Leeks, with their mild onion-like flavor, are an important vegetable in many northern European cuisines. I’m still astonished by how much they’re overlooked in this neck of the wood and how many grocery store cashiers are unfamiliar with this veggie. Leeks and potato soup is easy to prepare and if you have never tried leeks, this should be your recipe to try. It is easy to make, quick, healthy and delicious too. It is light and creamy without using any cream. To round out your meal, serve with a piece of hearty, whole-grain bread and a salad.
My mom favored leek and ground beef soup, and German’s prefer them in a béchamel sauce as a side dish but I also like to substitute leeks for onions quite often like in this recipe. Paired with pancetta and caramelized it gives a perfect topping. In Turkey, I hear, leeks are stuffed with meat or rice. That is really ambitious even for Bosnians who are known for stuffing every possible veggie and then some- #everythinggetsstuffed, #everythingstuffedwitheverything.
3 large Leeks
4 large Potatoes, diced
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, minced
½ teaspoon Marjoram
½ teaspoon Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
½ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (or more to taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Trim and discard the roots of leeks. Cut off and discard the dark green leaves an inch or so above the white part of stalk. Cut leeks lengthwise, separate and wash thoroughly, then slice into ½ inch pieces.
In a pan, over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and garlic until garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Add leeks, red pepper flakes and bay leaf and cook for 10 minutes. Do not brown the leeks. Add potatoes, broth, marjoram, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor), blend soup until smooth. I like leaving few chunks for a nice texture, otherwise I feel like I’m eating baby food.
To round out your meal, serve with a piece of hearty, whole-grain bread and a salad.