This soup is hearty – and easy to make. Just look at the list of ingredients:
- 16 cups of water
- 6-8 large potatoes
- 3-4 leeks
- Head of garlic
- Bouillon cubes
- Salt (to taste)
Step 1: Boil the water
While you’re doing this, you can do some of the other prep work, like cleaning the potatoes and leeks.
Step 2: Add the potatoes
When the water comes to a rolling boil, you can add the potatoes. I usually leave the skin on (though I scrub the skin to get rid of the dirt) and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise before dropping them in. It may take some time for them to soften up completely, usually a half hour or more. Use any kind of potato you like.
Step 3: Fork the potatoes
When the potatoes are completely soft, I usually divide the halves unevenly into about four quadrants. This I do with the side of a fork instead of a knife, because a knife would cut too clean. The purpose here is to create a soup with uneven chunks of potatoes, but nothing really larger than bite size in the end. From this point on, the cooking will continue to gradually break down the potato chunks.
Step 4: Add your Bouillon
This is the kind of bouillon I use:
I add a full package – eight cubes. These slowly dissolve in the soup, but if you’re so inclined, you can help them along by mashing them up when they get soft.
Step 5: Add the leeks
I usually cut up the leeks into wide swathes, about half an inch wide (this allows them to last longer in the soup before turning into mush). Obviously you just want to stick with the stalk itself, and discard the part above where the leaves start separating from the stalk.
When you have all your swathes cut up, you can break up the rings with your fingers and add them to the soup.
Step 6: Add the garlic
I use a garlic presser and a full head of garlic. The fresher the garlic, the better. This part can be messy, depending on the kind of garlic presser you have. And if you have any cuts on your hands, watch out! They’ll sting with the garlic juice.
Step 7: Salt to taste
After letting the soup simmer for a final few minutes or so – just enough time to let that garlic permeate the soup – you can sample the broth. What you’ll probably find is that the soup tastes great, and without any additional salt. But if you used fewer bouillon cubes, you may find that it’s missing that final kick. If so, adding a bit more salt at this stage will bring the flavor into full bloom. It doesn’t just make the soup saltier, in other words, but it makes it taste fuller and richer. Try for yourself and see.