Today, I’m going to share with you a delicious and easy recipe for leek and potato soup, inspired by the famous British chef Delia Smith. This soup is one of my favorites, and it has proven to be very popular with my readers over the years. It’s creamy, comforting, and full of flavor. You can serve it hot or cold, as a starter or a main course. It’s also vegetarian and gluten-free, so it’s suitable for everyone. Let me show you how to make it in a few simple steps.
What is Delia Smith Leek and Potato Soup?
This classic British soup was made famous by acclaimed cookbook author and TV chef Delia Smith. It features the simple but delicious combination of sautéed leeks and potatoes simmered in a seasoned broth. The soup is then blended until silky smooth. This soup is comforting, warming, and incredibly tasty.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There are many reasons why Delia’s leek and potato soup has become such a beloved recipe:
- It’s simple to make with easy-to-find ingredients
- The method is straightforward and suitable for beginners
- Leeks and potatoes create a wonderful flavor pairing
- Blending the soup gives it a luxuriously creamy texture
- It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, and low-fat
- The soup keeps well for a few days and freezes beautifully
Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Leek and Potato Soup
To make this leek and potato soup, you will need the following ingredients:
- 4 large leeks
- 1 medium onion, chopped small
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 50g butter
- 850ml vegetable stock
- 275 ml milk
- salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cream or crème fraiche
- 11/2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives or chopped fresh parsley
You will also need the following equipment:
- A large, thick-based saucepan
- A wooden spoon
- A sharp knife
- A blender or a hand blender
- A measuring jug
- A chopping board
- A ladle
- A soup bowl
Instructions to Make Delia Smith Leek and Potato Soup
Now that you have all the ingredients and equipment ready, let’s get started with the method.
Step 1: Prepare the leeks
The first step is to prepare the leeks. You need to trim them, discarding the tough outer layer. Then, split them in half lengthways and slice them quite finely. Wash them thoroughly in two or three changes of water, and drain well. Leeks can be quite sandy, so make sure you rinse them well to avoid any grit in your soup.
Step 2: Cook the vegetables
The next step is to cook the vegetables. In a large, thick-based saucepan, gently melt the butter over low heat. Then, add the leeks, onion, and potatoes, stirring them all around with a wooden spoon so they get a nice coating of butter. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and let the vegetables sweat over very low heat for about 15 minutes. This will help them release their juices and soften without browning.
Step 3: Add the stock and milk
After 15 minutes, add the stock and milk to the saucepan, and bring to a simmering point. Cover and let the soup simmer very gently for another 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Be careful not to let the soup boil over, as the milk in it may cause it to do so. You can also stir the soup occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Step 4: Blend the soup
Once the vegetables are cooked, you can blend the soup to a smooth puree. You can use a blender or a hand blender for this. If you use a blender, you may need to do it in batches and make sure you have a bowl to hand to put the first batch into. Also, let the soup cool a little before blending, as hot liquids can splatter and cause burns. If you use a hand blender, you can do it directly in the saucepan, but be careful not to splash yourself or the surroundings.
Step 5: Reheat and serve
The final step is to reheat the soup gently, tasting it to check the seasoning. You can adjust the salt and pepper according to your preference. You can also add a swirl of cream or crème fraiche to each bowl before serving, and sprinkle with some freshly snipped chives or parsley. This will add some richness and freshness to the soup. Enjoy your leek and potato soup with some crusty bread or crackers, or on its own.
What Do I Serve With Delia Smith’s Leek and Potato Soup?
This soup makes a filling meal on its own, but you can serve it with:
- Crusty bread or rolls to dip into the soup
- A green salad drizzled with vinaigrette
- Cheese straws or breadsticks
- A cheese board with cheddar, brie, grapes, and crackers
Pro Tips for Making Perfect Delia Smith Leek and Potato Soup
- Take the time to wash the leeks thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit
- Cook the leeks and potatoes over low heat so they soften without browning
- Add some crushed garlic cloves or onion for extra flavor
- For a smoother texture, pass the soup through a fine mesh sieve after blending
- Garnish with snipped chives, crispy bacon bits, croutons, or grated cheese
Variations for Delia Smith’s Leek and Potato Soup
- Use chicken or vegetable stock instead of just water for more depth of flavor
- Stir in some chopped parsley or dill before serving
- Add milk or cream just before blending for a richer soup
- Top with sauteed mushrooms, roasted peppers, or crisp pancetta
- Swirl in some pesto or sun-dried tomato pesto for vibrant color and flavor
How to Store Delia Smith’s Leek and Potato Soup
Proper storage is important to keep Delia’s leek and potato soup fresh and flavorful.
- Let the soup cool completely before storing it. Transfer to airtight containers or resealable plastic bags.
- Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Make sure soup is kept cold at 40°F or below.
- Store soup towards the back of the fridge where the temperature is most consistent.
- The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months for longer-term storage.
- First, cool the soup completely, then transfer it to freezer bags or airtight containers leaving 1-inch headspace.
- Lay containers flat in the freezer so the soup freezes evenly in thin layers.
- Label bags or containers with soup name and freeze date.
- Freeze at 0°F or below for best quality and safety.
How to Reheat Delia Smith’s Leek and Potato Soup
Properly reheating the soup ensures it stays safe, smooth, and delicious.
On the Stovetop
- Transfer frozen soup to the refrigerator to thaw overnight before reheating.
- Pour soup into a saucepan and reheat gently over medium-low heat.
- Stir the soup frequently to distribute heat evenly and prevent scorching on the bottom.
- Bring soup just to a simmer and cook until heated through about 10 minutes.
- Add a splash of milk or cream to thin out if needed.
In the Microwave
- Transfer refrigerated soup to a microwave-safe bowl or mug.
- Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until steaming hot, 2-3 minutes.
- Watch closely to prevent boiling over. Let sit for 2 minutes before serving.
- Stir in a splash of cream or milk to thin out consistency if desired.
- Always serve reheated soup hot, garnished with fresh herbs.
Other Delia Smith Soup Recipes
How do you make leek and potato soup without cream?
You can make leek and potato soup without cream by using dairy-free alternatives, such as almond, soy, or coconut milk and cream. You can also use nutritional yeast instead of cheese, for a cheesy flavor without dairy. Alternatively, you can skip the cream altogether and enjoy the soup as it is, or add some extra stock or water to thin it out if needed.
How do you thicken leek and potato soup?
Leek and potato soup usually thickens naturally as the potatoes break down and release their starch. However, if you want to make it even thicker, you can use one of these methods:
- Blend some or all of the soup until smooth, using a blender or a hand blender. This will create a creamy and velvety texture.
- Add some cornstarch or flour to the soup, whisking well to avoid lumps. This will create a thicker and denser texture. You can use about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or flour for every 4 cups of soup.
- Add some cheese to the soup, such as cheddar, gruyere, or parmesan, stirring until melted and smooth. This will create a richer and cheesier texture. You can use about 1/4 cup of grated cheese for every 4 cups of soup.
I hope you enjoyed this leek and potato soup recipe, inspired by Delia Smith. It’s a simple and satisfying soup that you can make in less than an hour, with just a few ingredients. It’s perfect for a cozy and comforting meal, especially on a cold day. Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below, and if you have any questions or suggestions. I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!
More From British Recipes Book
Cooking method: The cooking method for this recipe is stovetop. You need a large saucepan, a wooden spoon, a blender or a hand blender, and a ladle to make this soup. Cuisine: The cuisine for this recipe is British. Leek and potato soup is a traditional dish from the United Kingdom, especially popular in Wales