Potato Leek Soup

by Beth on March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Despite my Irish heritage, I have not done anything to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in recent years. Now that cooking has become a hobby, I thought it would be fun to create an Irish-inspired meal.

On Sunday, my mother and I made Potato Leek Soup and Brown Irish Soda Bread for our early Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.

I tried Potato Leek Soup for the first time at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival last fall. For some reason, I always shied away from leeks. I used to be a very picky eater, and I sometimes still avoid foods for no good reason. I’m glad I finally tried the soup! Since I love potatoes in just about any form and have quite a weakness for cream soups, this is a perfect soup. At the same time, I also sampled some Brown Soda Bread and Dubliner cheese.

I found this recipe for Potato Leek Soup in the Boston Globe. It appeared to be straightforward and was very similar to other Potato Leek Soup recipes I had found online. Since soup is always better when served with bread, I also made Brown Irish Soda bread.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, but omitted the parsley and added some dried rosemary. I started with 1/4 tsp, but added more as I altered the seasoning to fit my tastes. To speed up the cooking process, I cooked the potatoes at a low boil before mashing with a potato masher. Once the soup was done, I added an extra 1/4 cup of broth and 1/4 cup of cream. It’s worth noting that I think milk or half and half would work quite well in this soup in place of the heavy cream.

According to the Globe, this recipe produces 6 servings, but I got 8 1+ cup servings. The soup was delicious! I just finished the last of the leftovers, and were sad to see them go!

May your troubles be less,
And your blessing be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door.

Potato Leek Soup

Yields 6-8 1-cup servings
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 leeks, thinly sliced and rinsed well
3 cloves garlic, smashed
5 medium russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp dried rosemary

1. In a large heavy-based stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until softened.

2. Add the potatoes, 4 cups of the stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

3. Either mash the potatoes with a potato masher or, puree soup in batches in a blender. Return it to pot. Bring to a simmer. Add the cream and parsley, and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. If the soup is too thick, add remaining stock in 1/4-cup increments until it is the consistency you prefer.

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