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Friday, February 4, 2011

Leek and Potato Soup

Winter makes grocery shopping a little interesting. There isn't a whole lot in season in Washington. Arugula, kale, dandelion greens, mushrooms, and a few root vegetables may resemble something close to in season, but there isn't a whole lot growing without greenhouses. A lot of food is shipped into the area.

I walked through the grocery store the other day and the selection wasn't as vibrant as it is in the late spring, but there were some things that stood out. The garlic at PCC was finally plump and beautiful. Before this week, the garlic was small and a little hit or miss. The leeks looked pretty good so I grabbed them on a whim along with some potatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Soup has been something I crave a lot with the cold weather.

Some mushrooms are more flavorful than others, but most all are subtle. Crimini are only very slightly more earthy than button mushrooms and lend a bit of that flavor to soup. Most store bought stocks or boullion cubes have soy (even those with animal products). I didn't want to take the time to make a full vegetable stock (I had plans for the other ingredients in the fridge), so the mushrooms were a suitable substitute.

Leek and Potato Soup

4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 T olive oil
6-7 washed Crimini mushrooms, diced
1/2-3/4 c white wine
1/2 tsp salt
large pinch each of thyme, tarragon, and rosemary
2 leeks, sliced
1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes (1/2 ")
3-4 cups water
fresh ground pepper

Put a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. When the oil is warm and ready, add the mushrooms and garlic, stirring until the mushrooms absorb most of the oil and become softer.

Add the wine and let reduce to half its original amount and the add the leeks.

Keep stirring until the leeks wilt. I thought my pan was way too small and was amazed how much the leeks reduce.

Add the water and potatoes and bring to a boil. Check the potatoes after 10 minutes. Add fresh ground pepper to each serving.

This is a simple, mild soup that would do well as a side. I think next time I will try pan roasting the potatoes in the oven first next time with a little garlic and olive oil.

Tomorrow we are having some people over and I will be making a couple baked goods for Owen. Mom requested Ginger Cookies. I will also be making some blueberry pancakes in the morning with a blueberry sauce on top (you really can't have too much fruit). I'm personally allergic to blueberries, but I know my husband will enjoy them.


  1. I don't know how many times lately I've mentioned that I need to try using leeks. Mental note: MUST. TRY. LEEKS.

    So you can't eat blueberries at all? What about other berries?

  2. Strawberries, cranberries, and blueberries are out, but I still eat the really good berries like raspberries, marrionberries, boysenberries... :)

  3. I love potato and leek soup! I'm always intimidated by fresh leeks for fear of not cleaning them thoroughly and biting sand! lol

  4. I should have posted how I cleaned them! It works really well. I cut them into 1/2" rounds and the separate the rings. Then that goes into a big bath of water with a little bit of apple cider vinegar. The rings soaked in the bath while I got the rest of the ingredients chopped up and ready to go. By the time I lifted the leeks out of the water to rinse, there was a ton of sand on the bottom of the bowl :P You have a well founded fear - they are dirty!