illustration of bowl of soup red hearts by Maddy Brown

The Soup that Got Me Through 2020

Art by Maddy Brown

In fear of being one of those authors who puts their life story in the introduction to a recipe which no one will read, I’ll just say this: potato and leek seemed pretty underwhelming a combo to me when I first heard my coworker rave about this amazing soup. I was wrong to be doubtful though. This soup is creamy, hearty, simple, cheap and can be made vegan! I know what you’re thinking; say less



60ml olive oil, plus extra for use as you see fit 

1 brown onion, diced 

1 tablespoon minced garlic (or do 1 fresh garlic clove, minced, if you’re fancier than me) 

4 medium desiree potatoes (these are the purpley red ones) peeled and chopped into approx. 2cm cubes  

2 leeks, pale section only, thinly sliced 

1.25L vegetable liquid stock 

125ml thickened cream (optional, really has minimal effect on flavour and texture) 

+ Whatever bread moment you’re vibing right now, toasted or not, to serve 



I personally love to add some fresh, chopped thyme leaves; fresh parsley; and crushed black pepper. Due to the salt content in the vegetable stock, it is usually not necessary to add salt. 



  1.     Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant. Now is generally also a good time to add other seasonings. Add potatoes and leek and cook, stirring, until leek begins to soften and separate. 
  2.     Add the stock and bring this to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat back to medium and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes or so, stirring every now and then, until the potato is soft. 
  3.     Obtain a blendy tool – this could be a blender, hand-held masher, or any combination/variation of these. Blend the mixture until it resembles a conventional soup texture. Be thorough in this! No one likes a lumpy soup.  
  4.     [OPTIONAL] At a medium heat, add the cream and stir to combine for 5 minutes.  
  5.   Add any other seasonings you’re really frothing. This is the point where I add pepper – my coworker tells me she adds a drizzle of olive oil. Grab a slice of toasted bread and serve.


The soup keeps pretty well and can easily be made in mass amounts. The ingredients are cheap, easy to come across, and generally represent something you may already have in your cupboard. 

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