. Wipe out the pan and return the soup to it. Stir in the cream and season to taste.
- Serve with a lot of bread.