The key to a great tasting leek and potato soup is, in my opinion, butter. As soon as you go down the route of frying the onions in oil, you’ve missed out on that beautiful creamy, indulgent feel to the soup, and quite frankly, no one wants a leek and potato to be too watery, do they?
So what I do is this:
Melt some butter – I don’t want to dictate amounts, but if you’re using 2 leeks and 4 potatoes may I suggest about 30g of butter?
Gently chop into small bits and fry a small to medium sized white onion, until translucent.
Add the washed and sliced leeks, salt and coarse black pepper. Let them all hang out together for a few minutes.
Now then, the potatoes. I like to keep the potato skins on, as I think they add a little more texture to the soup, especially if, like me, you whizz the soup up a little. However, it is personal preference only, and if you cannot abide the thought of potato skins in your soup, then just peel them. Honestly, no one is judging you, and quite frankly, it’s your soup. You are quite entitled to do with your potatoes what you want.
That’s the beauty of making soup. Everything in recipes are guidelines only, for soup. I remember having a lightbulb moment a few years ago when I realised that, having tweaked a recipe to my own taste, I could write my changes actually on the book itself. Until then, for some reason, I had only, inadvertently, splattered the pages with food. Of course, once I realised I could write in the book, I had to hold myself back from ‘over doodling’. I must say I did experience an unusually satisfactory sense of freedom.
Back to the soup.
Cut and dice some potatoes, and throw them into the pan. Stir it all around so that everything is covered in butter. Just a little tip here. If you have the heat up too high, you won’t get the natural juices oozing out of the vegetables. Instead they will start to fry, which is not what you want. If this happens, take the pan off the heat, turn the heat down, and pop the pan back on when it’s cooled down a little. It is at this point that you could, if you fancy, add a little more butter, or a splash of water, but don’t do this whilst the pan is still on the heat as it won’t have the desired effect.
After a few minutes, add some boiling water and a vegetable stock cube. I add enough water to cover the vegetables, and then the same amount again, once again, this is, I believe, a personal thing. My suggestion is, add less water to start, as you can always add more later.
Let the whole thing simmer for about 20 minutes.
Take off the heat and let it cool for a wee while. Have a cheekie taste to see if it needs any more salt and pepper. I like my soups to have quite a peppery taste, but you may not. It is at this point that you can either serve with some lovely warm bread, or whizz up and serve, with some lovely warm bread.
Just a last little note. If you let this soup cook for too long, I think it start to lose it’s fresh flavour, therefore don’t be tempted to whip round with the hoover whilst it’s all simmering as, chances are, you may well forget your soup is simmering until it has gone past it’s best. And there is nothing worse than a soup that tastes of yesterday’s cabbage.