I’ll never forget the first time I tried potato leek soup.
I was 16 and staying at a friend’s house overnight. My friend’s mom was – and still is – a really great home cook, so I always knew that when we ventured into her kitchen for a late-night snack, I was in for something really, really good. On this particular night, my friend popped some popcorn, pulled out a roll of slice and bake cookie dough, preheated a pan and heated up the family’s dinner leftovers: The creamiest, most savory and delicious soup I’d ever tasted. “What IS this?” I asked, to which my friend nonchalantly replied, “potato leek soup!” It was absolute heaven.
More than 20 years later, I’ve been dreaming about comfort foods that can be made from semi-shelf-stable ingredients while my family and I are staying close to home because of the pandemic, and this soup immediately came to mind. After some trial and error, success! To me, it tastes just like the original, minus the butter and heavy cream. With a green salad and a crisp glass of white wine, it’s comfort in a bowl.
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- Small bowl
- Medium Glass bowl
- Immersion blender
- 3 large leeks, chopped
- 1 cup rice milk
- 5 tbsp Soy-Free Earth Balance, divided
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into one-inch pieces
- 6 cups chicken broth (my favorite is Kitchen Basics)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- snipped chives
- Roughly chop the white and light green parts of the leeks, placing them into a medium glass bowl. Cover the leeks with cold water and allow them to soak for 5 minutes, until the grit falls to the bottom. Remove the leeks to a towel and squeeze out as much water as you can.
- Melt 1 tbsp Earth Balance and combine with rice milk in a small bowl and set aside.*
- Melt the remaining 4 tbsp of Earth Balance over medium in a large stockpot. Add the leeks and garlic and cook until fragrant and soft but not brown, about 8 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, broth, bay leaf, dried thyme, salt and a couple of pinches of black pepper and bring the contents to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to medium-low and gently simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes break easily when pierced with a fork.
- Pull out the bay leaf, then puree the soup with an immersion blender right in the pot, or in batches in a blender or VitaMix; return to the pot. Add the rice milk and Earth Balance mixture, stir to combine and heat through. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with chives or more dried thyme.