Potato leek soup is a hearty soup made with (surprise!) leeks and potatoes. There are many variations, some rustic (like this one) and some smooth and elegant (vichyssoise). My take on it includes some protein. It is summer as I write this, and very hot out. So why such a hearty soup? One, I like it. Two, I have it for lunch, and then try to eat a lighter dinner. So let’s start.
- 2.5 pounds yukon gold (or similar) potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 medium to large leeks
- 1TBS olive oil
- 8 ounces smoked sausage (see note below)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme (or more to taste, but don’t go overboard)
- 1 – 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 32 fl oz chicken stock
- water as needed
Smoked sausage can be any type available in your location. In central Texas I use a Texas style pork sausage, usually a brand that incorporates Hatch Green Chiles. But anything else such as kielbasa should work just fine (in fact the Texas sausage is a descendant of central European sausages). You could even use smoked chicken.
You can substitute fresh oregano and/or thyme, and I think it makes a better soup. use a bit less if doing this.
Slice the leeks down the middle and wash thoroughly (they often have dirt or sand between the layers), then slice them across the grain. Include all the white and light green parts, but discard the tough dark green part. In a dutch oven or stock pot saute the leeks in a bit of olive oil until somewhat softened (about 4 – 5 minutes over medium low heat). Add all seasonings (start salt at 1 tsp, then adjust later on for taste). Add potatoes and cook 1 minute more. Add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. If the 32 oz box isn’t enough add a bit of water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer (covered) for about 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. In the meantime, slice up the sausage.
When potatoes are done, use a potato masher to crush some of the potatoes. Don’t go wild with this – the object is to just release more starch into the soup to thicken it slightly. Now add the sausage and let it heat through for a few minutes. In a dutch oven you can do this off heat, as it will retain enough heat to keep thing warm for a while.
Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.