This one pot sausage potato leek soup is a comforting hearty twist on a classic. Under an hour cook time makes it a weeknight friendly quick soup.
There is an urgency in the air. A pressing down, and forward. Fall is ending and winter is coming. The animals feel it, and we, if we listen carefully enough, feel it too. We are so removed from the earth in our society of endless rows of sustenance. Fruits from spring littering shopping carts because people don’t know or just don’t care that a fall strawberry is a mere shell of what it should be.
The flies feel it here, desperately sneaking into my house hoping for a few more days or hours of life or perhaps just a respite from the biting cold outside. Driving me slowly mad with their incessant buzzing and irritating little feet on the one piece of exposed skin that sneaks out from under my blanket. The cat who can’t be bothered by us during the summer suddenly appears on my lap more and more frequently.
It’s days like this and seasons like this that I make soup. Sometimes I linger over the stock pot and simmer down bones and vegetables and sometimes, like today, I find myself far too pressed for that luxury. A toddler on the stool next to me; we peel potatoes and pick the skins off of onions and smash garlic with far too much exuberance. We make bread, mixing flour and yeast and water. We ruin the bread in the new oven’s warming drawer that should more aptly be called a slow cooker.
The leeks are wilted since I waited too many days to get to them, but they still oblige me by perfuming the room with their pungent aroma. Their smell of course sends my oldest, always somewhat melodramatic child running across the room declaring he will never eat the soup.
A few minutes later, while the sausage cracks and pops on the stove, he comes creeping back over, quietly declaring that “actually he does think he will like the soup”. He helps me pour a splash of cream in and season it with pepper and cinnamon and in a flick of a wrist far too much salt after our sausage addition.
Regardless we pack up and head home, a loaf of garlic studded bread I had picked up as a backup plan tucked into our basket. The basket moves from studio to car to home everyday packed full of ingredients and clean dishes in the morning and dirty dishes and finished meals each night. We adorn the soup with a sprinkle of cheese and far too large of a scoop of sour cream to tame down the salt and break off hunks of bread. Silence reins for a moment, a brief and glorious moment while I sip my whiskey. And then declarations of it being “the best soup in the world” are made by the oldest and barely understandable adorations are squeaked out from the dutifully mimicking baby brother who has never met a meal he didn’t like.
As we pickup the empty soup bowls and clean the table, the lights fade, the darkness presses into our warm small home and even in the midst of the chaos, we find that it is good.
- 1 lb sausage or ground beef or venison
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 1½-2 onions, diced
- 1 medium head garlic, minced
- 7 medium russet potatoes, peeled or scrubbed well and diced
- 2 medium leeks, cut in half and sliced thinly
- 2 (32-oz containers) beef stock
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Liberal amounts of salt and pepper
- Pinch of cinnamon
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Serve with: sour cream and crusty bread
- Cook meat in large stock pot over medium heat until cooked through. If meat is especially greasy pour into a colander to strain fat away. Set meat aside in fridge.
- In same pot add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or butter and sweat down the onions and garlic. I usually do this while I am cleaning and dicing the potatoes.
- Add potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped leeks and beef stock and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
- Add meat and lemon juice, salt, pepper, cinnamon to taste, adjusting to your preference. Just before serving swirl in cream.
- Serve with sour cream and crusty bread