Potato and leek soup is a classic comfort food, loved for its creamy texture and hearty taste. While many recipes call for peeled russet potatoes, we’re here to make a case for using red potatoes with their skins intact. Not only does this decision reduce food waste, but it also enhances the flavour and nutritional value of the soup. Let’s explore the benefits of not peeling red potatoes and delve into a great recipe that celebrates these unsung heroes of the kitchen.
The Perks of Red Potatoes:
- Nutrient-Rich Skins: Red potato skins are packed with nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins. By keeping the skins, you amplify the health benefits of your soup.
- Earthiness and Texture: The skins of red potatoes add a subtle earthy flavour and a pleasant textural contrast to the creamy soup. You’ll appreciate the extra dimension they bring to each spoonful.
- Colour and Aesthetics: The red skins add a lovely hue to your soup, making it visually appealing and setting it apart from traditional pale potato soups.
Recipe: Rustic Red Potato and Leek Soup
- 2 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled and diced
- 3 leeks, white and light green parts, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Rosemary and Thyme to taste
- Fresh chives, for garnish (optional)
- Prepare the Potatoes: Scrub the red potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt. Dice them into bite-sized pieces, keeping the skins intact. Set aside.
- Sauté the Aromatics: In a large pot, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, sauté until they become fragrant and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Then, add the sliced leeks and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes, until they soften.
- Add Potatoes and Broth: Toss the diced red potatoes into the pot with the sautéed aromatics. Pour in the vegetable or chicken broth, ensuring the potatoes are fully covered. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Blend and Season: Using an immersion blender, carefully blend the soup until it reaches your desired level of creaminess. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can transfer the soup in batches to a regular blender—season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Finish with Cream: Stir in the heavy cream to give your soup a luscious, velvety texture. Let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes to meld the flavours.
- Serve and Garnish: Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish with fresh chives, if desired. A drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of sour cream can also be delightful finishing touches.
Enjoy your homemade Rustic Red Potato and Leek Soup! The skin-on red potatoes not only add an extra layer of flavour but also provide a nutrient boost, making this soup both wholesome and delicious. Next time you make this soup, don’t be tempted to peel those red potatoes—embrace their rustic charm and goodness.