Quick and Easy Potato Leek Soup

Have you ever had a leek? They are a member of the allium family, same as onions, garlic, and shallots, but have a unique flavor all their own. One reason I love leeks is that they are easy to grow, and they last a long, long time, meaning I can probably pick fresh leeks all winter. You may notice that my tiny leeks up there don’t look like the massive stalks you might have seen in the grocery store. That’s because I’m really terrible at A: over planting seeds, and B: thinning out plants. So my leeks end up small and bunchy like green onions, but they’re still delicious.

This is another non-recipe recipe. Start with cleaning your leeks. As many as you like. Usually two big ones would be sufficient, but if you have baby leeks like me, a good large bunch. Usually just use the white part, maybe a little of the green if it’s tender. To clean leeks, cut them in rings and soak them in water for a few minutes. Leeks grow in layers and get dirt trapped between them, and soaking helps clean it out. After I soak mine a few minutes I rinse them in a colander to make sure they’re nice and clean.

Add some butter, a tablespoon or two, to a large pot. (Bonus! This is a one-pot meal!) When it melts, add your leeks. While they soften, I cut up an onion, and sometimes garlic, because we love alliums in this house! Add to the pot after a few minutes and continue to saute. If you don’t want onions or garlic, feel free to leave them out. Another option is bacon. If you like add about a half pack (or more if you want!) of bacon. I cut mine using kitchen shears so it cooks quickly.

While all of this is happening, wash and peel your potatoes. Actually, I usually do this step while the leeks soak. Any kind will do, I usually have russet on hand so that’s what I use. I put in about 5 or 6 potatoes (my pot is five gallons). This recipe is so easy to make bigger or smaller, just by adjusting portions, so depending on how many you’re feeding and if you want leftovers, you can decide how much to make. Once the bacon is about cooked (we like soft bacon so just a  couple minutes) add your cubed potatoes to the pot and cook for a couple more minutes. The total cook time for all the alliums, bacon, and potatoes should only be about ten minutes. Then add a 32 oz box of your preferred stock. I use vegetable. If you’re feeling healthy add some chopped up kale or some spinach. Bring to a boil, and then simmer about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

At this point you can either be done, or what I do is use an immersion blender and smooth everything out. Be careful and do this off the heat. It isn’t required, but it does help all the flavors really meld together. Don’t blend it into nothing though, leave it kinda chunky. Return to the heat, add about a cup of milk or heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste. You can top with some cheese if you like, mozzarella is good. That’s it! A perfect recipe for fall and winter. I plan to make a big batch and freeze it (without the milk) for after baby comes. This is one of my favorite soups and it makes enough for usually two dinners and a lunch for the two of us. Bon appetite!

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