In Autumn, as the weather cools, I relish taking up the cool weather changes – bundling up and making food that is warm, comforting and soothing. I have fond memories of my dad making potato and leek soup when I was a child. For me, I love making a vat of potato and leek soup as soon as the weather chills. After our unseasonably warm March, I think the cool weather is finally here, so now is the perfect time to start making soup. This recipe is very simple and will make enough soup to feed a small army, or just you with a lot of leftovers.
Potato and leek soup
2 tbs olive oil
4 leeks, washed, dried and thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1.2 kg of potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes (I like desiree or pink eye)
approx. 2 litres of chicken or vegetable stock (home made is best – Saskia has posted a recipe for vegetable stock here)
Bouquet garni – tie together 4 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried leaf) and a very large handful of thyme (see picture above for size)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil and butter in a large pot and add the leeks and garlic. Cook the leeks until very soft and fragrant (about 10 minutes).
- Add the potatoes and cover with stock. Add the bouquet garni. Bring the stock to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 30 minutes).
- Remove the bouquet garni and discard.
- Ladle out some of the excess liquid and set aside. Using a hand held or other blender, blend the soup. I like my potato and leek soup rustic, so I do not completely blend the soup. Add some of the liquid back into the soup until it is the desired consistency. I like my soup quite thick.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve adorned with a sprig of fresh thyme, and perhaps a lug of good olive oil on top. Buttered crusty bread or toast at the side is a must.