I am not sure which country can, in fact, lay claim to being the originator of Potato Leek Soup. Some say it is of Welsh origin while others give Ireland credit for this tasty soup. If you have ever eaten Vichyssoise, a cold version of Potato Leek Soup, you may attribute its origins to France due to its association with Vichy. Then, of course, there is Tattie and Leekie soup from Scotland.
Potato and Leek Soup has two main ingredients – potatoes and leeks. They are complemented by some gentle seasonings of garlic, onion, celery, bayleaf, and thyme, all cooked in chicken stock.
Leeks are related to the onion and shallot family but they do differ. Leeks resemble giant overgrown green onions. Leeks are usually 12″-14″ long and about 1″-2″ in diameter. They will have three shades that vary from white at the bulb end to light green in the middle to deep green at the top. The deep green top is tough and bitter so is discarded, leaving the light green and white sections as the usable parts of the leek. The root end is cut off and the outer layers of the white and light green sections discarded.
Leeks have a more subtle flavour than onions or shallots so don’t overpower other ingredients in a dish. Sometimes, as in my recipe for Potato Leek Soup, when I want some strengthened flavour, I will add a small amount of onion .
There are a couple of ways this soup can be made – either the entire mixture puréed until smooth or, if you prefer some chunkiness to the soup, simply remove about 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups of the vegetables and purée the rest. This is what I have done in the soup you see in these photos. Either way, it is a filling and satisfying soup.
I make good use of my immersion blender for cream and purée soup making. However, you can certainly use either a blender or a food processor to purée the vegetables. I generally allow the soup to cool for 30-40 minutes before using my immersion blender and, sometimes, if I am in a hurry, I put the soup pot in a sink full of cold water for a few minutes to speed up the cooling process. I know some people do use their immersion blenders in really hot soup. I recommend you check your instruction manual for your immersion blender to see what it says about using the blender in hot liquids.
Potato Leek Soup can be served perfectly plain or it can be dressed up with a garnish of sour cream, croutons, chives or parsley. Serve the soup with biscuits or crusty rolls or bread.
PEI Potato Leek Soup
2-3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large leek (white and light green parts only), halved lengthwise and sliced into ¼“ slices (about 3 cups, chopped)
1 stalk celery, sliced
1¼ lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp thyme
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup whole milk
½ cup white cheese blend (e.g., mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan)
Sour Cream, Croutons, Parsley or Chives, and Truffle Oil for garnish (optional)
Melt butter in medium-sized stock pot over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add leek, celery, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are softened.
Add potatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves.
Remove about 1¾ cups vegetables from the soup and set aside. Using hand-held immersion blender, purée the remainder of soup until smooth. Add the milk and heat over medium-low heat until mixture is hot, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Add the cheese and stir until cheese is melted and blended into soup.
Add reserved vegetables to the soup purée. Stir gently over medium low heat for 5-10 minutes until heated.
To serve, ladle into soup bowls. Add dollop of sour cream and croutons and, if desired, a drizzle of finishing oil such as truffle oil and a sprinkle of parsley or chives.
Yield: Apx. 6 servings (1+ cups each)
Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today. If you enjoyed this posting and recipe, please share it on your social media websites.
Connect with “the Bistro” through the following social media:
Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook
Follow “the Bistro’s” tweets on Twitter
Follow “the Bistro” on Pinterest
Follow “the Bistro” on Instagram