South African potato and leek soup

The days are shortening; the wind is slowing; the chill is creeping; and the rain is threatening.  Most evenings nowadays seem like perfect evenings for earthy soups, my favorite fuzzy blue blanket draped around me like a cape, the couch, work avoidance, and a TV series marathon instead.

Last year I discovered leeks in my weekly bag of Harvest of Hope veggies, an amazing and empowering initiative driven by women in the Cape Flats who learn to grow and harvest veggies to feed their families and bring beautiful, seasonal, organic, local veggies to our doorsteps.  At first I found leeks to be somewhat flat, leafy, and seemingly unappetizing but as the bushels piled up in my fridge, my curiosity built as well, so I started adding small amounts to my dishes and was pleasantly surprised. They then became one of my favorite accents in stirfrys, eggs, pastas, and soups…

I had been yearning for my leeks all summer and finally, last week, I saw a gigantic bushel at the store and my heart warmed my chilly bones!  I immediately knew exactly what I would make and stocked up on all the ingredients.

South African potato and leek soup (serves 4)


  • 2 tbl butter
  • 1 onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 heaped tsp garlic
  • 1 bushel leeks chopped
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 300g butternut peeled and cubed (the special South African flare)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • ground salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter in a pan and saute the garlic and onions until lightly browned
  2. Add the leeks, white pepper, paprika, salt and some ground pepper and saute until softened and fragrant for about 5 minutes
  3. Add the potatoes, butternut, chicken broth and wine
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes
  5. When the potatoes and butternut have softened, mash up the ingredients and mix in the milk
  6. Blend the soup in a blender and serve with freshly ground pepper and toasted cheesy bread

One thought on “South African potato and leek soup

  1. Yes please! Did you make this up yourself? You are so impressive. I def have to try making this….although I’m not sure I would know a leek if I saw one. 🙂

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