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Potato Leek Soup--it really is that simple

We bought a leek and had some potatoes. After reading various pros/cons about ingredients, I thinly sliced the leek (rinsing after each cup full just in case), 4 small potatoes (1:1 ratio, maybe slightly more potato), and added those with a small handful (2T?) of sea salt with enough water to cover +2" into the crock pot. Set at high for 3 hours (the same amount of time the roast needed to be done). Unplugged the crock pot and plugged in the hand blender; pureed the whole thing. It was beautiful. 3 ingredients, 4 if you include water.

No need for extra pepper, or anything else for that matter. Not even bread.

Hot, warming, soothing. Perfect even as a midnight snack.

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  1. That sounds wonderful. What kind of potatoes did you use?

    2 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      Plain small white potatoes from the farm market (slightly sweet, starchy variety).

      We were tempted to add chicken stock, fresh garlic, peppers...but decided to try it simply this time, knowing we could doctor it up at serving time!

      1. re: Caralien

        Try adding a can of artichoke hearts next time, I know it sounds weird but it really makes it elegant.

    2. I usually add chicken stock instead of water, butter and a wee bit of garlic to the mix. If you like any potato leek soup by itself. Then it is heaven on earth searved with soda bread and butter!

      But yes Caralien, it is that simple. Remember, KISS (keep it simple s*****) is often the better way of doing things in the kitchen.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bigfellow

        Julia Child only used water, and I prefer tasting the potatoes and leeks.

        1. re: Stuffed Monkey

          Well, I'm not JC by any means. But this soup is a staple where I come from. I make it myself at least once a week. ( I work in the industry) I still taste the potatos and the leeks using the above ingredients.
          But to each their own.

          I tend to use russetts or even yukon golds in North America.

          1. re: bigfellow

            I like a combo of milk and chicken stock. And I can still taste the potatoes and leeks.

      2. To second Bigfellow's KISS - lots of veggies cooked plainly make awesome soups. A head of cauliflower can go from the frig to table in 20 mins as a soup. Serve with cheddar cheese and coarsely ground pepper and salt. Beets and squash are equally easy and nummy. Veggies served as soup with simple/few ingredients seem to bring out the very best of their flavor IMHO.

        2 Replies
        1. re: alwayscooking

          I completely agree. When it comes to the strong Vitamin A vegs (pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes), I will definitely use chicken broth and spices such as ginger or habaneros, but with milder vegetables such as cauliflower or broccoli, it's refreshing to know that 3-4 ingredients work so well!

          (I generally add garlic & chiles to most of my dishes, and should probably try garlic soup next if it weren't for the crazy weather; while I'm not prone to garlic stink, it's not the best thing to have when working with others!)

          1. re: Caralien

            Try mushroom garlic or potato garlic soups. Remember that it doesn't have to reek of garlic. In my potato leek soup, I use garlic as more of a counterpoint.

            Good luck and enjoy!

        2. I made a potato leek pureed soup last fall, it was fairly close to your recipe, only I didn't use a crockpot. I used about 3 large baking size russets, 1 leek, home made chicken stock, garlic, cream, butter, vermouith, salt and white pepper. Pureed and adjusted the seasonings. For me the homemade stock was key. The color is absolutely beautiful as well.

          5 Replies
          1. re: chef chicklet

            Any ideas for a potato-cabbage combo to make it more interesting?

            1. re: Sarah

              what is the base of the soup? cream, broth? or do you love cabbage and potatoes any way they're made?

              1. re: chef chicklet

                I start w/ cooking chp onions, garlic, then add diced potatoes and cabbage and water or chicken broth and simmer ... gets kinda boring. Thought of adding carrots, celery, etc. No cream please.

                1. re: Sarah

                  so Its a brothy veggie soup, using just those few veggies... and of course adding carrots, celery, you're on your way to a garden veggie soup.

                  I have a few tricks that I like to do to jazz up soups. I like to add an herb pesto. Most of the time I have cilantro, scallion, garlic, basil, and mint. I whirl those in a blender and jar it. I'll add a nice dollop to the top of a soup, or get fancy and use a squirt bottle. But it will add a lot of flavor.
                  If you want something with texture, add a bag of frozen white or yellow corn. Or add a stalk of celery to the cabbge, onion, tator mix and puree dor a creamy version, add the corn, and or shred some cheddar cheese and or sour cream, sprikle with chives. Unless of course this is a diet soup, and even then the little bit of cheeses would not be that big of a deal.

                  Another change is Chinese cabbage and ham soup, you could leave the potatoes, add the ham, add a tsp of sesamee oil, soy sauce.
                  Hope you get some inspiration from those ideas, good luck!

              2. re: Sarah

                Pancetta is great as a topping or in the soup along with some parsnips, makes a good tangy flavor

            2. Inspired by this thread- and the fact that I had two leftover leeks in the 'fridge, I just made some. I put the leeks, 4 very small russet potatoes, some leftover cartons of chicken stock, and about a cup of cream- also left over!

              Turned out great! I also added some salt and pepper and grated nutmeg at the end...

              1 Reply
              1. i have this soup "base" in my fridge (to add half and half on heating, or just before serving at chilly room temp): onions, cabbage, yukon golds, chicken broth.....salt, white pepper and thyme. i eat it cold or hot....

                i wonder how else i could use this base, which is about the consistency of hollandaise. any ideas? a soufflé? a savory custard? anyone?.....

                1. Hi C. Potatoes in chunks? What size? Going to make later. Thanks

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: c oliver

                    I quarted and sliced the potatoes (1/8" slices) so they would at a similar rate to the leeks. If I made it on the stove, would likely cube the potatoes, wait until they were 50-75% ready before adding the leeks to prevent bitterness. The potatoes were small (2"x3"x2"). I scrubbed and kept the peel on, but for a prettier presentation would peel first.

