A nice winter warmer inspired by The Andes, cause not all Latin America is tropical baby!
The Andean region in the western side of Latin America feels like winter most of the time, and this style of soup is what people use to keep warm in the mountains. There are many variations of soups in the Andean region which extend from Venezuela, and Colombia, to Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
Most popular soups in the Andean Region are called Chupes, but there are many other names for Andean Style soups, with this post I wanted to drop the names and use the general technique used in the Andes to make a fairly easy, slightly bouge soup that you can try at home in under 40 min, it focuses in no waste so I use scraps like the green part of the leek and potato peels (that are normally discarded) to make delicious garnishes that elevate this soup, and the best part is that you don’t need any fancy equipment to try this at home.
Most Andean soups use potatoes or root vegetables as the core and creamy fatty elements like cheese and milk make for a delicious wintery soup, some of them include poach or fried eggs, and in some cases, corn, avocado, coriander and several proteins are added, this is just as a guideline, that uses few ingredients to create punchy and super flavourful Vegetarian soup.
Potato and Leek SoupCourse: Entree, DinnerCuisine: Latin AmericanDifficulty: Medium
This Andean Style Potato and Leek soup have something unique to give, the use of normally discarded vegetable scraps to take this dish to another level in an easy way presents a clever strategy to use vegetables to the max and amplify flavour.
1 leek white part chopped (green part reserved)
1/2 brown onion diced
4 brush potatoes cleaned and peeled cubed to 2 cm (skins reserved)
1 green chilli deseeded and finely diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 c veggie stock
1 c water
Bunch of fresh herbs (coriander by preference but you can use parsley, basil or a combo)
Flaky salt to taste
- ᒪeek oiᒪ
Reserved Green top of leek roughly chopped
1 c neutral oil
Pinch of salt
Drops of lemon
- Cᖇiᔕᑭy ᑭotᗩto ᔕkiᑎᔕ
Reserved potato skins washed and pat dry
Oil for frying
200g melty cheese cubed to 1 cm (tasty, mozzarella, provola, or any other of your preference)
- For the soup
- In a large pot heat olive oil, sauté leek, onion and green chili until softened.
- Add coriander seeds and salt
- Add potatoes and cook for another couple of min
- Add veggie stock and water, and herbs and bring to a slow boil, meanwhile prepare leek oil and crispy potato skins.
- Cook soup until potatoes are soft but still have some bite to it
- Add milk, lower temp to a simmer and season with salt and a few drops of lemon don’t add too much or the mixture will curdle
- Crack the eggs and poach them in the soup for 4-5 min until set but still runny in the middle, remove from heat
- For the leek oil
- Add the leek and oil to a small pot and cook at low temp until leek softens about 15 min, let cool down a bit and then blend and strain with a fine sieve, season with salt and a few drops of lemon and reserve. (Oil can be stored in the fridge for other recipes)
- For the crispy potatoes
- Heat the oil to 180C, fry in batches until crunchy, drain in paper towels, season with flaky salt and keep warm in a tray in the oven at 120C
- To plate
- In a soup bowl, arrange melty cheese cubes, ass few ladles of soup, top with a poached egg, add a tbsp of leek oil, add more cheese cubes around and top with some crispy potatoes
- Substitutions: You can leave the leek out and use spring onion instead. For dairy-free options use coconut milk and dairy-free cheese
- Variations: To add a protein like chicken or seafood, cube proteins in smaller 3-4 cm portions (prawns or scallops can be left whole), marinate proteins with a bit of salt and pepper and mince garlic, add them at the end when the potatoes are almost cooked through so the protein poaches gently, for chicken poach for 6-8 min at a low temperature, seafood or fish 3-4 min (adjust according to specific protein) until cooked through, to stop cooking you can remove the protein from the soup and set aside until serving time, otherwise it will continue cooking with the residual heat from the soup