Updated: Jan 9
I'm a big lover of soups any time of the year enjoying different types from chunky looking stews to silky creamy ones and everything in between. I grew up eating broth-based (real broth) soups every day, but over the years I developed a taste for a larger variety of soups and therefore consistently try new types.
The soup recipe I offer you today is an all-time comfort food and can suit vegetarians as well. It's flavorful and light especially if you are using milk instead of cream, which I often do. This soup has a few simple ingredients but contains lots of flavors. I'd like to mention that not only in this soup, but in all my cooking, I never use and never will use the "spices" that will trick your brain encouraging you to crave and eat more than is necessary such as chicken base, bouillons cubes, seasoned salts like Mrs. Dash, Lawry's etc. Cardboard packaged broths are not my thing. Even though the food engineers are doing an amazing job to create flavors that are not real, my cooking practice is the old-world-style using traditional methods, amazing flavors, and is very healthy. You won't ever see me opening a can of premade soup!
This year for my husband's birthday dinner I decided to do an Irish style meal. He is half- Irish and loves Irish food so and I cook this type of cuisine often. For the starter of the dinner party, I made a classic but simple super delicious leek and potato soup.
What broth do I need to make this soup?
Good news: You don't need to make stock ahead of time or run to the store for a carton of that terrible liquid that most people call "chicken stock".
I'm using 3 basic and classic ingredients (onions, carrots, and celery) to create instant quick vegetable broth while working on the rest of the prep for the soup.
What are leeks and why should you eat this onion more often?
The leek is a sister plant to onion and garlic, and like those incredible nutrient-rich foods, leeks offer a whole host of health benefits. They are high in prebiotic inulin fiber and vitamins A, C, and K. Leeks promote healthy gut bacteria and help in the breakdown of fat. They contain a good amount of folate in each serving, which has long been known to be a key component of a healthy pregnancy. The sulfur-containing compounds in leeks may also naturally reduce bad cholesterol levels, which is especially important if you’re at risk for heart disease.
These crunchy, firm veggies have a mild taste that is very similar to onions and can be used in any recipe that you cook. In my kitchen I use them in so many ways, like a topping for pizza, a base for some sauces, making puree and adding them to to mashed potatoes, etc. A while ago I posted recipe where I used leeks, please check it out here Inna's Savory Winter Soup with Beef Stock.
Notes how to clean leeks?
When it's comes to cleaning leeks the process can be tricky since leeks grow in sandy soil and they naturally trap a lot of dirt.
First, cut the root from the leek, the white part with only a little light green color, and discard everything else.
Then, slice lengthwise.
After chopping the leeks, put them in a bowl of cold running water and use your hands to agitate the water and remove any additional dirt.
Why did I use white pepper in this recipe?
I have probably mentioned many times through my blog that I'm a big lover of spices. Real spices have amazing health properties and help transfer the most boring food items into something delectable. I own many spices and I generally make all my spice mixes. But for those who like to keep a simple pantry and if white pepper is not something you have, please don't feel like this ingredient is a must-have. Instead substitute with black pepper and use freshly ground of course!
Black pepper and white pepper come from the same plant, and I believe it's the king of all spices.
The only difference between the two is that white pepper is made from nearly ripe peppercorns that have had the skin removed. White pepper is rich in antioxidants and contains several important micronutrients such as manganese, fiber and iron. It’s also loaded with piperine, an alkaloid that has been linked to a long list of health-promoting properties. White pepper not only can provide interesting flavor to your favorite dishes, but it may also help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and keep your digestive system running smoothly.
I love to use it in light-colored dishes, like polenta, scallops, goat cheese, and chicken. It's a more delicate flavor and less punchy. One drawback is that white pepper can stale quickly, so don't buy it in a large quantity: A little white pepper can go a long way.
Let's do it...
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Autor: Inna of innichkachef.com
Serves: 6 generous portions
Ingredients for the vegetable broth
1 large onion
1 stick of celery
1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
11/2 teaspoon of Celtic salt
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Ingredients for the soup
4 medium size Yukon Gold potatoes
1 cup frozen peas
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of dry thyme
1-2 teaspoon Celtic salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground white peppercorns
1 cup of heavy cream or milk
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
1-2 Tablespoons of white vinegar (optional to use and in the video, I used French tarragon white vinegar)
Garnish for the soup
Creme Fraiche or sour cream
Crostini or bread
1. To make the vegetable broth, cut all veggies in chunks and add to the pot along with the salt, black peppercorns, and red pepper flakes.
2. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a simmer.
3. Meanwhile, chop the leeks and wash very well under running water, see notes above how to do it.
4. In another pot with a heavy bottom add butter, olive oil, leeks, salt, and thyme. Let cook on low-medium heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until leeks are soft and almost a paste texture.
5. Add the peeled and chopped potatoes, and peas. Next pour the vegetable broth through a sieve and discard the vegetable using only the liquid.
6. Cover the pot and let cook for 10 minutes on low heat until the potatoes cooked completely.
7. Then using immersion blender, blend the soup until it has a completely silky-smooth consistency. Add cream or milk and simmer for a few more minutes.
8. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, freshly ground white pepper, and white vinegar (which is optional).
9. Serve immediately with garnish of your choice.