Leek and Potato Soup is one of Britain’s favorite dishes. The vegetables make a cheap, low-fat, but nutritious soup, which can be served either smooth or chunky.
The leek, the national emblem of Wales, is part of the onion family, but has a more subtle, sweeter flavour, than a regular onion. Leeks have been grown for more than 3,000 years and may have originated in Asia and the Mediterranean area. The vegetables were named in the Bible, in the Book of Numbers, as one of the foods most missed by the Jews who had fled Egypt.
British Leek Growing Competitions
In Britain a leek-growing competition is held with the prize going to the largest leek, even though giant leeks are not great for eating. Some of the vegetables can measure from 4-5 inches in diameter!
Ramps – Wild Leeks
Do not confuse Ramps, wild leeks, with the regular leeks sold in the shops. The ramp is a different variety, smaller and more similar to a shallot or scallion. Ramps also have an extremely strong smell and flavour.
Nutritious, Low-Calorie Leeks
Leeks are rich in potassium, beta-carotene, iron, and Vitamin C, and are a also good source of fibre. 250 ml of the raw vegetable is just 57 calories.
Leek and Potato Soup Recipes
This recipe provides 6-8 servings and can be served in two different versions, either smooth or chunky.
Ingredients for Leek and Potato Soup
- Four large leeks, well washed, and sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 cloves garlic grated or ½ teaspoon of dried garlic
- 1 kilo potatoes – peeled, chopped into cubes, and covered with water
- 900 ml chicken or vegetable broth or 900 ml hot water with two vegetable or chicken stock cubes dissolved
- Pinch of salt – maximum ¼ teaspoon
- White or black pepper – maximum ¼ teaspoon
- 450 ml milk or cream
- Optional – ½ green chilli, very finely chopped
- Garnish – sprig of fresh coriander or parsley
How to Make Leek and Potato Soup
1. Melt the butter or margarine in a frying pan.
2. Add the leeks and grated garlic. If used, add the chilli now. Fry on a gentle heat until the leeks are soft – about ten minutes. Stir frequently and do not allow the leeks to go brown. Transfer ingredients to large saucepan.
3. Drain the potatoes and add to the saucepan with all other ingredients except the milk/cream.
4. Chunky soup – for chunky soup bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are just soft, approximately 15 minutes. Do not blend the soup when cooked.
5. Smooth soup – for smooth soup cook until potatoes are soft enough to mash, approximately 20 minutes. Blend with a mixer or mash by hand until the soup is smooth.
6. Immediately before serving the soup add the milk or cream and stir well, reheat gently. and serve immediately, garnished with a sprig of fresh parsley or coriander.
Serving suggestion – serve the soup with any warm chunky bread, ciabatta, or Home Baked Bagels.
This recipe freezes well, except that the chunky potatoes tend to break down slightly when reheated. If the soup is to be frozen do not add the milk or cream. This can be added when the soup has been defrosted.
Frozen Leek and Potato Soup must be used within two months.