It might not be fancy cooking nor is it the prettiest bowl of soup you’ll ever see – but this simple leek and potato soup is a warming and tasty way to fill your belly.
Made with just five ingredients and a little seasoning, I’d bet anyone could put this soup together. Yes, even those that regularly burn toast. It’s just that basic.
The hardest part, honestly, is washing the leeks. Leeks are funny veggies. They’re part of the onion family and have a lovely flavour – but they grow in such a way as to trap layers of dirt and grit within themselves. Peel away layer upon layer of leek and you’ll find bits of soil throughout. So how do you clean them out when they’re so full of muck?
There’s a couple of ways, but my preferred method is to top and tail them first. Cut away the root and chop off the hard, tough, dark green leaves at the top. You can cook these tougher parts of the leek, but this is a very quick cooking soup so I’m only going to be using the more tender section of the veg. I use all the white section and a few inches of the pale green leaf.
So once you’ve cut the bottom and the top parts away, slice the leek lengthways in half. Now you’ll be able to see all the many layers of leaves inside – and the dirt. Either hold the leeks under a running cold tap, fanning out the leaves as you work your way down (to let the water in and dirt out), or pull the leek apart and wash in a sink full of cold water. As you’re making soup, it really doesn’t matter how much you mangle the veg to start with.
Once you’ve gotten your leeks clean, it’s just a case of slicing them relatively thinly and cooking slowly in a good knob of butter. When they’re lovely and soft, add in a handful of peeled and diced potato – whatever you’ve got on hand, though keep in mind a floury type (Maris Piper, King Edward etc) will disintegrate more easily. Which is pretty much what you’re looking for here. Throw in some stock – vegetable or chicken – and simmer until the potato is cooked through. Then it’s just a case of adding some seasoning to taste, whizzing half of it down with a blender and pouring in a little milk. Bingo! You’ve made a soup.
Just don’t add cold milk to a simmering soup – you run the risk of it splitting and ruining everything!
Really though, one of the joys of a homemade soup is the excuse to eat loads of freshly baked bread with it. Crusty on the outside, fluffy on the inside – and slathered with butter, if that’s the way you like it. I made the Paul Hollywood Bloomer again to go with this simple Leek and Potato Soup. A perfect combo!
A quick cooking, deliciously satisfying Leek and Potato Soup.
- Large Knob of Butter
- 2 Leeks, Washed (approx. 450g)
- 4 Medium Sized Floury Potatoes (approx. 550g, skin on)
- 600 ml Vegetable or Chicken Stock
- Pinch of Dried Thyme
- 150 ml Milk, Room Temperature
- Salt and Pepper to Season
Chop the leeks into relatively even slices, just less than a centimeter in width, then put to one side.
Peel the potatoes, discarding the skin, then chop into a fairly even chunky dice - go for whatever sized chunks you'd prefer to eat. Keep in mind the larger the potato pieces, the longer they will take to cook through.
Put a large pan on a low heat, adding the large knob of butter and allow to melt.
Add the sliced leeks and cook over a low to medium heat, allowing the leeks to soften but not colour. This will take around 10 minutes. If you feel the leeks are starting to stick, add a splash of water to loosen things up.
Once the leeks are soft and mostly cooked through, add the potato pieces and give it a good stir. Then add the stock plus a pinch of thyme and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for around 10 minutes (depending on the size of potato chunks you're using). Test the potato chunks with a fork to determine whether they're cooked or not. They should be soft and tender throughout.
Once the potatoes are cooked, temporarily remove the pan from the heat. Remove half the soup and blend until fairly smooth, then return to the pan and mix with the unblended soup.
Add the room temperature milk until you get your desired consistency, up to 150ml. Give it a stir and a taste test, then add your salt and pepper as desired. Note: this soup does like quite a lot of pepper, I used both finely ground white and a coarse ground black in this!
Bring the soup back to a simmering point and serve immediately. This soup also keeps quite nicely in the fridge for the following day, should there be leftovers.