When leeks come into season in the fall, you’ll generally find them at their freshest and cheapest. With the cooler weather, most appetites will welcome a hearty soup like this one.
The Leek in Welsh Culture
The red dragon is a well known symbol of Wales, but did you know that Wales has another national sympbol? Like the English rose, Scotch thistle or Canadian maple leaf, there is the Welsh leek. The country’s climate and soil are perfect for growing this vegetabe. For centuries, the Welsh have proudly worn the leek emblem on St. David’s day. This tradition likely dates to a decisive battle between the Welsh and the Saxons. According to legend, King Cadwaladr of Gwynedd required his troops to identify themselves by wearing a leek on their helmets. To this day, the leek can be found on the cap badge of the Welsh Guard.
How to prepare the leeks
Leeks have to be thoroughly rinsed to remove the grit that can get between the layers of the bulb. Chop off the dark green part since it is too woody to eat. Also, remove the root base. Cut off the tops right at the end of the light green part where the rings are still fairly tight together. Next, slice lengthwise to fan out the layers. Spread open the layers under running water and rinse well. Chop up the leaks into 1 inch sections and toss into the soup pot.
A big bowl of warm leek and potato soup is perfect for lunch on a cool day. Serve it with some crusty bread and you’ll find it plenty filling. For something different, top your bowl with some chopped bacon and croutons. To make this a vegetarian soup, use vegetable broth instead of chicken. If you’re serving it as the soup course during diner, consider smaller portions. Use chives to garnish as the mild onion flavour really compliments this hearty and smooth soup.
Leek & Potato Soup
- 4 medium leeks rinsed well and chopped
- 3 medium white potatoes peeled and diced
- 3 tbsp butter
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup cream (10% milk fat)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh parsley stems removed
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp thyme
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- In a large stock pot, sauté the leeks in butter until tender.
- Add all the other ingredients to the pot, except the cream. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Add in batches to a blender and transfer to another pot or container.
- Reheat, stir in the cream and adjust seasonings if needed and serve
NutritionPer serving Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Iron: 2mg
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