Creamy Meyer Lemon Potato Leek Soup with Cannellini Beans. A fresh take on a classic soup.
This velvety smooth and tangy soup came from a night where I had forgotten to thaw a whole chicken I had been planning on for dinner and realized it was too late to thaw on time. I looked around to see what I could make in an hour or so and still be filling and tasty.
I love making soups year round but especially in wintertime when nice, hot bowl of soup hits the spot. Served with a loaf of crusty ciabatta bread too.
Leeks, potatoes, broth, and lemons are items I always have on hand as well as cans of several different kinds of beans. I can make a lot of different recipes with just a few or all of these items. Pantry staples so to speak even if some items are never stored in my actual pantry.
Let’s talk leeks for a minute. I love them. They are my favorite to use in place of or along side onions in many recipes. Mild in flavor, they are wonderful additions to many recipes.
Leeks can be a very dirty vegetable since they are grown in sand. To clean them easily I just cut off the dark green leaves and trim off the root end, slice in half lengthwise then slice into half circles. I add them to my salad spinner, a colander set in a bowl would work as well, then I soak in cold water, shaking with my hands to release the sand and grit.
I rinse a few times to make sure they are clean and then I dry slightly before adding to my soup pot to cook. This is by far the easiest way to clean leeks.
Leek and Potato soup is a classic soup, stemming from 19th century France, and this is my take on it since I started with leeks and potatoes but added other non-classic ingredients. One ingredient that I love using in soups is roasted garlic. When I first made this soup I just added in mashed garlic cloves, which works just fine to go that way.
The next few times I decided to oven roast a whole bulb of garlic with some olive oil and add that in. So glad I did. Roasted garlic adds a wonderful flavor to soups. I always roast two bulbs, one for soup, one for pastas or even to spread on bread for a different take on garlic bread. Garlic smells amazing when roasting.
Other items I added into this soup to have it stray away from traditional potato leek soup is I added some shallot, a whole stemmed and de-seeded poblano pepper for some heat ( a jalapeño pepper would work great too), Meyer lemon zest and juice and some creamy, protein-rich cannellini beans.
The potatoes I used for this recipe are Yukon gold. I love their creamy flavor and color, red potatoes work great too. I personally wouldn’t use russet potatoes. I am not a fan of their texture at all.
For the roasted garlic:
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 whole garlic bulb
For the Soup:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 4 Leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced and rinsed well ( about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 Shallot, peeled and diced ( about 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 poblano or jalapeño pepper, stem, and seeds removed, diced
- 1/2 cup white wine (4 ounces)
- 1 tbsp Meyer lemon zest
- 1 tsp kosher Salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 lbs Red or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- One 15 oz can Canellini beans, drained
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- 6 cups Stock ( chicken or vegetable if keeping it vegetarian)
- 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Heavy cream or coconut milk (optional)
- Hot sauce
- Fresh chives, minced
Heat oven to 400 Deg F. Slice the top off a whole bulb of garlic, set on a piece of foil. Generously drizzle the cut end with olive oil and wrap tightly with the foil. Roast for 45-55 minutes or until very soft and starting to caramelize. Let cool enough to handle. Remove all of the roasted cloves and set aside. Prepare vegetables for soup while the garlic is roasting.
In a large stock pot or Dutch oven heat the oil and butter. Add the leeks and shallot and sauté until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the celery, poblano or jalapeño and sauté until those are soft as well, just a few more minutes.
Next, add in all of the roasted garlic cloves, wine, lemon zest, salt and pepper and still until the wine slightly reduces. Then add in the potatoes, beans, thyme, bay leaves and stock. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer, place a lid on the pot and cook, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are very tender. Around 20 minutes.
Remove bay leaves and thyme and either using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the soup until smooth. If using a regular blender this will have to be done in batches. I use a separate bowl to pour the pureed soup into and once it is all blended then I add it all back to the cooking pot.
Stir in the lemon juice, taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. Add in cream or coconut milk for an even creamier soup. This step is optional.
Serve and garnish with freshly chopped chives and a few turns of black pepper. Serve with crusty bread and hot sauce.
If you want to make this a heartier meal you could add sautéed mushrooms or add in cooked, shredded chicken or turkey for a non-vegetarian meal.