Potato Leek Soup Recipe

Potato leek soup is wholesome good cheap food.  It also happens to be easy and pretty fast to make.  Everyone has their version.  Most versions are ultimately the same.  Variations include whether or not you use butter, olive oil, or a combination of the two.  What type of potato you use and whether or not you put cream or milk in it are other variations.  Proportions of leeks to potatoes as well as thickness and choice of garnishes (if any) are just about the only other variations I can think of.

I didn’t plan on putting my version on this site until I started thinking about the price of food and how useful it is to show people what home cooking really costs.  It is ridiculous (but widely believed) that eating fast food is cheaper than eating home cooked food.  Obviously, if the food you’re cooking at home is lobster and steak all week, and if you garnish your food with gold, that might be true.  But then you have to compare eating at a pricey restaurant to your cooking.  Fast food is basic food.  There is nothing fancy (or healthy) about it.  It’s frozen beef patties, cheap cheese, out of season never really ripe vegetables, and the cheapest kind of bread imaginable.  Still, you generally pay $3 to $7 for those meals, right?  Can people really suppose that simple home cooking costs more per serving than fast food?

A while ago I priced out one of my favorite bean and vegetable soups to see what it cost me per serving to make.  The Tenement Stew was .53 cents per big bowl.  With some toast it is easily as filling as a flimsy fast food burger and regular order of fries.  Two slices of toast might add about .50 to your meal.  Plus a pat of butter would add .10 cents (or let’s be generous and say you need two whole pats of butter) so for one wholesome and filling meal of homemade soup and toast you spend $1.23.  That’s a cheap meal.  Considering how much better it is for you than fast food your money is going a lot further nutritionally.

I’ve  been seeing more food writers costing out their recipes and I really like that, I find it useful, especially for people who are just learning to cook from scratch.  It’s also great for making comparisons like these – to show people that if you want to eat fast food, that’s your business, but don’t say it’s because it’s cheaper than cooking from scratch.

Potato Leek Soup Recipe

Potato Leek Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 leeks, sliced thin (the white and pale green parts)
  • 8 round potatoes, cut in half then sliced thin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot and add the leeks. Saute the leeks for a few minutes by themselves, just until they are slightly browned. Add the potatoes and saute for a few more minutes. Add 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the salt and pepper. Turn heat down to medium and cook until the potatoes are falling apart (about 30 minutes). Take off the heat and puree with an immersion blender (or you can blend it in an actual blender).

Notes

In the past I used to add a little cream at the end to finish this off but I haven’t done that in ages. I love to eat this soup with buttered toast. I suggest, if you aren’t already a master with your own potato leek soup recipe, that you play around with the salt and pepper. It’s the only seasoning in this soup and it matters. Sometimes I use butter instead of olive oil, and sometimes I even use a combination but it’s always a quarter cup of whatever fat I’m using to saute.

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