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Leek Chowder November 4, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.


We love soup.

There’s not much better, on a chilly fall evening, than that feeling of Warm Soup Belly, is there?  And to be honest, one of the few redeeming qualities about a Rochester winter is  the opportunity to regularly enjoy so many lovely, warm soups.

When I saw a beautiful bunch of leeks at the market a while back, I knew they were destined for soup.

The obvious, of course, when you’re talking leeks, is vichyssoise – cold potato-leek soup.  Not exactly what you want when it’s cold and windy.  And while it can certainly be served hot (who’s going to tell?)  (and who are they going to tell, anyway?), I wanted something that would highlight the leeks and all their, uh, leekiness.

So rather than potato-leek soup, why not leek-potato soup?  Sort of a leek chowder, if you will.  Yeah.

By the way, is there any actual official explanation as to what constitutes a chowder?  I’m guessing it’s the potatoes, right?  I’m going with the potatoes.


So we’re making leek chowder here, and the first thing I want to do is showcase the leeks.  We cleaned them thoroughly, then sliced into thin slices.  I took about 2/3 of them and a chunk of butter and caramelized the leeks in the dutch oven – just let them cook until they’re good and browned.

Then we added the rest of the leeks, a minced shallot (it’s related, to the leeks, isn’t it?), a couple of cloves of garlic (ditto that), some celery and a diced carrot, and tossed those in the same pot and let them cook gently until they were softened.


Now for the potatoes.  I diced three russets into a spoon-sized dice, then into the pot they went too.

Cover the potatoes with chicken stock – it took about a quart.  Then add some salt & pepper, a bay leaf, and a sprig of fresh thyme.


Yes, we do still have fresh thyme – it may be chilly, but it hasn’t started snowing quite yet!

Slide the soup pot over a low flame and cover, leaving the lid tilted just a bit.  I don’t want to reduce the liquid, just cook the potatoes.

Let it simmer there for about an hour, I’d say – long enough for the potatoes and carrots to get good and done.


At this point, Peeps pulled out one of his favorite gadgets – the stick blender.  First, of course, we pulled out the bay leaf and the thyme stem, but after that, he just mashed away.  I didn’t actually want a super-smooth soup – I like my soups a little rustic.  It actually would probably be just as easy to use the potato masher – and that can just go in the dishwasher besides . . .

But anyway.

It sure is thick, isn’t it?  Why yes, it is.

We just stuck the soup chowder in the fridge to wait until swim class night.  It has been working out amazingly well to make our soups on the weekend and just stick them in the slow cooker on low when Peeps gets home!  We can go to swim class and come home, and our dinner is hot and ready to go.

As an aside, you could also divide and freeze now to enjoy later, when the leeks aren’t so easily available.


Here’s the deal.  It’s really thick at this point. And it can sit in the fridge for a few days as thick as it likes.  When it’s time to heat it, Peeps scooped it into the slow cooker, thinned it a bit with some more chicken stock, and about a cup or so of half and half to help enhance the creaminess.

There, that’s not so thick anymore, is it?

And it’s certainly not the smooth, creamy white one might expect from leeks and potatoes in the same bowl, is it?  But it was hearty and full of sweetish, leeky flavor and creamy potatoes.

And I stashed some in the freezer for lunch later on too!  Ha!


1. Kristen@The Frugal Girl - November 10, 2009

Oooh, do you have the Tramontina Dutch Oven from Walmart? It looks just like mine!

-Yeah, I think so. 🙂 It’s either the Tramontina from Walmart or the “Member’s Mark” from Sam’s Club – other than the colors, they’re virtually identical. We’re a two-dutch oven family now. 😳 Either way, they’re great, aren’t they?

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