Farmer’s Market Find: Leeks (& A Simple Soup!)

Leek Stalks

Photo Credit: LollyKnits

Do you ever find yourself getting stuck in a rut, adding the same old things to your grocery list (or not even writing them down, and just picking up the same old “usuals”)? I’m thrilled to introduce our new “Farmer’s Market Find” feature, with some simple, frugal, natural, and seasonal recipes and some fun trivia! Hopefully, these will inspire you to try something new, or revisit a forgotten old favorite.

Post written by contributing writer, Nada.

“Aye, leeks is good.”- Fluellen, Henry VI

History

Tradition has it that on Saint David’s Day, the people of Wales wear the blessed man’s personal symbol on their lapel: the leek.  From the same family as garlic and onions, leeks offer a mild but delicious flavour that is enjoyed all over North America and Europe.

Info

Leeks grow in a long tubular bulb of loose layers, similar to an onion.  The edible portion is the white bulb and some of the light green leaves. However, the darker the leaves, the more bitter and wooden the leaves taste.  As such, they are usually discarded.  The body of the leek, however, can be added to soup stocks, sautéed, or eaten raw.

While more of a flavor enhancer than a reliable source of nutrients, leeks are a tasty way of getting more manganese, and the B vitamin folate, in your diet.

Usage Tips

Leeks are available from August to March but are best from September to February. When shopping for leeks, look for long straight bulbs without cracks or yellowing.  The leaves should not be wilted or torn.  Also, as the bulbs start to get thicker, they become more fibrous and wooden, so stick to ones that are thinner.

Store leeks raw and uncut in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Keeping them wrapped in moist (not soaked) cloths or plastic will also help them maintain freshness. Cooked leeks will only retain their flavor and taste for a day or two so try to only cook what you need.

These lovely bulbs can be added raw to a salad or sandwich, or sautéed with herbs and onions to add to soups, casseroles or broths. You can also use them as a main ingredient in a deliciously rich Leek and Potato Soup.  Here is my version, based off this recipe.

Simple Leek & Potato Soup

INGREDIENTS

4-6 tablespoons Butter

4 1/2 cups Chicken Broth

2 tablespoons Garlic

2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning Mix

3 large Leeks

1/2 large Onion, diced

2 large Potatoes, peeled, chopped

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, onions and garlic; stir to coat with butter.  Cover saucepan; cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes begin to soften but do not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Add 4 1/2 cups stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.

Puree soup in batches in processor until smooth. Return to saucepan.

Thin with additional stock if soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Bring soup to simmer. Ladle into bowls.

Michele’s note: Nada will be featuring a different seasonal produce item/recipe each month, so send in your requests/questions! :) I love leeks, and I picked some up during my grocery shopping this week as soon as I saw this soup recipe- and now I’ve learned to wrap store them better, thanks to her advice! How do YOU cook with leeks?

This post is part of:

Finer Things Friday at Amy’s Finer Things
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum
Frugal Friday at Life As Mom
Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade

Nada is a first-time mom to a delightful little girl and the wife to a wise and wonderful man. With a background in fitness and nutrition, she enjoys healthy cooking, green cleaning and especially writing, and has acquired a vast knowledge of interesting little facts… about everything! She aspires to be a Godly woman that her daughter is proud to call “Mom” and through her blog, miniMOMist, she discusses how attachment parenting, minimalism, simplicity and frugal living help her in her everyday mission.

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9 comments to Farmer’s Market Find: Leeks (& A Simple Soup!)

  • I make a tasty, savory leak pie with goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. I make the crust from a pastry sheet. While it was originally a vegetarian recipe, I have since added bacon bits because according to my husband, if it doesn’t have meat in it, it’s not food. What can I say, he’s from Wisconsin.

    [Reply]

    Nada Reply:

    @Hanneke Nelson, Oooooh, leeks and goat cheese? That sounds amazing! Can you share the recipe, or is it just a “make as you go” kind of recipe? As for the bacon, I’d have to do the same thing. I love vegetarian food (minus the soy) but my husband belongs to the same school of thought as your husband!

    [Reply]

    Hanneke Nelson Reply:

    I would love to send you the recipe. Feel free to share. I am emailing it to the email address you listed on the contact page. The recipe originally came from the Dutch supermarket “Albert Heyn”. I just translated and Americanized it. Enjoy!

    [Reply]

  • [...] so excited! My first post at Frugal Granola is up! Do you love leeks? If so, please check out my post! And if you have any fruits or veggies [...]

  • Jeanie

    Thanks for the info, I’ve never tried leeks, but I will now! Great post!

    [Reply]

  • [...] Breakfast: Genius Porridge, Eggs Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Oranges Dinner: Simple Leek & Potato Soup, Bread, leftover [...]

  • TJ

    I love to add leeks to my veggie soup in the winter. It just gives the soup a little extra something without the strong taste and texture of an onion. I tend to add them toward the end because they do not need to be cooked too long.

    [Reply]

  • I recently “found” leeks too. We bought a bunch at the Farmer’s Market and so I chopped and froze them and break them out every once in awhile to add to omelets. A nice alternative to onions.

    [Reply]

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