Wild Leek Recipe: Grandma’s Potato Leek Soup
Since last week’s post was on harvesting wild leeks, here’s a great wild leek recipe that uses some. This delicious soup uses up fresh wild leeks, along with potatoes, milk, butter, flour, and salt and pepper. Oh, and a generous helping of bacon and cheddar cheese, too!
The Soup Story
My grandmother would make this soup almost every year. It’s a fond flavor of spring. Usually, we’d go down and gather a few leeks in the woods for her, then bring them back up so she could make the soup for dinner.
If you’ve never had wild leeks before, note that they’re very, very smelly. My grandmother remembered eating them on Friday nights so her breath would be better by school on Monday. Their potency hasn’t changed over the years, so if you work at a job with coworkers nearby, you might want to make this dish early in the weekend.
Potato Leek Soup Tips
If you try making it with commercial leeks, use more than three cups. Wild and commercial leeks are similar in many ways, but wild leeks have a much stronger flavor, so you need fewer for recipes. While not available in grocery stores, you can find wild leeks at many farmer’s markets this time of year.
As soups go, it really doesn’t take that long to make and is pretty foolproof. I tried making it and thought I screwed it up royally, but it tasted good just the same. (For example: I didn’t get the right amount of leeks, I didn’t reserve the leek water and substituted tap water, but put too much in… I won’t go on).
The cheddar and bacon really put it over the top. We’ve always stuck to those, but you can always try other toppings and additions. It goes really well with warm homemade bread or buttered biscuits on the side. Let me know what you try; your picks might make it even better! This potato leek soup recipe is endlessly customizable, so play around with it and see what works.
Grandma’s Potato Leek Soup
- 3 cups chopped wild leeks (leaves and stems can be included)
- 4 peeled and chopped potatoes
- 3 cups milk
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- crisp, crumbled bacon
- shredded cheddar cheese
- Blanch leeks in about 3 cups of boiling water and drain, reserving water in another dish.
- Add potatoes, milk, salt, and pepper to drained leeks. Cook until tender and pour into another dish.
- Combine about two cups of the reserved leek water, butter, and flour in the saucepan, and stir constantly until thickened.
- Add drained leek and potato mixture back in.
- Serve in bowls, and top with bacon and cheese. Enjoy warm!