This Hearty Irish Potato + Leek Soup is a classic Irish recipe…and it tastes especially good on a cold winter day!
I don’t know about you, but I think it’s still soup season. Here in upstate New York, the weather has gotten a bit warmer lately, but the nights are still quite chilly. And nothing warms you up like a hot bowl of hearty soup on a cold night! Since St. Patrick’s Day is drawing close, it’s a perfect excuse for making a Potato + Leek Soup. This is a rich and hearty soup that is certain to become a family favorite…and it’s really not that hard to make, either!
This soup is a traditional Irish comfort food served on cold, winter nights. Partner it with a thick slice of buttered Irish Soda Bread for a truly Irish meal! As a side note, this dish also tastes great cold (when served cold, it’s called Vichyssoise).
I used an immersion blender for this soup as I prefer the texture to be perfectly smooth and creamy. (On a side note, if you’ve ever tried using a blender to puree a hot soup, you know how valuable an immersion blender can be!) Sometimes I do like this soup to have a bit more texture, and I simply remove a couple ladles of the unpureed soup before using the immersion blender. Then I mix the pureed and unpureed portions back together.
Delicious Potato + Leek Soup
- 16 oz. leeks, ~3-4 medium leeks
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ cup white wine optional
- 20 oz. russet potatoes peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4-5 cloves roasted garlic diced
- Kosher salt to taste
- Ground pepper to taste
- Chives for garnish
- Bacon for garnish
- Remove the upper dark green and bottom root portions of the leeks. (You will be left with just the white and light green portions.) Slice each leek lengthwise and chop each half into smaller semicircular pieces. Place chopped leeks in a large bowl of water and let rest for 5 minutes. (See the picture in this post!)
- Transfer leeks out of the bowl of water and place in a large stock pot or Dutch oven.
- Add butter to the pot and sweat the leeks on low heat for 25-30 minutes. (If you hear the leeks sizzle, turn the heat down!)
- Add white wine (optional) and stir.
- Add stock and diced potatoes and increase heat to medium. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. (This is a great time to cook several slices of bacon to serve as garnish later.)
- Add cream, milk, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Use an immersion blender to puree soup.
- Garnish with bacon and chopped chives.
One note when making this soup is to carefully and thoroughly clean your leeks. Leeks (a member of the onion family) grow out of the ground, which means that dirt often gets trapped in the leafy greens. There are several common ways to clean leeks, but I prefer to chop them and place them in a large bowl of water for about 5 minutes. Then simply scoop the leeks out with a slotted spoon. The dirt will be left at the bottom of the bowl. (Spoon the leeks out rather than pouring them through a colander…if you pour the bowl into a colander, you will just dump the settled dirt right back on top of the leeks!)