With two consecutive snow storms kindly reminding us that winter is here to stay, it’s officially soup-making season—the few months when I tend to make a huge range of delicious, flavorful soups to keep me warm and get me through to the spring. Apart from the warm, happy feeling they evoke, soups are also quick, easy, and affordable. Try out any variation of my Leek and Potato soup below, or head to some local eateries if you don’t have time to get in the kitchen this week.

Leek and Potato Soup

  • Slice two or three leeks – cut up to the green part, discard the rest.
  • Dice three to four medium sized potatoes (skins on or off, your choice)
  • Put leeks and potatoes into pot with 1-2tbsp butter or olive oil
  • Add salt and pepper and any herbs (fresh parsley, thyme, oregano, fennel seeds, or some dry Italian seasoning go well), stir until mixture softens, around 5 minutes
  • Add 1/4 cup of dry white wine and fill the rest of the pot with chicken or vegetable stock, until it’s about half an inch over the vegetables
  • Bring to a boil then turn down heat and let simmer for 20mins (or until the potatoes are tender)
  • Transfer to a blender and puree the mixture
  • Put it back into the pot, warm it up, stir in 1/4 cup to1/2 cup of heavy cream (to preference)
  • Add extra salt and pepper if needed – for an extra layer of flavor shred some sharp cheddar cheese upon serving.

I have played with this recipe a lot, sometimes adding radish greens, sometimes adding a fennel bulb, or some garlic, and have added just fennel seeds too. I will probably add some other winter greens at some point too, just to mix it up. Always comes out delicious and comforting—let me know what variations you come up with too!

Now what would a post on Read Local Boston be without some fabulous suggestions of places to visit in Boston? Here are some local restaurants where you can grab some soup on a cold winter’s day—with some input from my roommates as well!

Formaggio Kitchen and South End Formaggio – best homemade soups in the South End and Cambridge, changes every day. My favorites in the past have featured kale, an amazingly rich winter green.

Petit Robert Bistro – Coffee and Potato Soup with Toasted Almonds

Garden at the Cellar—Potato, Leek and Truffle Soup

B&G Oysters—Lobster Bisque

And for really inexpensive soup on the go:

New England Soup Factory—Two classics: Chicken Noodle Soup & Matzo Ball Soup

Shawarma King—Lentil Soup

Punjab Palace—Coconut Soup

Dok Bua—Guay-Tiow-Ped Noodle Soup—Duck Noodle Soup

And for the soups that must have a delicious, mouth-watering, European-influenced chunk of bread on the side, head to Clear Flour Bread. Best bakery in the area (thankfully, around the corner from me!)—though beware of long lines on weekends.

Of course I’m aware that New England Clam Chowdah is missing from this list. As I spent summers on the Cape growing up, I still have my go-to places in P-town and Wellfleet, but have yet to find my favorite Clam Chowder in the city—feel free to send in your tips, as well as other favorite soup spots in the Boston area!

In the meantime, bon appétit and stay warm!