I never liked soup.
As a child, and indeed, a young adult, I believed soup was for the sick. Why else would anyone subject themselves to that bland wetness, if not for its restorative properties?
Needless to say, my tastes have evolved.
As a cook and food lover, I’ve come to love soup. It’s comforting, nutritious, versatile and either subtle or in-your-face, depending on one’s mood. It can be used to deliver spicy noodles, seafood extravaganza, or simply the rich melange of flavor that comes from simmering ingredients all day.
This soup recipe is not especially challenging. And while you probably don’t normally have leeks sitting around waiting to be used, it’s probably the only thing you’ll have to shop for. But the beautiful interplay between the leeks and onions, the intuitive wholesomeness of the spinach make for an excellent meal starter or standalone soup that doesn’t induce feelings of guilty over-indulgence.
Leek and Potato Soup
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 large leek, chopped (see preparation notes below)
- 2-3 medium potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups frozen spinach (or 2-3 cups fresh spinach)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1-2 bay leaves
To prepare fresh leeks, cut off the root end and the dark green leafy stalk. Slice the leek in half, lengthwise, then chop into desired size pieces. Place the pieces in a bowl and run under clean water, letting any grit sink to the bottom, then strain excess water from the pieces.
Heat a large pot over medium high heat, and add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and leeks, salting them generously to hasten softening. Once the onions and leeks are translucent, add the spices, stirring until the seasonings become fragrant.
Next, add the stock and potatoes and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Toss in the spinach, stirring to incorporate. Simmer another 10 minutes.
Blend the soup using an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully blend the soup in a blender, working in small batches. If using a countertop blender, be careful to hold the top in place while working, to avoid splattering your kitchen (and yourself) with scalding soup. Blend until smooth and serve.