The German Files: Potato -Leek Soup
Have you noticed that when you get older, you start thinking more and more about things of your childhood? At least I am – about games my nan used to play with me (I think she was borderline gambling addicted as I learned a lot of card games), watching my grandad painting amazing pictures and my mum cooking. I grew up in Germany in the 60s and 70s when food was plenty but not very good (ask anyone). Mostly meat-based, dishes were meant to fill you not excite you and everything seemed heavy and filling.
I have to say upfront that my mum was not a passionate cook. She cooked to feed her family, not because she wanted to. As my dad loved stews (and my family was very traditional with my dad being the head of the household) you can’t imagine the number of times I was served stew- beef stew, chicken stew, lamb stew – stew stew stew. To this day I hate stew although I can make a mean one.
There were some things, my mum cooked better than anyone else (at least in my innocent eyes) and not all of them looked like a stew. So, with getting older myself, I thought I write the recipes down that I grew up with and actually liked. I am starting with potato-leek soup. Now you might think that this is not German as we eat it in England and Ireland all the time. It is still the only stew-like dish I actually liked at home. My mum served it with frankfurter sausage (my mum was just delighted I ate any meat so made sure I got most of the sausage pieces – I didn’t like the ends so my brother always ended up with all of them. It’s a long story).
My mum ever pureed her potato leek soup as my dad loved chunky soups but I like it when it looks more like a soup and not a stew.
Potato-Leek Soup (serves 4)
- 1.5-2kg potatoes (peeled and cubed)
- 1 large onion (peeled and chopped)
- 2 medium leeks (cleaned and sliced)
- 2 medium carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 1l vegetable stock
- Bunch parsley (chopped)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 4 Frankfurters (sliced)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
In a pot over medium heat, cook the onions, leeks, and carrots slowly until the onions turn translucent but not brown. Add the potatoes and stock, bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Season to taste and add almost all of the parsley.
If you like to puree the soup, do this now either by using a hand blender or a masher. Don’t over mash the soup, you still want some texture in the soup.
Return to a low heat and add the sliced frankfurters and heat through (they are already cooked so only need to be heated).
Serve in warmed bowls, sprinkle the rest of the parsley over and add a slice of brown bread.
Note: You can also add celery, cabbage, sauteed smoked bacon.