Potato Leek Soup
I have been insanely busy this week. I picked up a waitressing job for the summer at a very busy seafood-selling, on-the-ocean location. I'm not complaining- I like both ocean views and big tippers very much, but I have been missing spending time in the kitchen. And on weeks like this, when I don't have a lot of time (or a lot of money until payday), we always make Potato Leek Soup. It is a recipe so cheap and easy to make it should be on any college kids repertoire. Its my favorite recipe when I'm short on time and money.
It is so simple. You're gonna love it.
This recipe is loosely based on Julia Child's original recipe for Cream of Leek and Potato soup. I've been reading her biography, Dearie, and have become a little obsessed. I can even do a pretty good warbly-voiced impersonation.
The woman was a master and she was right to pair these two delicious vegetables together. When blended they make a giant bowl of creamy, mashed potato-like soup with just enough salt to bring out the flavor of the potatoes.
I love making this soup in large batches for family events or just to keep in the fridge and reheat as leftovers.
As Julia would say, only 5 ingredients to make this soup 'positively delectable!'
2 tablespoons vegan butter or oil
4 cups potatoes, roughly chopped
4 cups leeks, sliced and chopped
6 cups water
2 teaspoons sea salt
First wash your veggies well. Cut the dark green ends and the roots off of the leeks. [Compost 'em or save the bottoms to re-plant and grow your own leeks!]
Slice the leeks lengthwise, then roughly chop them to break them up a little.
Cut the potatoes into about 1/2 inch chunks. Set aside.
In a medium sized soup pot, melt the butter until it is warm and has coated the bottom of the pan. Add chopped leeks and cook about 6-10 minutes, until softened and slightly glassy. Add the chopped potatoes, cooking for about 10 more minutes on medium heat until the leeks are softened and the potatoes just slightly softened. [Don't overcook the leeks- if they turn brown they are burnt and taste a little funky in the soup.]
Add the 6 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt and let cook on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and the soup starts smelling delicious.
Using an immersion blender or a plain old blender like we do, blend the soup in batches until it is creamy and uniform in texture. You can leave some un-blended if you'd like some chunks in your soup.
Serve with crusty bread and top with a little fresh parsley, if desired.
*If you don't have enough leeks, you can sub up to half of the leeks for onions. It will mildly change the flavor but is still quite good!
*You can sub in vegetable broth for the water in this recipe but it give the soup a slightly darker tint. If you do use vegetable broth, omit the additional salt.
*I prefer using unpeeled potatoes because it preserves the nutrients and frankly, I'm too lazy to peel the potatoes. If you want a shimmery white soup, go ahead and peel 'em.
*This soup is wildly versatile; try adding in other veggies if you like (I like adding carrots and celery) or other spices. A bit of smoked paprika really takes this soup to the next level.