This authentic and satisfying Traditional Irish Leek and Potato Soup comes straight from the Irish countryside. Serve it with a drizzle of soured cream, some fresh snipped chives, and a big chunk of warm soda bread.
This traditional farmhouse recipe couldn’t be easier, or more satisfying. Soup is one of the most elemental forms of cooking, and there’s something about ladling out steaming bowls of soup to the family that is so gratifying. This one has no bells and whistles ~ it’s based on fresh, great quality ingredients, simply prepared.
Leeks and potatoes are a classic Irish pair. Both vegetables grow easily and plentifully in Irish soil, and they find their way into so many great recipes. Leeks can seem formidable when they’re raw from the supermarket, but once sliced and sauteed in butter they become meltingly tender and delicious. As for the potatoes, I use starchy russets (baking potatoes) because they provide the perfect ‘creamy’ texture to this soup without any cream.
TIP: Traditionally the Irish don’t cook with many herbs and spices and the flavors tend to be mild, so be sure to add enough salt and freshly cracked black pepper to your soup. If you’re so inclined, some crumbled crisp bacon or finely diced ham makes a great topping!
This Irish leek and potato soup is a true 30 minute meal ~ the vegetables are cooked just long enough to soften them, and then the soup is pureed and ready to serve.
You can process it to a super smooth or a chunky consistency. I learned an interesting thing making this soup, though…when you process cooked potatoes they develop a slightly ‘gluey’ texture. It has something to do with their starch molecules. You’ve probably experienced it if you’ve ever whipped potatoes in a processor, blender, or with electric beaters. Some people don’t mind this at all, and some find it not so nice. Anyway, one way around that is to puree everything except the potatoes. You can put the potatoes through a ricer and then mix them back into the soup, thus avoiding the problem.
TIP: The secret ingredient that gives my soup its appealing green color is a handful of garden peas, fresh or frozen. This is a little trick I learned back when I made my HAM AND PEA SOUP ~ that soup is a gorgeous green!
~Recipe adapted from Irish Pub Cooking
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 large leeks, trimmed, sliced, thoroughly rinsed, and dried
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- sour cream thinned with milk
- snipped chives
- Melt the butter in a large soup pot and saute the onion, leeks, and potato for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the stock to the pan and bring up to a simmer. Cover, turn down the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until everything is tender. Add the peas to the pot just long enough to defrost them.
- Working in 2 batches, process the soup until your desired consistency. It can be smooth, or chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve piping hot with a drizzle of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives.
- Be sure to remove the tough outer layers and ends off your leeks, and then, after slicing, immerse them in lots of cold water and separate the outer rings to release all the dirt and grit.
- Craving more traditional Irish grub? How about a Dublin Coddle, or a plate of Bangers and Mash?
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