20 July 2014

Leek & Potato Soup

It’s winter here & oh boy has it been chilly, well chilly for us Aucklanders. We’re not so hardy & any days that don’t reach double digits are deemed freezing & this week we have been down to 2s, 3s & 4s!  Chilly indeed but a great excuse to rug up with jumpers, scarves & gloves.

The cold weather & a bunch of leeks led to this soup & warming me up over a few lunches this past week.

Good fresh leeks will have bright white root & dirt attached, they should after all just have come out the ground! Cut off the the roots & just give the leeks a good wash to get rid of any sand & dirt. Don’t throw the roots way, add them to some stock & they’ll in turn add some flavour.

Friends of the leek: butter, olive oil, cream, creme fraiche, Parmesan, goat cheese, Gruyere, cheddar, eggs, capers, olives, mustard, lemon, thyme, parsley, potatoes, fennel.

Leek & Potato Soup

Based on Heston’s with slightly less exactness with the measurements it’s soup after all!  Plus I think his leeks must be way smaller than ours here in NZ!  He suggest 750g is approx. 15 leeks!  Here 15 leeks would be a proverbial leek mountain & more in the vicinity of 2-3 kgs of leeks!!

My new favourite gadget is my mandolin.  If you have one use it to speedily & perfectly thinly slice those potatoes, onions & leeks.  Just be careful of fingers!

Serves 6


2 medium waxy potatoes, peeled & finely sliced*
120g unsalted butter
2 medium onions, finely sliced
4 leeks, washed to remove any dirt & thinly sliced
1 bouquet garnet**
1 ltr vegetable or chicken stock, homemade or good quality low sodium store bought stock
100 ml double cream
50 ml trim / semi-skimmed milk
Chives & creme fraiche to serve

*Rinse the potatoes under cold water to remove the starch & you’ll avoid gluggy gluey soup.

**Bouquet garnet; a few sprigs of thyme, celery leaves & parsley tied together with a strip of leak or some kitchen string. (Just not blue string a la Bridget Jones if you wish to avoid bright blue soup!)


Melt the butter in a large saucepan & add the potatoes & onions.  Sweat them over a medium high heat for 10 minutes. Add the leek* & cook for 5 minutes more.

Add the bouquet garnet & the warmed stock, bring to the boil & reduce to a simmer.  Add the cream & the milk & simmer for 10 minutes more until the potatoes are tender.

Remove the bouquet garnet & liquidize the soup in a blender or with a hand blender. If you want super super smooth soup you can then pass the soup through a very fine sieve. If the soup is too thick just add a little more stock. Taste & season with salt & taste until you have it as you like it. I found it took a good few pinches of salt, but then I love salt!

*Heston’s tip: the leeks add the flavour to this soup but if you cook them for longer then 10 minutes they will lose colour & flavour. So slice them as thinly as possible to cook them as quickly as possible to hold on to all that flavour.

Pour in to bowls, add a dollop of creme fraiche & scatter over a few chopped chives & serve.  Crusty bread slathered in butter on the side would not go amiss.

This feels like quite a decadent soup, the cream just adding a wonderful level of velvety silky luxuriousness. It’s a bowl of indulgence, yet packed with vegetables & perfect for warming you on a particularly chilly Winter’s day.



  1. Oh, I love soup - should make some today - it is so cold and drizzly here in Hawke's Bay!

    1. Hi Rachel, so wet here…perfect day for soup making :)

  2. definitely so perfect for this winter weather were experiencing here in australia at the moment.. i think i know what im making for dinner tonight!

    1. Thanks Thalia, Winter even in Australia?? Warmer here now but still very very wet so still very much soup making weather 😊 I hope you enjoy the soup.

  3. It's been a delight to walk around Auckland with no coat, scarf or hat. I take your point though about wintery weather and how soups are perfect for this time of year.

    1. Hi Julie, you wouldn't be so lucky today….wet & well wet! But perfect excuse to hang out in the kitchen all day :)

  4. Leek & potato soup is one of my favourites - there;s something so very comforting about it. Heston's 15 leeks did make me smile - you're right - the kind of leeks here really would make a mountain.

    1. Hahaha I know right? He must have teeny weeny leeks! I must say I am loving his book Heston At Home….a veritable fountain of information. :)

  5. Just made myself some leek, potato & lentil soup today but this silky, creamy one looks like so sophisticated compared to my rustic.

    1. Thanks Lesley, I like this one but you can't beat rustic, I kind of think that's really how soup should be.


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