Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Simple Potato and Leek Soup with Croutons

The weather in Melbourne has been cloudy and rainy for the past few weeks. It seems like summer will never come. The seedlings I planted a month ago have not grown. Not died, which is good, but not thrived. The good news is that it is still cold enough for soup! I bought some cheap leeks last week and decided it was about time to use them, so I made an easy potato and leek soup for dinner. Croutons are a yummy crunchy addition to the soup.

Ingredients for the soup:

  • 4-5 medium to large potatoes of your choice, diced
  • 2 leeks (white and light green bits), chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 5 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a sprinkle of dried mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper
  • dollop of sour cream 

Ingredients for the croutons:

  • 1 french baguette stick
  • olive oil
  • optional cheese (mozzarella Cheezly would work well)


First, warm up the oil in your pot and fry the onions until translucent. Crush the garlic into the pot and cook for another two minutes before chucking in the chopped leeks. (I usually cut the leek in half, and then cut each half in half and chop). Stir and cook the leeks until they are soft, then add your potatoes and stir for a couple more minutes. Add the stock. I used this one that my friends brought me from Sweden:


Add a bunch of salt and some pepper and the sprinkle of dried mixed herbs. Add the bay leaves and leave (!) to boil. While the soup is boiling away, you can work on the croutons. 


To make the croutons, first cut the baguette into slices about 1/4" thick. Lay them on a cooking sheet, drizzle with olive oil then use a kitchen brush to brush the oil over the whole slice. Put the cooking sheet into an oven heated to 180'C.


After the top is golden brown and crispy, turn them over and continue cooking until they are your desired crispiness. If you use cheese, sprinkle some grated cheese on the top in the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Once the potatoes in the soup are soft, taste the soup and adjust the salt/pepper as needed. Remove from heat for about 10-15 minutes to cool. Then use a stick blender to blend the soup to make it more creamy and thick. It's fine to leave some chunks of potato in there - it gives it texture. 

Serve with some croutons in the soup, a bit of sour cream in the centre, and sprinkle with pepper and thyme leaves.


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