What’s Cookin’ – Mashed Potato Leek Soup
This delicious leek and mashed potato soup is designed to highlight the delicate flavor of leeks. This easy- to-make comfort dish calls for just a handful of ingredients – a nourishing fall or winter meal that’s ideal for weeknight lunches or dinners. Leeks belong to the onion family (collectively known as the allium family) along with shallots, scallions, chives and garlic. They have a crunchy texture and subtly spicy, fresh flavor that tastes like a cross between white onions and scallions. Enjoy!
- 4-5 Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, peeled and roughly chopped into 1⁄2-inch cubes
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced in 1⁄4-inch slices and thoroughly washed
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- Kosher salt
- Fresh black or white pepper
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried lavender (optional)
- Dash of nutmeg
- 2 T flour*
- 6-7 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, more to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream or milk, to taste (or a mixture of Greek yogurt and milk)**
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Crumbled cooked bacon or Canadian bacon (turkey bacon or vegetarian bacon may be substituted)
Chopped scallions and chives
Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
Step 1: Combine the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and stir until the butter begins to bubble. Sauté the leeks and garlic together until they are softened.
Step 2: Add the onions and cook until onions are translucent (not browned). Add the salt, pepper, thyme, lavender and nutmeg and stir. Add the diced potatoes and toss, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes longer on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the flour and gradually whisk in the broth, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir and then simmer (uncovered) until the potatoes are softened.
Step 3: Add the cream (or milk) and cook a few minutes longer. Using a masher or an immersion blender, mash some of the potatoes, leaving some lumps if desired.
Step 4: Toss in half the parsley and adjust seasonings, adding more broth, cream (or milk) for the desired consistency. Cook on low heat (about 10 minutes), or until the potatoes are fully cooked and soup is blended.
Step 5: Garnish soup with crumbled bacon, parsley, scallions and chives. Soup may be topped with cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
*A cornstarch slurry may be used instead of flour. This is cornstarch mixed with cool water. In this form, cornstarch can be drizzled into soups and sauces for thickening without any powdery lumps forming.
**Greek yogurt is high in protein and can provide a healthy twist to your finished product by increasing the protein content. It’s thicker than heavy cream, but you can add milk to thin it out and achieve a texture similar to that of heavy cream. Blend together equal parts Greek yogurt and whole milk and use it in place of the same amount of heavy cream. For a vegan, dairy-free alternative to heavy cream, try mixing soy milk with a little olive oil.
Christine Vartanian Datian is a native of Fresno and a graduate of Fresno State University. She is a contributor to The Armenian Mirror-Spectator Newspaper in Watertown, Mass. Her recipes have appeared in Sunset Magazine, Cooking Light Magazine, The Fresno Bee, The Las Vegas Review-Journal and The New York Times.
LOVE OUR RECIPES?
Come into Enjoy the Store in Redding each month and ask for your FREE recipe card.