Potato Leek Soup with Homemade Herbed Croutons

One of my favorite fall recipes is Potato Leek Soup. Easy, hearty, healthy and veggie - can't get much better than that! The original recipe came from my parents who pulled it from some food magazine, but I've made it so many times, I don't follow a recipe any more. And the Herbed Croutons are my yummy little addition. As far as I'm concerned, everything's better with croutons.

Potato Leek Soup

2 leeks

1 white onion

6-8 potatoes (I used Yellow Wax, but other varieties are fine, too.)

2 TBSP olive oil

6 cups water and/or veggie broth

salt and pepper

Herbed Croutons

stale bread

olive oil

salt and pepper

dried herbs (I used Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle and Turkish Oregano)

1) Trim, wash and chop the leeks.

2) Slice the onion.

3) Heat olive oil in stock pot.

4) Saute onion and leeks until soft, about 15-20 minutes.

5) Peel and cube potatoes.

6) Add potatoes and broth (and/or water) to onions and leeks. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat to medium low and simmer until potatoes are soft. About 20-25 minutes. 

7) Bust out the immersion blender. This is an amazing kitchen tool. Go buy one if you don't have one. (You can also transfer soup to a blender in batches, but it's a little trickier.)

8) Puree soup to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

For croutons...

1) Pull out your rock hard stale bread...whatever you have on hand.

2) Chop bread into cubes. (If it's really hard, you'll need a sharp Chef's knife, not a bread knife. And you may need safety goggles to protect your eyes from shooting bits of crust.)

3) Transfer bread cubes to bowl and generously coat with olive oil and/or butter. Season with salt, pepper and dried herbs. (I use whatever's on hand, but 

Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle is a really delicious blend.)

4) Toast seasoned cubes in toaster oven (or bake/broil in regular oven) for about 5 minutes. They are easy to burn, so keep your eye on them!

Perfect little croutons! I rarely buy store-bought croutons anymore because these are so tasty and easy...and they use up something that might otherwise be thrown away.

And there you have it - Potato Leek Soup with Homemade Herbed Croutons. Mmmmmmm.

I tend to make a lot of soups in the fall and winter, so maybe I'll share more recipes as the cold weather kicks in. Soups are such a wonderfully comforting food.