Quick Potato and Leek Soup

Everybody needs a good leek and potato soup recipe. I’ve made a few different recipes but have never found one I could love. This week, when I found myself once again in the presence of leeks, I was determined to create the perfect soup. I spread all the cookbooks I had with leek soup recipes out on the counter, skimmed over them, and came up with myLeek and Potato Soup own combination that I really like. Hopefully, you’ll find it comforting and simple, too.

9 oz. leeks (about 3 medium)
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes (about 4-5)
6 1/2 cups water
butter,  salt, pepper

  1. Prepare your leeks. Slice off the root end and the tougher, dark green parts. Split in half and rinse out the grit. Coarsely chop.
  2. In your soup pot, melt 2 tbls. butter. Add the leeks, a dash of salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 or so minutes over medium until they are just starting to brown.
  3. Pour in the water and with a wooden spoon,  rub off any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring this to a low boil.
  4. While your water and leeks are heating up, peel the potatoes. (I used yellow. Red would probably be nice, also.)  Cut into large cubes.
  5. Add the potatoes and about 1 tsp. salt. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. (You could use your blender or food processor too, just be careful of splattering, hot soup.)

Notes:

  • A little bit of cream drizzled over the top of your cup of soup is lovely, but not necessary.
  • We served it with homemade garlic croutons. I liked the little bit of crunch.
  • Reheats well, so make plenty of it!

Leek Tart (‘with egg’ version)

I was lucky enough to come into some leeks a little while ago and made this tart. Loaded with leeks, it made a tasty lunch. The recipe is from Bisto Cooking, a book given to me by a friend. This unassuming book is packed with recipes that have turned out to small-leeksbe amazingly simple and delicious. (Soon, I will commit to working my way through some of the many potato recipes.)

Tart shell:
1 cup all-purpose flour
7 tbls. unsalted butter
1/8 tsp. salt
3 tbls. water

Mix flour and salt. With a fork or pastry blender (just got one for Christmas – best tool ever!), crumble butter into flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Fork in water and form a rough ball. Between plastic wrap, roll out dough and transfer to a 9-inch tart pan. (I think a pie plate would work just as well.)

Filling:
about 3 pounds of leeks, rinsed and chopped coarsely
4 tbls. butter
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup cream
3 ounces prosciutto
1 cup grated cheese (gruyere or any snappy white cheese)

Melt butter over low and add leeks, salt, and some pepper. Cook until the leeks are soft for about 20 minutes. Spread out onto a plate to cool. (Drain any liquid that pools before you add to the filling.)

Spread half of the cheese and prosciutto into the tart shell.

Whisk the eggs and cream together. Add leeks. Pour into shell.

Sprinkle remaining cheese and prosciutto over the top.

Bake at 425F for 40 minutes.

Soup from the Box

CSA box this week: potatoes, leeks, kale, 2 ears of corn, garlic, ever-present squash
What to make? I put it all together (ok, not the kale and the squash) and made a soup. (Thanks, M. for the suggestion!)

Potato Corn Chowder
This soup was so good! Very simple and straightforward flavors, but it made me very happy. Quick! Make it while corn is still around. I don’t think that frozen corn would quite taste as delicious.

1 skinny leek, chopped finely
half an onion
2 cloves garlic
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
6 small potatoes, unpeeled, small cubes
4 small ears of corn
salt, pepper, butter, olive oil

Chop the leek and the onion very small. Mince the garlic.
Put about a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in the bottom of your soup pot over low to medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the leek, onions, and garlic. Toss some kosher salt and black pepper in. Stirring every once in awhile, cook this on low for awhile (about 15 minutes.) Do not brown.
Add in your stock. Simmer with a lid on low for about 15 minutes.

Add milk. Stir. Add potatoes. (I used half reds and half yellows.) Stir. Taste and adjust for salt. Simmer for about 15 more minutes. Add the corn about ten minutes before you want to eat.

This soup rewarms very well for lunch the next day, but I’m not so sure about the results if you would freeze it.