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During a recent cold snap, I decided to call on the Irish part of my roots and make some potato and leek soup for dinner. This rich, hearty soup is awesome served by itself, or with some Irish Soda Bread on the side. It’s wonderful on a winter day, it’s a natural choice on or around Saint Patrick’s Day, and it’s still great on a warm day–especially if you work in an over-air conditioned office! It’s also super simple to make–you’ll have dinner in less than an hour, start to finish.
Start by washing, quartering, and evenly slicing 8-9 medium sized red potatoes. You can use russets, but I prefer the red potatoes (and you don’t have to peel them!) Set those aside and grab three leeks, then slice those into rounds. Use both the white and the green parts. Fill a large bowl or pot with cold water and drop in the leeks. Use your fingers to separate the rings and let them sit in the water for five to ten minutes to let any dirt and grit that might be between the rings settle to the bottom. Drain and set aside.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, melt 1/2 cup of butter (I like unsalted, but that’s up to you) over medium heat. Add the leeks and potatoes and stir just to coat the vegetables, then cover and cook six to seven minutes to let the vegetables start to soften without browning them. Uncover, then add eight cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in two cups of half and half. You can serve the soup at this point, but I like it a little creamier. If you do as well, use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup. Don’t puree all of it–you want a thick, creamy texture, but with plenty of chunks of the potatoes and leeks.
We get approximately six to eight large servings out of this recipe, but we serve it as a main course with bread and/or salad. If you’re serving it as an appetizer, you’ll have lunch leftovers for days (which is a great thing, in this case!)
1/2 cup butter
8-9 medium red potatoes
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups half and half
salt and pepper to taste
Wash, quarter, and slice the potatoes and slice and wash the leeks. Melt the butter in a large soup pot and add the potatoes and leeks. Stir the vegetables, then cover the pot and cook 6-7 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the half and half. Serve as it is, or partially blend with an immersion blender to get a thicker consistency and creamier texture.
What are your favorite cold-weather meals? Comment below and let us know what you’d like to see in future posts!