Who doesn’t love a good potato soup in Winter? This recipe was my solution to two seemingly unrelated dilemmas. The quest to give regular ol’ potato soup a protein injection (so that I could justify eating more of it) and finding more uses for my never-ending supply of fish stock during my two year addiction to the stuff. (I’m assuming I’ve topped up whichever nutrient my body needed, because I’ve recovered now.)
Potato soup, with a twist
Now outside of a traditional chowder, fish and potatoes aren’t the most obvious partners in soup, but trust me – homemade fish stock is the magic spark that leek and potato soup has been missing all this time! It’s not as fishy as one might think and gives this soup a delicious savoury edge.
If you’re new to making fish stock (or simply need a recipe), check out my beginners guide, here. But be warned, it’s very moreish once you get started making it at home.
A surprisingly nutrient-dense food
If you don’t think potatoes pull their nutritional weight – it’s time to think again. They are in fact loaded with potassium (more than bananas), vitamin C (more than tomatoes), B6, iron, manganese and fibre. They’re also full of carotenoids and flavonoids and have been associated with lowering blood pressure due to their kukoamine content. Kukoamine is now being studied for its neuroprotective effects and ability to neutralise endotoxin (which is the toxic waste produced in our gut by ‘bad’ bacteria).
Potatoes do belong to the nightshade family, so if you’re trying to reduce your alkaloid intake (folks with autoimmune issues), then removing the skin can help.
As is typical of most of my recipes, this one has evolved over several years, so that it no longer resembles the original incarnation. We now throw in coriander stems, although you can use the leaves or roots – whatever you have on hand. Cayenne pepper has replaced the chilli flakes and we also add a few leaves of finely sliced leafy greens from the garden.
And in terms of texture, this soup is versatile. It can be enjoyed as a chunky home-style soup or blended until smooth. We love it chunky. More interesting – less effort!
In terms of texture - this is a versatile soup. It can be enjoyed as a chunky home-style soup or blended until smooth. And because this recipe has evolved over several Winters, it no longer looks anything like my original photo!
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 leek, finely sliced
- ½ tsp chilli flakes or dash of cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp caraway seeds
- 5 medium potatoes (800g), cut into 2cm cubes
- 1L unsalted fish stock
- 1 bunch coriander stems, finely chopped
- Large handful of parsley, finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- White pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- Optional: handful of leafy greens, finely sliced
- Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the leek, chilli flakes and caraway seeds for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and sauté for another 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Add all other ingredients except the leafy greens and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the soup has thickened and potatoes are very soft. 5 minutes before the end, add the leafy greens.
- Blending is optional, depending on which type of soup you’re in the mood for. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream.
I've not tried this recipe with any other type of stock, however I imagine it would work just as well with chicken if you don't happen to have fish stock on hand.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Let me know how you go in the comments below.