Potato leek soup is not something I order much in restaurants. I don’t dislike it, per se. I just never see the point in eating something so starchy. But things have changed now that our family is trying to eat locally and seasonally.
Every two weeks from November through February, we receive a bi-weekly delivery from our CSA. It contains so-called storage crops like carrots, onions and potatoes, plus fun treats like black and red popcorn. After making several batches of squash soup, pumpkin soup, carrot soup and chicken soup with loads of carrots, you start to look for other recipes. And that’s when you begin to appreciate the genius in combining potatoes and leeks.
Suddenly, the starch doesn’t seem like a turn-off. It seems filling and warm and perfect, especially on a day when the mercury hovers at 15.
Compared to other soups, potato leek soup is easy on the wallet. Many soups rely on either canned broth (which can be costly if you’re making a large batch) or homemade stock (which costs both time and money, though the end result is definitely worth it). But this soup takes neither, just butter, leeks, potatoes and milk. I like to add celery, too; if you do, make sure it’s organic because celery is on the Dirty Dozen list of most contaminated crops.
Potato Leek Soup
Adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
Rather than giving specific amounts for the veggies, I’ve listed ranges. In my experience, produce that’s local & organic ranges more in size than does industrial produce
3 tablespoons butter
5-7 leeks, depending on size, washed very well and sliced thin
3-6 stalks celery, depending on size, chopped fine
3-5 potatoes, depending on size, peeled and diced
3 cups whole or 2% milk
Over medium heat, melt butter in a soup pot. Add leeks and celery and cook about ten minutes. Add one cup water and cover. Cook ten more minutes. Add the potatoes and two more cups of water and cook, covered, for another ten minutes. Add the milk and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until you have the texture you desire. (Be careful when putting hot liquids in the food processor.) Season to taste with salt and pepper, and thin with more milk if necessary.