Let’s pretend a recipe post is a totally appropriate return to the world of blogging.
I hate those blogs where people put the recipe at the very end, so here you go.
This recipe for Cheddar Potato Leek Soup scales up (or down, if you want a smaller batch) nicely.
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 2 lbs (0.9 kg) potatoes
- 3 medium leeks
- 1 lb cheddar cheese, as sharp as you like it
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoons ground pepper
- ½ cup fresh chives or green onions
- (optional) 1 teaspoon of a spice mix such as Old World
- (optional) 6-8 pieces of Viking Sea Salt (if you want a smoky, subtle bacon flavor)
- If you are making the vegetable broth from bouillon cubes, go ahead and start that now. Eight cups of water plus eight cubes should get you what you need. While that comes to a boil, get started on the rest of the prep.
- Chop the potatoes into one inch cubes. You can peel them or not as you like (I leave the skins on because I'm lazy and I don't like cutting out fiber or good nutrients. But mostly I'm lazy).
- Mince your garlic. I take the cloves, chop off the ends, remove the skins (press down on them with the flat side of a large knife and the skins should come off really quickly), then toss them into my mini-food processor. If you have to do it by hand, look at it as an opportunity to improve your knife skills. Set aside.
- Prep the leeks. Cut off the roots and then remove the stems from where the leaves start to split off and turn the leek green. Cut the white stem longways down the center then slice off ribbons across, about the width of a hair band . Once you've cut up the leeks into ribbons, dump them in a colander and rinse the heck out of them in the sink. Leeks get pretty dirty and this is the easiest way of cleaning them. Set aside momentarily.
- Put the oil in a pot (stockpot, spaghetti pot, whatever you've got) and heat it up over medium heat.
- Add the leeks to the oil and sautée them until they start to soften up. You'll know they're getting soft when they stop looking like half-moons and start to look like limp strands.
- Add the potatoes and garlic. Stir to combine.
- Your stock should be ready! Add the stock and the salt to the pot with the solid ingredients. Stir it a few times to make sure everything has integrated.
- Bring it to a boil, then drop the temperature down to a simmer and put a lid on it. It should take about 15 minutes to get the potatoes to where they are properly soft (you can check this by pressing a wooden spoon against a potato on the wall of the pot; if it smashes easily, it's ready).
- While the soup is cooking, shred the cheese (using a grater or a food processor, whatever works for you). Set aside. This is also a good opportunity to clean up in the kitchen and wash whatever you've already used.
- Once the potatoes mash easily, turn off the heat.
- Add pepper and any spices or herbs you may wish.
- BLEND. If you have an immersion blender, I highly recommend using that. If you have to use a regular blender, give the soup some time to cool before you add it to a blender. Either way, get your soup all blended up.
- Add the cheese and blend some more.
- If you had to use a counter top blender, transfer the soup back to the pot at this point.
- Chop up and add the scallions, mixing them in gently.
- You can half this recipe if you live alone; I wouldn't, though, since it's so tasty you'll be glad you made extra. This amount lasts my family less than 24 hours because we will straight up eat it for every meal until it is gone. We all think it goes particularly nicely with fresh bread, whether you tear off chunks to use for sops or just dump it right into a bread bowl.
- As it is, this soup is vegetarian. You can cut out the cheese and it becomes vegan.
- The “Viking Sea Salt” in question comes from Auntie Arwen’s. The price may seem excessive, but you only need a couple of grains of salt to impact flavor in a big way. It will last you.
- The “Old World” spice mix comes from Penzey’s Spices. I love it and put it on my fries, pretzels, and more!
My family loves this soup — it’s now on permanent rotation in our menu. I’m not even much of a fan of most soups but I can’t get enough of this one. Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you tried it.