James Martin Leek and Potato Soup Recipe

James Martin Leek and Potato Soup Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 44 Mins Total Time: 59 Mins

Today, I’m going to share with you a delicious recipe for James Martin leek and potato soup, a perfect dish for cold days. This soup is creamy, hearty, and easy to make with just a few ingredients. You’ll love the rich flavor of the leeks and potatoes, and the cheesy brioche topping that adds a crunchy and cheesy contrast. Let me show you how to make this soup step by step, and give you some tips and tricks along the way.

What is James Martin Leek and Potato Soup Recipe?

James Martin leek and potato soup is a creamy and hearty soup that is made with leeks, potatoes, onion, garlic, chicken stock, fresh thyme, heavy cream, and cheddar cheese. It is a classic British dish that is easy to make and perfect for cold days. James Martin is a famous chef and TV presenter who has shared his version of this soup on his show and website.

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Why This Recipe is a Must-Try

Here are some reasons why you will love this recipe:

  • Flavorful and Satisfying: The combination of leuscious leeks and hearty potatoes creates a rich and fulfilling taste. Enhanced by the aromas of garlic and fresh thyme, and enriched with creamy heavy cream and sharp cheddar cheese, this soup is not just a dish but a warm embrace on chilly days.
  • Effortless and Quick Preparation: Simplicity is key with this recipe. Requiring common ingredients likely already in your kitchen, it’s a straightforward process from start to finish in under an hour. The steps are simple: sauté the vegetables, simmer with stock, blend until creamy, and finalize with your choice of herbs and cheese.
  • Customizable to Suit Your Palate: Tailor this soup to your dietary needs and preferences. Opt for vegetable stock for a vegetarian twist, or use various substitutes for a vegan version. The recipe welcomes experimentation with different cheeses and herbs, allowing you to adjust it to your unique taste.

What are the ingredients for James Martin’s leek and potato soup?

To make James Martin leek and potato soup, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 300g sliced potato
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 500ml full-fat milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toasted sourdough
  • 300g crumbled stilton
  • 50ml double cream
  • Crispy julienne leeks
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions to Make James Martin Leek and Potato Soup

Here are the steps to make James Martin’s leek and potato soup:

Step 1: Prepare the leeks and potatoes

The first step is to prepare the leeks and potatoes. Wash the leeks well under running water and slice them thinly. Discard the tough green parts and use only the white and light green parts. Peel and slice the potatoes into even pieces. You can use any type of potato, but waxy potatoes are better for this soup as they hold their shape better and don’t turn mushy.

Step 2: Cook the leeks and potatoes

The next step is to cook the leeks and potatoes in a large saucepan. Add the milk, cream, salt, and pepper to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching.

Step 3: Blend the soup

Once the leeks and potatoes are cooked, you can blend the soup to make it smooth and creamy. You can use a hand blender, a food processor, or a blender to do this. Be careful when blending hot liquids, as they can splatter and burn you. Blend the soup in batches if necessary, and transfer to a clean saucepan. Keep the soup warm over low heat while you prepare the toppings.

Step 4: Make the cheese toast

To make the cheese toast, you will need some toasted sourdough bread, crumbled stilton cheese, and double cream. Mix the cheese and cream together in a small bowl and spread it over the toast. Then, grill the toast until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Cut the toast into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Step 5: Make the crispy leeks

To make the crispy leeks, you will need some julienne leeks, double cream, olive oil, and salt. Julienne leeks are leeks that are cut into thin strips. You can use a mandoline, a knife, or a food processor to do this. Rinse the leeks well and pat them dry with paper towels. Then, toss them with some cream and salt in a bowl. Heat some oil in a frying pan over high heat and fry the leeks in batches until golden and crisp. Drain them on paper towels and keep them warm.

Step 6: Serve the soup

To serve the soup, ladle it into warm bowls and top with some crumbled stilton cheese, a drizzle of cream and oil, and some crispy leeks. Serve with the cheese toast on the side and enjoy!

What Do I Serve With James Martin Leek and Potato Soup?

This soup is a meal in itself, but you can also serve it with some accompaniments, such as:

  • Bread or Croutons: Enhance your soup experience with the crunch of croutons or the softness of bread. Opt for your favorite type – be it classic white, hearty whole wheat, artisan sourdough, or dense rye. Or, create homemade croutons seasoned with a blend of oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, baked to perfection.
  • Salad or Coleslaw: Introduce a fresh element with a crisp salad or tangy coleslaw. Choose from a variety of salads like a simple green, a classic Caesar, or a refreshing Greek salad. Or, whip up a homemade coleslaw mixing cabbage, carrot, and onion with a dressing of mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and spices.
  • Sandwich or Wrap: Make it a more substantial meal with a sandwich or wrap. The possibilities are endless – from a traditional ham and cheese to a more contemporary chicken and avocado, or a light tuna and lettuce. You can also craft your own, layering flavors with spreads, fresh vegetables, and your choice of meats inside a soft tortilla or slices of bread.
James Martin Leek and Potato Soup
James Martin Leek and Potato Soup

