From potato soup to pizza, learn how to use this flavorful vegetable.

By Isadora Baum
April 08, 2020
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With a mild taste that's reminiscent of their cousins garlic and onions, leeks add a distinct flavor profile to your dishes. But if you're unfamiliar with this green veggie, you might not know how to start cooking them.

"Leeks can add a punch of aroma and flavor to many recipes when prepared correctly," says Sofia Norton, RD. "In their raw state, leeks are crunchy and firm, with a mild onion flavor. Cooked, they are slightly sweet, with a caramel scent."

Here are the best ways to cook with leeks:

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Make a Soup

"The best and tastiest way to prepare leeks is in simple creamy vegetable soups. A popular favorite is French leek and potato soup, which calls for around the same amount of pureed and blended leeks and potatoes, cream, and crumbly bacon," says Norton. You can also use them in place of onions or spring onions in legume soups and make clear broths with leeks and herbs.

Add to Creamy Sauces

"Leeks and cream always make a great pairing, and that includes in creamy sauce recipes. Next time you make a creamy pasta sauce with heavy or sour cream, make it with the white parts of leeks for the perfect balance of onion-like flavor and tender texture," she says.

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Roast With Other Veggies

Roasted leeks develop an earthy, caramel flavor. "They're perfect roasted in the oven at high temperatures with other veggies like carrots, mushrooms, or Brussels sprouts for a healthy side dish. You can also roast them on their own sprinkled with a bit of olive oil, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese," says Norton. You can pair roasted leeks with your favorite proteins, such as baked chicken for dinner or eggs for breakfast.

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In a Dip

Leeks work well in creamy dip. Due to their mild flavor, they pair beautifully with bolder ingredients like garlic, bacon, or artichokes. For a super smooth dip, cook the leek beforehand so it will have a softer texture to combine easily.

Try it: Leek Dip

Use on Pizza

"Use two medium leeks and a handful of bacon as your next pizza topping. This combo results in lots of herbal aroma and umami flavor that gives pizza more flair," says Norton. Of course, you can add other ingredients as well, as long as they complement and don't overpower the leeks. Good options include mozzarella cheese, olives, tomato sauce, and button mushrooms.

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