How To Pair Potatoes And Leeks For A Balanced Batch Of Soup

If you're looking for a different kind of soup to cook these days, the classic French potato leek is a good option because it's hearty and quite satisfying. Leeks and potatoes are obviously the stars of the dish, and it's important to choose the right kinds so you end up with a balanced pot of soup rather than one that leans too heavily in either direction, which would affect flavor profile and consistency. Picking the right variety of potato is the first essential step to a consistent batch, and the next step is finding leeks that are the right size for a balance in every bite.

When it comes to the spuds, stay away from the starchier varieties like russets or red potatoes, because they will get mushy as the soup simmers. Instead, go for waxy options like fingerlings, Yukon golds, or baby and new potatoes because they have less starch and more water content and will therefore hold up better during the cooking process. These varieties also have softer skins, so there's no need to peel them unless you strongly prefer it. 

For the leeks, pick ones that have a similar size to the small potatoes or the chunks you'll cut the larger potatoes into. You'll typically only use the lighter green and white parts of the leeks, so pay attention to the circumference of the bottom and middle.

Everything you need for a delicious potato and leek soup

After you have your potatoes and leeks picked, cut them evenly into ¼ inch pieces by chopping the potatoes and slicing the leeks into rings. It's important for both ingredients to have a similar size, or all of that searching at the market went to waste, so chop precisely.

What else goes into potato leek soup? The rest depends on your recipe, and of course, there are plenty of variations in cookbooks and across the web. Besides the two obvious ingredients, the soup usually includes dairy like milk or cream, butter, garlic, onion, thyme, vegetable broth or chicken stock, salt and pepper. Some versions use celery, which is an easy way to add layers of flavor to any soup. There are also variations of potato leek soup that use bacon or pancetta for a bit of smoky, meaty flavor. For serving, you can top it with croutons or pair it with crackers, toasted baguette slices, or garlic bread to soak up whatever remains at the bottom of your bowl after your last slurp.