Pro Tips to Make Perfect James Martin Leek and Potato Soup

Here are some pro tips to make this soup even better:

  • Select High-Quality Ingredients: The essence of a great soup lies in its ingredients. Opt for organic leeks, potatoes, and herbs to elevate the taste. Using homemade or low-sodium chicken stock can also make a significant difference. For a homemade stock, simmer chicken bones with vegetables and herbs for about two hours, then strain.
  • Thoroughly Clean and Prepare Leeks: Leeks, known for harboring dirt, require careful cleaning. Trim off the roots and the dark green parts, then slice them lengthwise. Rinse under running water, ensuring to separate the layers to remove any hidden grit. For extra cleanliness, soak them in water for 10 minutes before a final rinse.
  • Achieve a Smooth Texture with Blending: For a velvety consistency, blend the cooked soup. Whether using a stand blender, an immersion blender, or a food processor, ensure the soup is smoothly pureed. For a rustic feel, you can leave it chunky or lightly mash it.
  • Customize Soup Consistency and Flavor: Personalize your soup by adjusting its thickness and seasoning. Add more liquid (stock, water, broth, or milk) to alter its consistency. Experiment with seasonings like salt, pepper, thyme, and even additional spices like nutmeg or bay leaf to find your perfect flavor profile.

Variations of James Martin Leek and Potato Soup

Here are some variations of this soup that you can try, to make it different and interesting:

  • With Bacon: Enhance the soup with a smoky crunch by adding crispy bacon bits. Fry bacon until crisp, chop finely, and either mix into the soup or use as a topping.
  • With Corn: Introduce sweetness and color by incorporating corn kernels – fresh, frozen, or canned. Add them to the pot with potatoes or after blending for a touch of sweetness. Creamed corn is also a great option for added creaminess.
  • With Cheese and Onion Scones: Complement the soup with homemade cheese and onion scones. Mix flour, baking powder, butter, cheese, and onion, then add milk to form a dough. Roll, cut into circles, and bake until golden. Serve warm with the soup for added indulgence.

How do I store James Martin Leek and Potato Soup Leftovers?

  • Cooling the Soup: Prioritize safety by cooling the soup thoroughly before storage. This can be done by placing the soup in a large bowl within an ice bath or distributing it in a shallow dish in the refrigerator. Once the soup reaches room temperature, it’s ready for storage.
  • Labeling for Freshness: Ensure you can easily track the freshness of your soup by labeling the storage container. Use a marker or a label to note the date of preparation. Including reheating instructions on the label can also be helpful for future reference.
  • Preventing Container Damage: To accommodate the natural expansion of the soup, leave about one inch of space at the top of the storage container. This precaution prevents the container from bursting or leaking, ensuring your soup remains intact.

How do I reheat James Martin Leek and Potato Soup Leftovers?

  • Thawing Frozen Soup: If your soup is frozen, allow sufficient time for thawing to simplify reheating. Place it in the refrigerator overnight or use the microwave’s defrost setting to gently thaw the soup without cooking it.
  • Gentle Reheating: To maintain the soup’s quality, reheat it over low to medium heat. Whether using a stovetop or a microwave, stir the soup occasionally. This ensures even heating and prevents the soup from sticking to the pot or overheating in the microwave. Keep monitoring the temperature until the soup is thoroughly warmed.

James Martin Leek and Potato Soup

Nutrition value per serving (based on 4 servings):

  • Calories: 414 kcal
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated fat: 15 g
  • Cholesterol: 79 mg
  • Sodium: 578 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 37 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 12 g
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Calcium: 280 mg
  • Iron: 2 mg
  • Potassium: 876 mg
  • Vitamin A: 1940 IU
  • Vitamin C: 28 mg

FAQs

What is leek and potato soup?

Leek and potato soup is a classic British soup that is usually made with leeks, potatoes, milk, cream, butter, and seasonings. It’s a simple but satisfying soup that can be enjoyed as a starter or a main course. Leek and potato soup is also known as vichyssoise in French cuisine, where it is traditionally served cold. However, most people prefer to eat it hot, especially in winter.

What are the best potatoes to use for this soup?

Waxy potatoes are ideal for this soup, as they hold their shape and don’t turn mushy after cooking. Varieties like Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes are excellent choices. They provide a creamy texture without disintegrating, ensuring a smooth and consistent soup.

How do I make the soup thicker or thinner?

You can make the soup thicker or thinner by adjusting the amount of liquid you add to the soup. You can use more or less stock, water, broth, or milk, depending on your preference. You can also add more or less potatoes, cream, or cheese, to make the soup more or less starchy or creamy.

Can I make James Martin’s Leek and Potato Soup vegan?

Absolutely! To make this soup vegan, replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock or water. Instead of regular cream, you can use coconut cream or any plant-based cream alternative. Omit the cheese or use a vegan cheese substitute. Ensure to use a plant-based butter or oil for sautéing the leeks and onions.

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