I remember my first Leek and Potato soup vividly. Mum and I were in London, around the time our house flooded. We did the maths when I was home and I had always assumed I was 7 or 8, it turns out I was most likely 5 or 6, pre-baby sister. Mum took me to a place in Covent Garden – which I still find to be a pretty magical place, even now – and Leek and Potato was the soup of the day. I’ve loved it ever since.
MUM cooked a lot of Leek and Potato soup during my later years at school, in a variety of different ways, and I then went on to study in Glasgow – Leek and Potato soup is synonymous with Scotland. It’s also super easy, takes nothing to make it vegan and coeliac friendly and you can make it in bulk and store it in the freezer (three month rule) for a lazy day! I’m not 100% sure of quantities, but I’m guessing this batch would do a good 4-6 bowls depending how big a bowl of soup you like!
Butter or oil
Salt and Pepper
Nutmeg, whole or ground
*I use a ratio of 1:1, potato to leek.
- Wash and chop the leeks. How you do this is entirely up to you, but I like to score down the length of the leek, then slice into rounds. The scoring allows the leeks layers to separate easily in the pan.
- Put the butter or oil in a pan and heat gently before adding the leeks. The butter is the only ingredient that makes the recipe non-vegan. That said you don’t have to use butter at all, it’s entirely down to preference!
- While the leeks are cooking on the gentlest of heat – you don’t want them to burn – wash and chop the potatoes. I like to leave the skins on mine – it’s the best bit and gives a lovely texture and speckled colour to the soup – but feel free to peel your potatoes if you wish!
- If I’m cooking with butter, I like to add the copped potatoes to the leeks and coat them in the buttery goodness in the pan. If not I add the water straight after adding the potatoes.
- When adding the water I adhere to this simple principle: Add as much as you think you need, and then a little bit more. Now, of course we all know you should add cold water and bring it to the boil, but sometimes I cheat and add ready-boiled water. Either–or, choose your poison, just make sure you add enough so that there is no danger at all of it boiling off!
- When the water is boiling, throw in your stock cube of choice and a little salt and pepper. I generally prefer to use chicken stock cubes in everything and I’m currently using these Kallø ones (photos below) that I picked up back in the UK. My brother is coeliac, so mum is making sure that everything at home is gluten free so that whenever he’s home, there’s no risk of contamination! The vegetable ones are also vegan! If you make a small amount of soup, you may only need one stock cube.
- Cover and simmer till the potatoes are tender. This depends on the size of your potato chunks.
- Now there are two options. If I have made a small amount, or I don’t fancy getting the blender out, I will take a masher to the pan and mash away. This makes a watery, chunky soup ready for eating as-is. Sometimes I’m in the mood for that! If I make a big batch, I will get out the blender and blend the soup, three ladles at a time. This makes a thick soup that is ideal for freezing.
- If you’ve blended the soup, return it the the pan and heat gently, taste for seasoning and add more as desired, then transfer to a bowl or leave to cool before bagging it up for the freezer.
- When you soup is in it’s serving bowl, whether you chose to mash or blend, now it’s time for the piece de resistance: Nutmeg. Sprinkle a little nutmeg over the soup for that little hit of flavour that makes Leek & Potato soup so magical! To me, it just doesn’t taste right without it!