Leek and potato soup - sopa de puerros y patatas

Recipe by Neil Morris - 17 September 2012

leek and potato soup

Region: The Basque Country

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Oven temp: cook on hob

Difficulty: easy

Serves: 3-4


Leek and potato soup is a classic recipe that is enjoyed all over Spain and is especially popular in The Basque Country. It is cheap to make, easy to cook and very satisfying to eat. Other ingredients are sometimes added such as salt cod, chorizo and carrots but the basic recipe is delicious on its own. Once you have perfected the basic version you may want to try adding other flavours. The soup is not blended and is naturally thickened by the starch from the potatoes.

OK, this soup is no looker but don't let that put you off because it never fails to please. Go on, give it a try.

Shopping list

  • extra virgin olive oil (aceite de oliva virgen extra)
  • 2 large leeks (puerros)
  • 4 potatoes (patatas)
  • 1 garlic clove (diente de ajo)
  • 2 pints of good vegetable stock (caldo de veduras)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme leaves (hojas de tomillo)
  • bay leaf (hoja de laurel)
  • chives (cebollino)
  • freshly ground black pepper (pimienta recién molida negro)

Method for leek and potato soup

Trim the rough ends from the leeks, cut lengthways and then slice into 2.5cm/1 inch chunks. Finely slice the clove of garlic and dice the potatoes to the same size chunks as the leeks. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan; add the leeks, garlic and thyme leaves and cook very gently over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks and garlics are soft and succulent but not browned.

Add the potatoes to the mixture and stir for a minute or two, then add 2 pints of best quality vegetable stock, a bay leaf and freshly ground black pepper, simmer for 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender but not breaking up.

Ladle the leek and potato soup into warm bowls and garnish with fresh chives and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with warm crusty bread and some green olives on the side.

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