Potato Leek Soup – Re-visted

I think I might have to rename this blog. This year, I’ve posted about desserts and soups. Desserts encompass so much that is great about the diversity of food: desserts can be enjoyed in solitary bliss; shared at the end (or beginning) of a romantic evening for two; and, are often the finale of large family gatherings, where recipes are steeped in tradition and nostalgia. I feel similarly about soup. The comforts of soup, paired with the damn near impossibility of messing it up, make it a go-to for weeknights and lunches. Even better – spend time in the kitchen making this on Sunday and have dinner ready when you get home after your manic Monday.

This soup is a reinvention of a classic potato leek soup. Our farmer’s market has leeks in surplus (and at unbelievable prices!), so I’ve taken to cooking with them regularly. About a year ago, I made (but did not post), a traditional potato leek soup. The result was bland and watery, rendering me wary of trying again. All potato-leek soup couldn’t be that bad, could it?

In the sunny high 60 degree weather that is the end of our winter, I had the brilliant idea to make a soup. What can I say, I was inspired by this farmer’s market bounty. To the potatoes and leeks, I added two carrots, which lend the soup a depth of flavor and color.

potatoes, leeks, carrots, and beets (beets were not used in the soup)

Potato Leek and Carrot Soup

  • 2 to 3 large leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced.
  • 3 to 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, washed with skins on, diced
  • 2 to 3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 cups broth (or 4 cups broth and two cups water)
  • Salt, pepper, shallot pepper, ground fenugreek, a dash of ginger to taste
  • 2 to 3 strips of bacon, crisped for garnish
  • Alternative garnish: parsley, creme fraiche, herbed goat cheese

I think I always say that this couldn’t be simpler. Saute the leeks in olive oil, or a little (1 to 2 tablespoons) of butter for about 4 minutes on medium heat. The butter will add a richer flavor to the soup. Add the carrots, then the potatoes, and finally your spices. If you wish, you can take the soup in an Indian direction, with turmeric, garam masala, and madras curry powder. Saute briefly, about three to four minutes, to allow the flavors to mingle. Add more oil if needed. Add the broth, starting with four cups (or enough to just cover the vegetables). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer over medium-low to low heat. Simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the carrots and potatoes. Once the vegetables are tender, use a combination of potato masher and immersion blender to combine the soup to desired consistency. At this point, you’ll want to start adding more water/broth, as the starches from the potatoes will thicken the soup quite a bit. Taste and season if necessary.

At this point, you can allow the soup to cool, divide amongst containers and freeze or refrigerate for a later meal. Or, you can serve yourself a bowl and enjoy with a green salad and some crusty bread.


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