I have discovered, at long last, the secret to super LEEKY potato soup!
I've been messing around with various potato soup recipes for years, trying to find a way to bring out the leek flavor in potato leek soup. Leeks and potatoes are meant to be together; they are match made in heaven. Though I craved the combination, every time I made potato leek soup, the flavor didn't seem to quite equal the heavenly leek smell that filled the kitchen while the soup cooked. Adding more leeks didn't really help. Not to mention, leeks are very expensive at the grocery store, and I haven't begun to grow my own (yet), so adding more leeks defeated the purpose of an affordable healthy meal.
What is the secret to LEEKY soup? Before adding all the soup ingredients, create a leek sauna. Sweat those babies, make them ooze out their wonderful flavors. It works like a charm, and creates a heavenly aroma in the kitchen while creating a perfect, leek-tastic soup.
My family loves this soup, and it disappears fast...but that lovely leek aroma lingers for hours. This version of potato leek soup is one of our standbys for a relatively quick, extremely delicious meal, especially in winter. Serve with a big green salad and fresh bread, and top your soup bowls with any toppings you love!
One of my new favorite tools in the kitchen: an immersion blender (blender stick). Mine came with a handy cup, perfect for pureeing some of the soup, a method handy for lots of soup recipes!
Click Here to see the one I have and love (affiliate link).
*bursting with leek flavor!
2 T. butter
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 leeks, white and light green parts washed, quartered and chopped
2.5 pounds potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch chunks (peeling absolutely optional...we LOVE the peels)
6 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 t. fresh thyme, chopped, or 1/4 t. dried thyme
1 t. salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, more to taste
1/2 c. plain or Greek yogurt, or sour cream
1. Melt butter in soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the leeks and the garlic, along with a tablespoon of water. Cover and cook until the leeks are tender and just starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Do NOT skip this step! Sweating the leeks and garlic adds tremendous flavor to this simple soup. Stir every five minutes while the leeks sweat to make sure they aren't sticking.
2. Stir in the broth, potatoes, bay leaf and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Remove bay leaf.
3. Ladle out 2-3 cups of the soup and use a blender to puree it with the yogurt or sour cream. I have found that blending this mixture separately creates a wonderfully creamy base with no small chunks of white (especially if you are using homemade yogurt like we do). My blender stick came with its own special mixing cup with serves the purpose very well, but this can be done with a blender, food processor, Magic Bullet, etc.
4. Pour the creamy blended base back into the soup pot, and stir. Taste for salt or pepper, then serve with whatever toppings you love; crackers, bacon, cheese, more yogurt or sour cream, onions. I prefer mine with LOTS of green onion! :)
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