HDL COOKS: Leek & Potato Soup

Leek and Potato Soup

Soup is the ultimate winter comfort food, when it’s grey and drizzly outside and you just want to curl up under a blanket and fill your body with wholesome warmth. You can make basically anything into soup, and there are so many different varieties even within the same groups of flavours. Do you prefer a silky, blended soup? Or a thin broth, filled with tasty morsels? I have to say, I usually prefer the latter, but when taking on a classic like this leek and potato soup, you sometimes have to stick with what works.

This soup is creamy, rich and filling. It has just a touch of spice to give it some extra depth of warmth and a dollop of creme fraiche to take the edge off the richness, if you prefer. I love the tanginess of the creme fraiche, but my boyfriend likes this soup as it is: simple, comforting and delicious!
Leek & Potato Soup

– 4 large potatoes, cubed (you can peel them if you prefer, but I think the skin adds a nice bit of flavour)
– 2 large leeks, washed and sliced
– a large knob of butter (or 1 tbsp olive oil for the vegan version)
– cayenne pepper, to taste (I used about 1tsp)
– 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
– veg stock cube
– boiling water (about 1 litre)
– salt, to taste
– creme fraiche (optional – omit for vegan version)
1. Sauté the leeks in butter/oil in a large saucepan until they start to soften and become golden on the edges. Add a sprinkle of salt at this stage.
2. Add the potatoes, cayenne pepper and ground black pepper.
3. Cook for a few minutes, until the potatoes take on a bit of colour and the leeks break up.
4. Crumble a stock cube directly into the pan and then add enough water to cover the potatoes by about an inch. Taste for seasoning and add more salt/pepper/cayenne depending on what is needed.
5. Boil for at least 10 minutes, or until potatoes are soft when pricked with a fork.
6. Using a blender, liquidise the soup to desired consistency – you may need to add more boiling water if you prefer a thinner soup.
7. Serve into bowls. Add a spoonful of creme fraiche if using and some parsley to garnish.

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