                    1. re: Caralien

                      Thanks. No, I'm going to do in the slow cooker. Feelling flu-ish today so don't want to 'tend' anything.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        No problem! I hope you feel better soon!

                        1. re: Caralien

                          Hello again :) Forgot to ask, how much of the green of the leek, if any, do you use? Tks again.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            No problem.
                            I sliced most of the leek, omitting the dried out parts (ripped off and tossed). After slicing to 1" of the green, I separated the greens and brushed them with my fingers under running water to get rid of all of the remaining dirt before slicing those finely and adding to the pot. If you're pressed for time, boil water and use that instead of cold water, to speed up the cooking process.

                            1. re: Caralien

                              Well, I just "made" soup!!!! Should be ready by dinnertime. Yay and thanks, Caralien

                  2. Ah, what a lovely soup. Just essence of leek and potato, isn't it? I'll fess up and say that I added a couple of T of heavy cream that had been languishing in the fridge for too long. A little cream never hurt anything, huh? Thanks for this idea.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: c oliver

                      glad to hear it worked for you! I hope you're feeling better!

                    2. This is exactly how I make this soup, and it is fantastic--and so easy. I add a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it the slightest warmth on the tongue, which I love.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: aravenel

                        Ah, might have to add a little cayenne.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          I do Tabasco, it really adds something. Actually got the recipe from the Tabasco Cookbook, with the artichoke addition.

                          1. re: coll

                            Of my Tobasco's and other pepper sauces, I have some Chipotle T. Think I'll try a little.

                      2. I made something like this in yesterday's cooking extravaganza, but since green garlic is in season it was 2 onions, 1 lb green garlic trimmed, 1/2 lb new potato peeled, 1/2" cubes, 1-1/2 quarts chx stock, butter. Smelled heavenly!

                        1. For an alternate flavor profile, add some dill seed a the start. Got my recipe from Anna Thomas' Vegetarian Epicure. Soooo good.

                          1. i am so with you on this... except i sautee the potatoes and leeks in butter before adding the water. i have tried lots of different ways and the simplest is the best!

                            1. I was at the grocery today and mentioned this to the checker. She fixes potato leek soup but nothing this easy. She's going to try it also. Yay.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: c oliver

                                great! I was so surprised that it was so good--and simple.

                                These days, I'm trying to prepare foods with as few ingredients as possible to get the true flavour of the ingredients instead of a mush of everything (good too, btw).

                                1. re: Caralien

                                  Apologies if this has been posted.. I am sneaking in here between sightings of El Boss...

                                  Apply your KISS method to pumpkin.

                                  Roast it (skin on)

                                  Skin it.

                                  Puree it.

                                  Thin with water/stock.

                                  You can phuff it all out with nutmeg and cream and the like.

                                  But this is the way I like it.

                                  Works great for kumara.sweet potato, too.

                                  And a 1/2 1/2 combo of both is pretty awesome!

                                  1. re: purple goddess

                                    I so much wish I liked the sweet bright orange squashes/gourds, sweet potatoes, yams, and carrots! I always have to cut it with spices and (home made) chicken stock, as otherwise it's too strong for me. I seem to have a sensitivity to Vitamin A (that's what I call the common flavour of bright orange vegs). I'll try this for my inlaws next winter season, as there are so many locally available pumpkins and the like!

                                    1. re: Caralien

                                      With squash and sweet pototoes , I have a flavor-trinity; lime juice, hot sauce, maple syrup. I love it, and it makes my husband , who is not a huge fan of those veggies, like it too!

                                      1. re: danna

                                        Now doesn't that sound good? I'm not as averse as Caralien but they're not the first things I turn to. I'll try that combo. The dearth of vegetables in the winter does make me want to branch out. Thanks for sharing that.

                              2. Other than a little garlic which I like and a garnish of a baguette and parsley, nothing more. I do use chicken stock, but not necessary, I just prefer it.

                                Yes it is a great soup.

                                1. A little cream at the end makes it nice and creamy if you like that. I do it both ways. I just a little heavy cream

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: kchurchill5

                                    I think I mentioned above (?) that I did add a little cream. I had maybe two tablespoons that had been in the fridge for several weeks (I love how long it lasts).

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      I missed sorry, yep, I love a little to if I have it. Just a nice cream without too much or overpowering.

                                  2. Never! I remain simply a home cook. I tried the same with onions and olive oil; reducing for 8 hours, adding salt and water, and it's meh (even took photos before and afterwards hoping for something amazing!). Added toasted rounds, both aged asiago and jarlsberg...lots of pepper...a few more additions of salt...it's still, meh. Considering the 5 minutes (and lots of tears and "quiet!") it took to slice 4 quarts of onions, I am so disappointed. Still working on the lazy person's guide to good home cooking...I remain your humble peasant cook...

                                    1. Cooks Illustrated Best of Cookbook has a great recipe also for "rustic" potato leek soup, which is not pureed. It's delicious, very simple as well. They also have a great easy tip for cleaning leeks--cut them from the top down (little slits), then swish them up and down in a bowl of water like a dishwashing brush (hard to explain without seeing picture.) Works like a charm.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: sibaik

                                        I usually just put the leeks in water for 15 minutes or so, and the dirt mostly comes out by itself. But I will try this swishing idea, sounds like it would work great.

                                      2. I'm a big potato leek fan. I usually mix water and chicken broth but, if I can get it, I add snipped fresh dill right before I serve. It's great. The artichoke addition sounds greeat to me... I think I'll try it next time. Also, I'm kind of orange squash averse and the idea of lime, hot sauce and maple syrup sounds worth a try since my husband really likes these veggies and I seldom cook them outside of the holiday season.