The first day of March is St. David’s Day. As with many religious holidays around the world, there are certain symbols and images associated with each saint. St. David, the Patron Saint of Wales, is remembered with daffodils–the national flower of Wales. Moreover, leeks–the national symbol of Wales and the personal symbol of St. David–can be eaten in some dish in his honor. So, every year on the 1st of March, in honor of my husband’s name day, I always plan to cook something that highlights the leeks, a humble but delicious vegetable.
This leek and potato soup is one of those dishes that do not really require a formal recipe to prepare. Once you have on hand a bunch of leeks, a few potatoes, some stock and some cream, the soup comes together easily and without much fuss. The leeks need some time to clean thoroughly and prepare, but that is about the only step that needs some attention. An immersion blender helps purée the vegetables fast, but any blender will do the job. The recipe calls for cream, but even half and half will do in a pinch.
Leeks are one of my favorite vegetables; when they cook slowly, they caramelize and become incredibly sweet. I often use them instead of onions, as they render a milder flavor to stews and soups. A few favorite recipes with leeks in this blog’s archives attest to that: leek and spinach quiche, the leek, mushroom and goat cheese galette and of course the risotto Primavera. If you have never cooked with leeks, I urge you to give them a try as you will not be disappointed.
Have a great weekend everybody! And to use St. David’s well-known inspirational words, Be joyful and “do the little things.”
- 3-4 leeks, (about 1 lb. cleaned)
- 3 TBSP. butter
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups light or heavy cream
- ½ tsp. white pepper
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- --- fresh chives, minced for garnish
- Clean the leeks and remove most of their dark green parts, leaving about 1½” intact. Wash thoroughly and chop the leeks into small pieces.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped leeks, season with the salt and cook for about 5 minutes (the salt will help break down the leeks.) Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are soft and tender, approximately 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the diced potatoes along with the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and with the help of an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Stir in the cream, and add the white pepper and the extra salt. Taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with some minced chives and serve.