Cold weather is among us and that means it’s finally soup season! 🙂 One of the most delicious and easy soups I make is this potato leek soup. It’s a veganized version of French master chef Jacques Pépin’s Rustic Leek and Potato Soup. It has only 5 ingredients and takes about 30 minutes to make, including prep time. It’s rich and creamy without any dairy due to the potatoes, and the leek flavor is divine!Click here to jump to the recipe.
Mise en place – Gather your ingredients and prep them
The best way to start cooking is to follow the French process of mise en place, which means “everything in its place”. It refers to gathering all your ingredients needed for the recipe, and having them ready to go for the action of cooking the recipe. This helps the actual cooking process go more smoothly.
For this recipe, we’ll start off by preparing the leeks. Since they grow in sandy soil, you will always want to wash your leeks. An easy way to do that is to slice the leeks length-wise, from root to tip, into quarters. Then rinse them in the sink with cold water to remove the sand. Here is a great video showing the process: How to clean leeks. After they are clean, I remove the last bit of the leaf end and the root end. Finally, slice the rest as needed.
Next, we’ll prepare the potatoes. Scrub them with a brush in the sink under cold water to remove any dirt. Then cut them into a 1 inch dice. Then get the vegetable broth, salt, and pepper handy, and you’re set!
Optional: if you would like to increase the nutritional value of this recipe, you can chop some hearty greens such as kale, swiss chard, or collards and have them ready to go too.
Now that your ingredients are ready, let’s get cooking!
Sauté the leeks
Put a soup pot on the stove over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is warm, about 30 seconds later, add the leeks. You should hear a nice sizzle sound. Stir the leeks with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to ensure every piece is covered with oil. Let sauté for about 5 minutes, or until softened. You’ll know you’re ready to go to the next step when your kitchen starts to smell amazing. 🙂
Bringing it all together
Add the diced potatoes and the vegetable broth to the pot, and bring it to a boil by increasing the heat to medium-high. Once boiling, cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat enough so that the soup is just at a simmer, usually medium-low. Let the soup simmer for about 12-15 minutes, or until the potato pieces are fully cooked. If you take a fork and can pierce a potato piece with ease, then it’s done. If you are using leafy greens, now is the time to stir them in. Turn off the heat and place the pot on a cold burner.
The soup is just about ready to serve. Now is the time to add salt and pepper to your taste. Once the taste is just right for you, we can focus on the texture. Currently it should be pretty brothy with lots of potato chunks throughout (like the photo above), but if you would like to make it extra creamy you can blend some or all of the soup. I love using an immersion blender (stick blender) to do this instead of using a standing blender (blending hot liquids in a standing blender is dangerous, so be careful if you don’t have an immersion blender). I prefer to blend the soup just enough so that the base is a pale green color and still has chunky potato pieces. This is what’s nice about cooking at home, you can adjust everything to your particular preference.
Now curl up on the couch with a soft blanket and enjoy! 🙂
Potato Leek Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (use water or veg broth if oil free)
- 3 leeks (green and white parts), washed
- 4 medium potatoes (any variety will do, I prefer russets), washed
- 5 cups vegetable broth or water
- salt and pepper to taste
- leafy greens such as kale, swiss chard, or collards (optional)
- Slice the leeks finely, about 1/8th of an inch.
- Cut the potatoes into a 1-inch dice.
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat for 30 seconds.
- Add the leeks and stir until to cover with the oil. Let cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
- Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for about 12-15 minutes, or until the potato pieces are fully cooked.
- Turn off the heat (if using leafy greens, stir them in now), then let cool for 5 minutes.
- Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as you desire.
- Using an immersion (stick) blender, blend as much or as little of the soup as you like.
- Serve hot and enjoy!