I really love the mild onion flavor of leeks, and I also love potatoes–all kinds of potatoes. Naturally, one of my favorite fall soups is Potato Leek Soup.
It’s a soup that excels for versatility. It can be served hot or cold. It can be rustic and chunkly or creamy in texture. Pureed smooth and with cream added it becomes vichyssoise, a soup traditionally served chilled.
I prefer it warm, but regardless of how it’s served, Potato Leek Soup is hearty and blends well with other flavors. You can also make a double batch and put half in the freezer to make a quick meal after a chilly day spent outside.
Russet potatoes work best, in my opinion, but almost any potato variety will be tasty. Use only the white and lightest green portion of the leeks. Also, be sure to clean the leeks well to remove any grit between the layers. I cut the leek vertically along the length of the stem and rinse under running water in the sink.
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready In:
- 2 large leeks, thinly sliced (about 4 cups) (Half Acre Farm u-pick, Ferndale)
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (home garden, Lummi Island)
- 1-1/2 tsp salt (see Exceptions)
- 3 Tbsp butter (Breckinridge Farm, Everson)
- 6 cups water
- 2 lbs. potatoes, chopped (friend’s garden, Lummi Island)
- 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped (Half Acre Farm u-pick, Ferndale)
- 1/16 tsp dried habanero pepper (or other chili pepper, to taste) (neighbor’s garden, Lummi Island)
- 1 cup heavy cream (optional) (Twin Brook Creamery, Lynden)
Saute leeks, shallot, and 1/2 tsp salt in butter over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Leeks should be soft but not browned.
Add water, potatoes, dried pepper, and the remaining teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add oregano and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat. (Note: if you use something other than habanero pepper, you may need to increase the quantity quite a lot. Habanero is quite hot.)
Use a potato masher to mash a little of the soup, then stir, alternating until the soup is the texture and thickness desired. For a creamier texture, stir in the optional cream.
Adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Serve hot or cold with Succotash or a fresh salad.
Home gardens, Lummi Island
Half Acre Farm u-pick, located at Boxx Berry Farm Store, 6211 Northwest Rd., Ferndale (Mon-Sat 9a-6p, Sun 10a-4p). The u-pick is now closed, but the Boxx store will still carry some of Half Acre Farm’s fresh produce already picked.
Community Food Co-operative, Westerly and Cordata, Bellingham
Terra Organica, Flora and Cornwall, Bellingham