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  • Michelle

Back to Basics Seven - Potato and leek soup

My good buddy Jo, wife of Moon Brother, mother of Sam, has asked me to put up my potato soup recipe that I made for her last year when she was ill. Well, here it is, sort of. This is the soul of my potato soup recipe. You have probably figured out by now that I tend to use what I have, not quite sure what I had when Jo was sick last year, but let’s have a look at what I have now.

Hmm, okay, yes, remember our soup philosophy? To get a depth of flavour, we must add a range of flavours.

We can work with this. We have potatoes from the garden, a few different varieties, that is good, you know how when you buy a bag of potatoes they will say, good for chips, or baking, or mashing? Well that tells you a bit about what the potato is like, what qualities it has, here we have some floury white potatoes, they will give us a nice melting quality and provide some body to our soup, we have some red Desiree, these are a starchy potato, they will give us quite a clean flavour and will add a nice mouthfeel to our soup, and there are also a few kestrels in there, kestrels are a good all rounder and can bulk out our other potatoes. I also have two onions because you just know I am about to make enough soup to feed an extended Italian family, a leek because they go beautifully with potato, a whole lot of garlic, a parsnip for sweetness, a zucchini because they add a silken texture and a whole boatload of nutrition, honestly, why they are not considered a super food, I don’t know, a couple of stalks of celery for natural sodium and also for aromatics, zest of a lemon, again, aromatics, and some fresh chives and rosemary, again, they simply go with potatoes like ham and cheese. A tin of coconut cream in the pantry, some water in the tank. Yes, we can make a cracker of a soup out of this.

Ready Jo? Here we go.


Six to eight large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 zucchini, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 celery sticks, sliced

1 parsnip, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

2 onion, diced

1 leek, cut in half lengthwise, trim off the dark green, wash out the dirt (leeks always have dirt), slice

Zest of one lemon

I cup coconut cream

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Fresh chives, chopped

We start with our base flavours, onions and celery, into a large pot with the olive oil, simmer on a low heat until the onion is translucent and it is all fragrant, go slow, we need a delicate hand for this or the soup will be bitter.

Now add your aromatics. Rosemary, lemon zest, garlic, leek, in they go, sauté for a couple of minutes until it is all soft and fragrant.

It should look like this.

Now throw in our bulk, the potatoes, zucchini, parsnip, cover with water, we don’t want anything sticking out, turn up the heat, cook at a rolling simmer until it is all tender, check the parsnip, if it is soft everything else will be.

Remove from heat and purée with a stick blender until thick and smooth.

Stir in the coconut cream and chives, season to taste, pour into a bowl.

This is a base soup. If you want to add bacon, or sausage, or chorizo you can add it in at either the beginning if you don’t mind it puréed, I don’t like it like that, if I am to add that sort of thing I will cook it separately and add it after puréeing so it doesn’t leave little grainy bits of meat through the soup.

You could add a good tablespoon of curry powder with the leek.

You could top with a dollop of sour cream.

The world is your oyster, hey, you could add smoked oysters if you wanted to.


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