“It looks like a green onion”, but it is a leek.
We hear that all the time in the Produce world. Leek is slowly growing in popularity, but still remains in the category as somewhat of a gourmet type item. They have been around for many, many years, yet many people have never heard of them. Availability is year round and prices do not fluctuate much. The fall/ winter season seems to be when people use them the most. My favorite way that I have enjoyed leek is in soup, specifically Potato Leek soup. I love the mild, creamy onion flavor that it offers. Very simple, and easy to make. Leeks can also be sliced as a relish, eaten with a dip or raw, braised in the oven, diced, or added to a salad which adds a crunchy onion flavor.
Some of the health benefits known about leeks are that they are high in fiber and potassium. They are also known to help lower cholesterol and have many other vitamins benefits as well.
Leeks grow in the ground like a regular onion. The root and the white part are underground with the green tops sticking out. Because of this, the most important thing is to make sure that they are cleaned properly before using. Cleaning them is quite easy. Cut the roots off of the bottom and chop off the top part between green and white. Then cut again lengthwise, and rinse under cold water. The dirt in there comes out pretty easy. Once they are clean, you are ready to dice up the leek. The white part is the part that is typically eaten. They are the most tender and have a mild flavor. The all green part is quite tough, with a strong flavor.
Potato Leek Soup
This is very simple and easy to do. You could add more ingredients if you so choose. Other things I may add from time to time might include diced carrots as another vegetable or diced ham or cooked chicken if you are looking for meat in yours. If you’re looking to try a different kind of soup, give this one a try. It is different, but oh so good.
- 3 Large Leek, cut lengthwise, separate, and clean. Pale white and white part only, dice, and chop.
- 2 T. Butter
- 2 Cups Water
- 2 Cups (1 can) Chicken Broth
- 2 Lbs Potatoes, peeled, and diced
- ¼ Cup Fresh or Dried Parsley
- ½ tsp. Dried Thyme
- Cook diced leek in butter with salt and pepper in a medium sauce pan.
- Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes checking often, as you do not want leeks to brown at all.
- Add water, broth, and potatoes.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Take about half of your soup mixture out of the pan and put in blender to puree it. This will still give you some soup that will have some chunks. You could puree all of it; if you want it real smooth and creamy with no chunks - your call.
- Return mixture to pan, add thyme and parsley.
- Season with more salt, 1 to 2 teaspoons, and ground pepper to desired taste.
Coborn’s, Inc. Produce Merchandiser
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