Leek, Potato and Roasted Garlic Soup

Leek and potato soup is a classic and with good reason; add roasted garlic & the result is magical!

Leek season is nearly over so make the most of the next few weeks and make this delicious soup whilst you still can. It makes a great starter in small portions or a substantial main with larger servings served with bread.

The recipe is inspired by about 4 or 5 different leek and potato recipes I’ve found online over the years and the addition of roasted garlic is due to the fact I basically live for the stuff. I haven’t cited every source because quite frankly it’s been so long in the making the recipes are all scribbled over and amended so it would be really hard to pinpoint – a google search should help if you’re looking for a good basic.

Makes: 4-6 servings depending on how generous you are
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours (including roasting the garlic)

Utensils
Sharp knife
Potato peeler
Large saucepan
Wooden spoon
Hand blender

Ingredients
Drizzle of olive oil
1 head of garlic
Knob of butter
2 leeks
4 large potatoes (I like the red ones)
250ml chicken or vegetable stock (I use chicken)
Glass white wine (I like McGuigan Estate Chardonnay – I guess the measure is about 270ml)
150ml creme fraiche
Salt
Black pepper

Method

1. Chop the top off the head of garlic and drizzle it with olive oil. Wrap in tin foil and place on a baking tray before roasting at 200 degrees for 50 minutes. Once the garlic has cooled squeeze the cloves out of their skins. I prefer this to adding the garlic “raw” to the mixture as it adds a sweetness that I can only find with roasted garlic.

2. Peel your potatoes and cut into thin slices. Chop your leeks into thin slices.

3. Heat a large saucepan on a medium heat, once it’s scorching hot chuck in a knob of butter and let it melt before adding in your leeks and potatoes. Cook for ten minutes, stirring regularly.

4. Add your roasted garlic, chicken stock, white wine and a good sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30/40 minutes.

5. Once your potatoes are soft enough to fall apart, remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender until your desired consistency is reached, I like my soup perfectly smooth so this can take a while. Add in your creme fraiche and blend again until creamy, if you want the soup to be thinner add in more wine (or stock but I like wine) and blend again. I like my soup thick and creamy so I rarely add more.

6. Add more salt and pepper to taste, I add quite a lot of black pepper, before ladling into bowls and serving immediately.

Try and leave as much of the garlic head as you can when you chop the top off as it makes for a more flavourful soup. If you’re not a garlic fan, use half a head or omit completely.

I start peeling and chopping as soon as my garlic goes into the oven: nothing bores me more than peeling and chopping potatoes. I can’t be the only person that ends up with hand cramp as a result?!

To paraphrase the movie Jaws! “We’re going to need a bigger pan..!” Use the largest saucepan you have, there’s a lot of potatoes in there.

Once your potatoes and leeks have softened they will have reduced quite a bit – add your liquids, salt and pepper and wait for the magic to happen.

I treated myself to this Andrew James hand blender for Christmas – 25 going on 50!

Once you’ve blended and added your creme fraiche pour into a bowl and add, you’ve guessed it, more creme fraiche! NB – apologies for the dessert spoon, I don’t appear to own soup spoons but they all do the same job…

The soup can be frozen and will keep for 3 months if frozen, if kept in the fridge the soup will last up to three days.

Victoria 

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