Leek soup is a soup made from leeks, root vegetables which look a lot like onions. In fact, leeks are considered a close relative of onions and even the flavor of the two vegetables is alike. Sometimes, however, leeks are slightly milder. Soup made from leeks is considered one of the healthiest foods and it has been associated with various benefits since the ancient times. The soup has a mellow flavor which is not over-powering, and a light aroma. When cooked correctly, a soup made from leeks is light and flavorsome. In addition to being a regular feature on menus of cafes and restaurants, the soup is a common household preparation.
Although the exact origin of leek soups is not known, the dish is probably as old as the vegetable itself. It is widely believed that leeks find their most use in soups. Over the years, various versions of the soup have emerged and in today's times, there are various leek soups made from many different ingredients.
Common Ingredients Used in Leek Soups
When made in the most basic and traditional way, leek soup is prepared from leeks, broth, salt and butter. These ingredients come together to make the simplest known leek soup recipe. Based on individual preferences and the recipe being followed, more ingredients can be added to the dish. There are various regional versions of the soup, like the European leek and potato soup, the cock-a-leekie soup (chicken and leek soup), mushroom and leek soup, etc., and each is made with a varying set of ingredients. As there is no single recipe to make the soup, there is no set list of ingredients.
It is, however, noteworthy that most of the basic ingredients continue to remain the same and additions are made to those ingredients. Herbs, spices, flavoring and seasoning agents and vegetables are commonly added to make the soup richer, creamier and more flavorsome.
Leek Soup Preparation Overview
To make the traditional and simple leek soup, the leeks are first prepared as preferred (chopped, sliced, diced, etc.) and then mixed with all the other ingredients and cooked. In essence, a soup made from leeks is categorized as an easy dish to make and the preparation time does not exceed 10 to 15 minutes (for about 3 servings). It does, however, take more time to make larger quantities and the time can also be increased by the ingredients used (meats and some vegetables take longer to cook than others).
When more ingredients are used to make the soup, those are fist prepared as required (cut-up, chopped, sliced, shredded, etc.) and then mixed together with the leeks and all other ingredients in a pot. The soup is cooked and seasoned as preferred. Cilantro, cheese, coriander and toasted breadcrumbs are common toppings.
Leek Soups Trivia
European chefs in the middle ages called leeks ‘the poor man's asparagus' and leek soup was considered a dish prepared and consumed by those who could not afford better vegetables.