Here I’m making potato leek soup (which sold out way too quickly). As I’m sure some of you have noticed we’re working the late winter/ early spring soups right now. This is a pretty hard time of year to do local and seasonal. But we’re working things like Parsnips (just starting to come up locally), kale (hearty bugger), late root vegetables, mushrooms (which are cultivated and grow all year), etc.
If you haven’t cooked with leeks before, don’t be afraid. They work like onions, just a bit more sweet and less onion-y. And they can have a slightly more slimy texture, depending on how they are cut and cooked.
The bottom parts, the white-ish parts seen here, cook at rates very similar to onions. The top leafy parts can be much more tough and require more extraordinary cooking efforts. In this soup we were using one of Rolando’s fancy recipes which calls for the green parts to be cut off, mostly so that the soup will be a pretty white in the end. Don’t worry, we didn’t throw them away, they are great when making soup stock.
One important tip for cooking with leeks is that you MUST be sure to wash away the dirt. usually this isn’t too hard, just cut them the long way in half, then peel back the leaves to expose the dirt and rinse it away. They grow in sandy soil so they’re one of the dirtier vegetables around.