This afternoon I harvested what I thought would be a bumper crop of leeks. It was the first time I have ever grown them, and they did not turn out as expected. Instead of fat, white leeks, I ended up with skinny bulbous green leeks. The entire crop of about 20 plants were about the same size at 1 normal sized leek. I was a little disappointed, but didn’t let it get me down. I will just have to read a bit more because there are a few things I think I didn’t do right. I didn’t blanch the stems by wrapping newspaper around them, or pile up mulch around each plant. I didn’t thin them out enough. I don’t think I fertilised them enough either. Oh well, there is always next season which is only about 4 months away before I plant some more for winter. Some growing tips from Olive and Popeye would be fantastic if they drop by the blog!
Now, not wanting to waste this humble offering of home grown leeks, I decided to make leek and potato soup. I have never tried to cook this before but have tasted this type of soup in a restaurant. I had to buy two more leeks from the grocer to add to my crop as the recipe calls for three leeks. I also used homegrown onions and garlic in my recipe.
Leek and Potato SoupServes 42 leeks, washed, sliced2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed2 cloves garlic, smashed1 brown onion, halved then sliced30gm butter2 sticks celery, slicedA sprig of thyme2 bay leavesWaterSalt & Pepper to season1. Melt the butter in a heavy based pan, add all the vegetables. Turn down the heat to a simmer and sweat for 10 minutes.2. Add the sprig of thyme and bay leaves, and add enough cold water to just cover the vegetables. Bring to boil, reduce and simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes or until the potato is soft.3. Remove the sprig and bay leaves and blend soup with hand blender until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Just add a little at a time until the desired taste is achieved. Bon Appetite!
I served it up with crusty home made bread. It was fantastic, and even Ben wolfed it down. We all found it very filling and just what was needed on a cool day.
Margaret's Ramblings says
Morning Gavin from a cold and frostly Nottingham. I never had much luck growing leeks in New Zealand but since I have moved to the UK I’ve had wonderful success. I don’t do anything different, the only difference is the cold weather. It is -2 outside this morning, the leaves of the leeks are white but they are standing thick and tall, in fact some are as thick as my wrist. Hopefully someone be able to give you some hints.
Veggie Gnome says
Gav, I’m the same. I bung them in and hope they’ll grow well. I do get some. However, Olive & Popeye have the knack. I have been getting some of their bounty, and boy, it is delicious! There’s is a bunch still in the fridge, and I’m undecided as to what to do with them. Too many choices! Good luck with the next lot. As you say, there’s still next season, and the season after. 🙂
Hi Gavin, Having watched Peter Cundall (gardening Australia, ABC) planting leeks, I decided to try some for the first time this year. What he did was lime the soil, poke a deep hole and drop a seedling in, DON’T fill in the hole.Just the tip of the leek will show from the top of the hole. Water with seasole. Watch them grow ! (Even the ones that were completely covered by the soil washing in, came up.) As they grow they will fill out in the hole, Them mulch with peastraw, or similar. I read somewhere that they don’t like too much nitrogen. Good luck next time, let me know how you get on.
P.S. After trying to grow from seed and the disappointing germination, I have decided that I will always buy seedlings in future.
I’m sure I am growing mine all wrong and will now go and find that Peter Cundall video. For potato and leek soup I’ve always softened the leeks, added flour, then potatoes and stock, then milk. Yum
Sharon J says
I love leek and potato soup – now I’m going to have to adjust my menu plan because I really fancy some 🙂
john (dad) says
gav i used to wrap newspaper aroun them and with celery used to do the same it made nice clean plants
Thanks for the tips everyone. I found Pete’s method online and will definately be giving it a go late Feb.
Just one question for Olive. How deep and round do the holes need to be?
Hi Gavin, Use a piece of dowling a thickish broom handle size and taper one end to a blunt point. Push it into the soil deep enough so that only the very tips (1cm. or so) of the seedling sow above the top of the hole, just water with seasol and that’s it. Seems strange not to fill in the hole but it does work ! The deeper the leek is planted, the longer the white section will be.