Is there anything better on a cool fall evening than sitting down to a delicious homemade soup or stew?
Well, since I’m here in the Caribbean, I don’t get too many days of chilly weather, but I guarantee the one thing: I won’t give up my soups! You can take the Canadian girl outta the snow, but you can’t take the snow outta the Canadian girl!
Best way to heat things up I find, is a really simple (and I mean simple!) potato and leek soup.
First off, for those of you who aren’t familiar with a leek, it is kind of like the Charles Xavier of the (X-Men) onion family; he’s the brains of the operation, but isn’t all fiery like Wolverine, or soft and adorable like Kitty Pride. Okay, enough geeking out for a bit, let’s get on with the recipe! Just like when you’re cutting a green onion, you’ll know where to stop – where the stalk starts to feel woodier than the rest of the plant. It doesn’t add extra flavour, so don’t be afraid to compost that part!
Items/ingredients you’ll need:
- A pot (this is an all-in-one pot) kind of meal – yay, even simple cleanup!!!
- 5-6 large potatoes – peeled and chopped into small bite-size portions in room temp water (don’t worry if they are uneven – you’re going for rustic, not OCD. I understand the need to keep everything symmetrical, but this isn’t that meal.)
- 2 large stalks (whole) leeks, 3 medium, or 4-5 smaller leeks (yeah, it’s gonna look like a lot, don’t worry!!)
- garlic salt (generous sprinkling) (- this takes the place of both separately. You can roast the garlic and stuff, but this saves a step and it is good this way as well)
- pepper to taste (any type you usually use – white or ground or peppercorns you have to crush… you choose)
***SPECIAL ITEMS*** Note: For allergies, lactose intolerance, dietary restrictions, food choices (ie vegan), etc, you can alter these with using a substitute you are best with.
- one stock cube (chicken works best for flavouring, adds a bit more salt as well.)
- one cup heavy cream (usually in North America it’s referred to as whipping cream)
- 1-2tbsp flour (you’ll toss the excess, so don’t worry about it being exact)
I can’t stress the room temp water part enough. I am usually a stickler for having cold water on my ‘tatos, but when it comes to a starter stock, you want that extra starchiness to come play with the water and thicken it up a bit.
Water, potatoes, stock cube, garlic salt, and pepper. That’s your starter. You’re almost done.
Bring the bite-sized potato pieces to a slow slow (slower than that!) boil – 20 minutes on LOW – this is the secret to this entire soup being so incredible – the potato retains it’s shape, but literally melts in your mouth when it reaches your tongue. It thickens the broth up, and 90% of your stock is going to be the potato water. The other 10% is made up of the minute amount of liquid from the leeks (you have to wash them and there’s always leftover drippage) and the cream.
Meanwhile, chop the leeks (clean them repeatedly as necessary – they always have dirt in them) into thin discs about 1/4″ or 1/2cm roughly or thinner. You want them to try to retain their ring shape as much as possible but not too thick. Pop the rings out from one another for most/all of the leeks (don’t worry if you skip some, there are no Leek Police checking your process). Dust these with flour. This is how the soup will get nice and thick. You can skip this step if necessary or you like thinner soup.
When the potatoes are soft, dump in the leeks and fold them into the soup. Remember, the flour is on there, so you’re not making dumplings this time. Once they are in, pour the heavy cream in and stir gently until it’s all mixed.
Slow cook that pot of yumminess for another 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice to check the awesomenss, and BAM BAM BAM Pebbles! Look you got yourself a killer happy chilly day meal that is enough for 6-8 people as the main course, or up to 20 people in a small starter meal for a dinner party (ie Thanksgiving!)
Bonus: The ‘onionie’ flavour a lot of kids don’t like is not there (you can add some frozen peas if you want it to have a bit of a sweeter taste overall), and you get that crazy amazing comfort food taste, and it’s so low in calories you might just want seconds.