With so many fresh, delicious veggies and herbs available at the market, why not use them to make the chunky, savoury soup of your dreams?
I know potatoes and leeks probably aren't the first things that come to mind when you think of summer cooking, but I simply couldn't resist whipping up this recipe after picking up some leeks and potatoes from the market.
This soup is delicious, chunky, and full of local flavours. It makes a delicious dinner for sitting near an open window, feeling the evening breeze, and longing for fall weather to save us from this grueling heatwave.
Potato leek soup is typically blended so the potatoes create a thick stew-like base for the soup, but this recipe opts for chunks of potato instead. It's much easier and gives the soup a more rustic taste and feel.
This recipe was inspired by this recipe from a blog called Bacon and Vodka: http://baconandvodka.com/2019/12/31/rustic-potato-leek-soup/ I added and modified a few ingredients to allow you to taste more of what our local farmers have to offer.
INGREDIENTS (makes 4 servings)
- 2 leeks
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 medium-sized potatoes (use your favourite kind for cooking! If you're using smaller potatoes, use 4 or 5 to get the same amount of potato in the soup)
- 3 cups of chicken/vegetable stock (whichever you prefer)
- 1/2 stick of unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup of half & half
- 1 tbsp summer savoury
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp corn starch
- 1 cup sliced carrots (optional)
- 2-3 green onions (optional)
- Any other vegetable you'd like to add! Bought one too many zucchinis this weekend? Add one to the soup! (For any veggies that tend to cook quicker than potatoes, make sure to add them into the soup a little bit later to ensure they don't get soggy or overcooked!)
HOW TO PREPARE LEEKS
Until this recipe, I'd never cooked with leeks before! Since they are grown in soil, it's normal for the insides to have a bit of dirt in them. If you're new to cooking with leeks or need a refresher, here's how to properly prepare leeks.
- Cut the root end and dark green ends off the leeks so that only the white and light green parts remain. Peel off the outer layer if it looks damaged or dirty.
- Slice the leeks in half lengthwise and proceed to slice into half-moons.
- Place all of the leek slices in a bowl of cold water. Swish them around with your hands to make sure any dirt or debris is washed away.
- With your hands, lift the leeks out of the water and place them into a strainer. Do NOT pour the water back over them, or you'll pour all the dirt and debris back onto them. Give the leeks a little rinse if you'd like.
- Voila! Your leeks are ready for cooking. :)
STEP 1 - Prepare your veggies.
I prefer to have all my ingredients prepared before I start cooking, but it's up to you.
- Rinse and scrub the potatoes. Since this is a "rustic" soup, I left the potato skins on, so I wanted to make sure they were nice and clean. Slice the potatoes into chunks as large or as small as you'd like them to be. My slices were about a 1/2 inch thick, though 1/4 inch might be better if you don't like large chunks of potatoes in your soup.
- If you're adding carrots, slice them into half-moons as well. I only added a cup of carrots because I didn't want to overpower the potatoes or leeks, but feel free to add more if you'd like.
- Mince your garlic. I originally added 4 cloves of garlic because I really, really like garlic. It was a tad overpowering, though, so I'd probably only use 2 cloves (or 3 if you're a garlic lover like me).
STEP 2 - Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the leeks. Cook until the leeks are softened and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Then, add your minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until the garlic starts to brown.
STEP 2.5 (optional) - Add 1 1/5 teaspoons of corn starch to the butter mixture for thickening. Stir it into the butter well to ensure there are no lumps. If you'd prefer your soup to be a little less thick, skip this step and proceed to step 3.
STEP 3 - Add 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock to the pot. Then, proceed to add your potatoes and carrots, 1 tablespoon of summer savoury (I used fresh leaves from the market and they made my kitchen smell so pretty), and 1 tablespoon of parsley. If you're a fan of spices, feel free to add any other spices that you feel may add to the flavour of the soup. I also added a teeny-tiny dash of oregano, as well as salt and pepper.
STEP 4 - Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, check to see how tender the potatoes are. If they feel soft and cooked (go on, have a lil' taste), then your soup is almost ready!
STEP 5 - Add in 1/2 cup of half & half to the pot and stir it in well. (Fun fact: I absolutely could not find half & half anywhere before making this recipe. I settled for 1/4 cup of heavy cream mixed with 1/4 cup of 2% milk. Compromises had to be made, but I don't think it affected the soup too much, thankfully!)
STEP 6 - Garnish with green onions if you'd like. Enjoy your rustic, savoury potato leek soup! :)