Leek and Potato Soup

This recipe comes from James Barber's The Urban Peasant: More Than a Cookbook. He calls it comfort food, and I'd say that is damning it with faint praise: this is a really tasty recipe, expecially on cold and wet (or snowy) days. My sister is not a big onion fan, and was skeptical of the soup while it was cooking, as it produces a nice big leek aroma (similar to onion), but she thought it was great when it finally came time to eat it.

When I've made it, I've substitued frying a few slices of bacon (chopped up) in the pan first for the oil. I just leave the bacon in for the extra bit of flavour and protein. I also used chicken stock in place of half of the water (about three cups of stock) for added flavour.

Heat the oil and stir in the onion for two minutes. Add the leeks and stir another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, stir again. Add the pepper, salt, nutmeg and enough hot water to cover it all. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk or cream, stir well and serve immediately.

For elegance, put the soup through a blender or processor before adding the cream. If you want to be really fancy, process the finished soup very smooth, chill it and call it Vichyssoise.

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Leek and Potato Soup
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Brian Edmonds <brian@gweep.ca> February 22, 1998
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