I have been making potato-leek soup for years; I favor a very simple version made with just a few ingredients because I often have them on hand, and it’s an easy one to throw together. This is a true illustration of the point that a few flavorful, good ingredients can be perfection without a lot of bells and whistles. Most often, I puree this soup, vichyssoise-style, but this time I mashed it by hand and left some larger pieces of potato, and it was terrific. Rich and creamy like you expect from a good potato-leek soup with just a bit of texture; I swear it was more filling than a smooth version. 🙂 If you don’t make many soups, potato-leek just might be the jumping-off point you’ve been looking for: so easy and so versatile, elegant or rustic depending on your mood. Feel free to puree this recipe if you prefer to make a silky vichyssoise, and serve it hot or cold. You really can’t go wrong!
Rustic Potato-Leek Soup
- 3 T. butter, divided
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed well and sliced thinly (3-4 c. of sliced leeks)
- 1 lb. red potatoes, as “new” as you can get*, cut in 1″ cubes
- 4 c. broth, chicken or vegetable
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/3 c. cream
- 1/2 – 1 tsp. kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil; add the sliced leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they wilt and start to become golden, about 5 mins. Add the potatoes and stir to coat them with oil/butter; cook for about 2-3 mins. Add the thyme to your pan, stir to incorporate, and then add the stock; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer gently for 20 mins. or until the potatoes are cooked through. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until the soup thickens and reaches the texture you like; I like mine fairly smooth with potato pieces no larger than a pea. Add the remaining 1 T. of butter and the cream and stir; heat the mixture through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the soup is thicker than you like, adjust it by adding more broth or cream, 1/4 c. at a time, stirring between additions until you are satisfied. Serve with a crisp salad and/or crusty bread.
*Using red potatoes with very thin skin, I didn’t even bother to peel them, though you can if your potatoes have a thicker skin, or if peeled is your preference.