Thrift Kitchen: Canterbury Potato Leek Soup!
I love potato soup. I think it’s actually one of my favorite soups. When I was in Canterbury, England back in 2002, we went to this castle with a gift shop/restaurant thing. They served, I kid you not, the BEST potato leek soup. Ever since then I’ve been trying to recreate it and have failed every time.
It was really subtle: creamy, lightly peppered, hints of leeks, a bit of chives.
So when I got Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1 for Christmas. Potato leek soup was the first recipe and I just had to try it. It sucked–way too much salt (2 Tablespoons!) + really watery. There is “subtle” and then there is “bland.” This was bland, over salted, and watery. I was really disappointed because every other Julia Child recipe I’ve ever tried is delicious! I’ve watched all of the episodes of her show too. I love her. So sad.
This lead to finding the holy grail of my potato leek soup quest. I hate wasting food so I decided to try to fix the soup. I fixed the watery and salty bit by adding double the potatoes. I added about a 1/2 T freshly ground white pepper. And tossed in the rest of the whipping cream (about 1/2 cup total). It was perfect!
Canterbury Potato Leek Soup
3 lbs potatoes (I like red, but you can use any kind.)
3 medium leeks
2 quarts water
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 bundle fresh chives
1/2 – 1 Tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoon sea salt
Peel and cube potatoes (1/4″ cubes), thinly slice the leeks into half rings. While chopping the vegetables, bring water to boil in a large kettle. Add the potatoes, leeks, and salt to the water and simmer for 45 minutes.
Once fully cooked, use and immersion blender to blend the potatoes and leeks. I like to leave a few diced potatoes, but you can make it as creamy or chunky as you like.
Tip: If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender or food processor by blending it in batches.
Add the white pepper and 1/4 cup chopped chives, simmer for another 10 minutes.
If you are serving right away, stir in the whipping cream then ladle into bowls and garnish with diced chives.
If you are storing for later, stir in the whipping cream, take off the heat and place in the fridge to expedite cooling. This freezes really well. Once cool, ladle 2 servings per freezer bag or 8 inch length of food saver bag. Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.