Leek Soup with Dill Oil

Leek Soup with Dill Oil Recipe

I'm in the midst of packing for a quick trip up to Portland, but I wanted to share this leek soup recipe before I go back to attempting to shoehorn my clothes, laptop, toothpaste and such into a carry-on. The soup. Well, I was quite excited about how this particular leek soup turned out. I think a couple things came together to make it a success. First, I kept the soup base simple, then tricked things out on top with an electric green dill oil and crunchy toasted almonds. Second, I cooked everything together - the leeks, potatoes, garlic etc. - and THEN added hot broth at the end.

Leek Soup Recipe

Here's the dill oil. I made it by pureeing fresh dill and olive oil. Done. I used a portion of it in the soup base, and the remaining as a drizzle across the tops of the hot bowls of soup. Soup aside, the oil is also great drizzled on just about any kind of egg, over tarts, on potato dishes/salads - it even made a cracker spread with goat cheese a little more special.

Leek Soup Recipe

The biggest headache related to cooking with leeks is getting them clean. You want to make sure there is no grit hiding. I regularly find pockets of mud three layers in. It's sneaky like that, and you really don't want it in your soup.

Leek Soup Recipe

I also decided to make quick work of the leek chopping here, by enlisting my food processor. I wanted the leeks chopped well, into little flecks, so they'd collapse down and cook into soup that wouldn't necessarily need to be pureed. I mean, there's no reason you couldn't puree the soup if that's the texture you prefer, but I mashed up this soup by hand, and liked the more rustic texture.

If you give this a try let me know. Even better, report back if you take it in a slightly different direction you end up happy with. I really loved the way the toasted almonds worked as a finishing touch. I had a bowl with croutons as well, and it just wasn't as good.

Leek Soup Recipe

As promised, here are a few more Yosemite pics. For those of you who missed the last post and are thinking about a winter Yosemite visit, there are a few more pics here. I thought everything was going to be frozen over, but there was water running beautifully throughout the park.

Leek Soup Recipe

I have a hard time resisting a through-the-windshield shot. The first is the view from the parking lot through a frosted window first-thing in the morning, and the other is the wide open fields approaching the foothills. I was amazed at how green everything was approaching the mountains. Later in the year everything dries out in the heat and turns shades of gold and yellow.

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Leek Soup with Dill Oil

You can freeze this after letting it cool completely. In freezer bags. It's also worth mentioning that I've been enjoying leftovers of this over scoops of cooked farro. Brown rice would be great too.

1 small bunch of fresh dill ~ .5 oz / 15 g
9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3.5 pounds / 56 oz / 1.5 kg leeks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
fine grain sea salt
2 large, thin-skinned potatoes, thinly sliced
3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

6.5+ cups / 1.5+ liters good-tasting vegetable broth, preferably hot

toasted almond slices, for topping
grated gruyere cheese, for topping

Use a hand blender or food processor to puree the dill and olive oil into a creamy green emulsion. Set aside.

Cut the dark, tough green leaves from the leeks, trim off the roots, and wash/rinse well. You can slice the leeks lengthwise to get inbetween the layers, or make a few rough chops and give them a quick soak, or whatever method you prefer. Use a food processor to chop the leeks in two batches. You can also chop them by hand, but I was in a pinch for time here, and the processor made quick work of this step.

In a large soup pot, heat the butter and 5 tablespoons of the dill oil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted and is bubbling, stir in the leeks and a couple big pinches of salt. Stir well, then cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks soften up and collapse, 6 - 8 minutes. Now, stir in the potatoes and garlic and cook, uncovered, stirring regularly, for another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are very, very soft. If the leeks at the bottom of the pot are getting too much color, dial back the heat a bit more and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan when you're stirring. At this point you can mash everything with a potato masher or large fork. If you prefer a smoother soup, use a hand blender, but this soup is great a little on the chunky side. Stir in the hot broth, adjusting the amount based on whether you like a thick or thin soup. Bring back to a simmer, serve topped with almonds, grated cheese, and a generous drizzle of the remaining dill oil.

Makes a big pot - enough for 8 -10 servings.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 25 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

Hi Heidi, I'm in Portland now for the WG conference and am so looking forward to hearing you speak! HS: I'll keep an eye out for you Janel!

Wow - this was OUTSTANDING. The dill oil elevated it to a completely new level. And the almonds were perfect. LOVED the concept of letting the leeks sweat with the potatoes, rather than boiling everything in the broth for 20 minutes. Really rich leek flavor. Thank you! My 3 sons all loved it as well.

Angela Johnson

I was just looking at the leeks in my cellar; they're getting big and floppy and I needed some inspiration to get them used up.....and here you are! Thanks.....big leek cook-up coming tomorrow!

Thank you so much for this recipe! I have a tons of leeks left over from another recipe this weekend and had no idea what to do. What kind of potatoes would you recommend--where I live, we have all varieties.

Christi

It was a cold and rainy day here in SoCal today, believe it or not...I made this soup - delicious, though it took much longer to cook the potatoes than I expected...love the method, cooking the veggies in the dill oil. Big hit in my household! Thanks!!

Laurie

Heidi, Love following you, and your recipes. I love your talent, and the way you present everything with your beautiful photography

lisa

This was a huge hit at our house. My 7 year old son announced that on a scale of 1-10 it was "google-plex". He had thirds with cheese, dill oil and almonds sprinkled on top.

Anna Makena

Thanks Heidi. Made this soup and your spilt pea soup on Sunday afternoon. Both were a hit and perfect for a cold winter's night in Tokyo. Leftovers went in the freezer. Smiles, J

Jennifer

Here is yet another thing to fit into my weekly meal planning! I'll be attempting to grow leeks in my garden this summer, but for now, store bought leeks will have to do!

Amanda

Yeah! I have been getting to know leeks over the past month or two and I love their versatility. Will definitely make it and report back.

i've never seen leeks look so beautiful - great photo:)

julia

I love how simple this recipe is! And I have most everything in garden. Thanks :)

Looks absolutely delicious! We had friends over last night and I made your artichoke/tofu dip and your spicy tomato gratin as two of our dishes, to rave reviews. Thank you! BTW, I live in Portland. Welcome and enjoy our fair city. If you ever need local recommendations, please email!

Devon

Oh I love how this sounds, I think I have to try this as long as it is still cold here. Thanks for the recipe!

I like the dill sauce here. One question is regarding technique, sometimes when I use a blender with olive oil (even quality olive oil) the taste turns bitter. So generally I'll use only a minimal amount of olive oil to get it to emulsify, then add the rest of the oil at the end to incorporate. What's your recommendation? technique?

This sounds sooooo good! I can't wait to try it. Dill is such a wonderful, wonderful herb...I love the idea of dill oil. And with almonds--brightened my day!

Thanks for the great recipes Heidi. Your photos of the recipes (and of your travels) are beautiful. I am a vegetarian raising a vegetarian boy (he's 16 months old) and I love your recipes. Thank you for including your recipes on your blog. I purchased your cookbooks too (pre-ordered your new book). I can't wait to get them. Thank you and keep the recipes and photos coming!

irongrl

@Heidi - I used to cook up a really intense casserole with just leeks, onions, carrots and tomatoes. I haven't cooked with leeks for so long but this soup makes me think I should try it! @Ethel - I sometimes use ground oatmeal to thicken soups. It's definitely lower in carbohydrates than potato, rice or pasta. It works a treat and adds a nice texture, too.

This sounds delicious! I have a question-is there anything I could substitute for the potatoes? I am a type 2 diabetic and can not eat any potatoes (or rice or pasta as) I must aim for tightest control) Thanks, Heidi.

ethel

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