The word “leek” is just not as pretty as its French counterpart, which is “poireau,” and which is pronounced pwah-row. In fact, this staple of a soup is called “Soupe aux Poireaux” in French. Soup oh pwah-row.
Even the leeks themselves seem to be much larger than I remember them being in America. Right? Don’t you think?
Gargantuan. And don’t confuse them with spring onions because they are different. Leeks purportedly reduce cellulite, which might explain their prominent place in French cooking. Apart from having a place in many a soup, its very own “soupe aux poireaux,” there is even a quiche recipe with leeks in it that is served regularly. And kids eat it!
The soup couldn’t be easier to make and can be eaten as an entrée to the main course, or – more likely, when we’re talking about dinner – a main course in and of itself, eaten with baguette and followed by a modest cheese platter.
You’ll need 4 leeks, 3 potatoes, 3 small cloves of garlic, a beef bouillon cube (or vegetable if you want to keep it vegetarian). Peel the potatoes and cut in chunks. Slice and wash the leeks to remove all the sand, which is found in the dark green leaves at top. And . . . speaking of the dark green section, resist the urge to include too much of that in the soup. Although all that green is good for you, it adds a bitterness to the soup and the French generally avoid it.
Cover the leek and potatoes, the garlic and bouillon with 6 cups of water and add a half-tablespoon of sea salt.
Cook it until all the vegetables are tender – 45 minutes to an hour.
Blend it. If you make these purée soups often enough, it might be worth it to invest in an immersion blender. You don’t burn yourself and make a mess while trying to pour the mixture into your standing blender.
And then add the flavouring. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 heaping spoons of sour cream, and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper. Skip the pepper if you’re serving this for kids. Even that small amount adds a bite.
And then enjoy your warm, smooth, virtually guilt-free dinner!
It’s happiness in a bowl!
- 4 large leeks (or more smaller ones)
- 3 potatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 bouillon cube. Beef or vegetarian
- ½ tablespoon large grain sea salt
- 6 cups water
- 2 heaping tablespoons of sour cream or crème fraiche
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- Wash and slice leeks. Remove sand.
- Peel and slice potatoes in large chunks.
- Peel and add garlic, plus salt, bouillon and water.
- Cook 45-60 minutes.
- Blend, then add the nutmeg pepper and sour cream.
- Serve hot.