My Cape Cod Kitchen: Cod and Leek Soup And the Gifts of a Clean Kitchen


Cod and Leek Soup

“Govern a Family as you would cook a small fish, very gently.”
— Chinese Proverb

When cooking fish for a soup I decided to make this weekend I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes shared above. And how one of the things I love the most about being mom to three kids is how different each of them are from one another. Therefore my relationship to each of them can at times feel very different.

My oldest daughter is home on Spring Break and I cherish my time with her. She loves to take long walks. My younger daughter prefers to hang out in the kitchen to chat with me but often passes on the invite for long walks in the marsh. She can be a willing help though when it comes time for the Spring Kitchen clean. Even if it’s just to make sure I don’t throw out any candy or ice cream she has stored in the pantry or fridge. My son loves to read as much as I do, so we might connect over a book we’ve recently read.

Similar to cooking fish, I must also tend to my family very gently. I feel I am able to do that when I meet them where they’re at. Yet one thing we all agree on is the love for good food. On Saturday I began the task of cleaning out my kitchen. I wonder if anyone else took me up on last week’s invitation. As it turned out, it felt like a lot of work and took a good part of the afternoon and then into Sunday too, but it was well worth it. Besides, it was gorgeous weather-wise so we were able to keep the windows open and invite the fresh air indoors.GF_codsoup_031516

There were many gifts from cleaning my kitchen including time spent talking with my daughters; finding my favorite Bundt cake pan that I misplaced, pulling all of my sugar cookie cutters together in one spot, filling a trash bag with unused pantry items, including things like old papers overflowing the junk drawer, or items in the back of the refrigerator that are not going to be eaten and need to be discarded. And despite the fact we lost an hour of sleep to daylight savings time, I am thrilled it will be lighter later now.

It was Sunday before I completed my task and towards the end of the day I decided to make a simple meal with some cod and leeks I bought the day before when I stopped at the grocery store. I made a Cod & Leek soup with warm garlic naan bread to dip with olive oil on the side for dinner on Sunday.

This soup is more like chowder with the cream and potatoes, but I blended and processed the liquid so it was smoother then a traditional chowder. It’s a light and tasty soup. I topped it with fresh lemon juice and tarragon before serving. It’s very easy to make. You can use salmon instead of the cod if you prefer. And use fresh parsley to garnish if you have it on hand. I made enough to put in Sophia’s thermos tomorrow for school and this is one of the few soups she really likes, so I make more than I need.

Cod and Leek Soup

Cod and Leek Soup


1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 leeks, including the green parts, sliced thin
1 large potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
2 cups fish stock
3 cups water
1 lb. boneless, skinless cod, cut into ½ inch cubes, lightly salted and peppered
1 cup heavy cream
Lemon juice to taste (optional, I squeeze this into soup right before serving)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. tarragon to garnish


1) Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and leeks, and cook for about 3 minutes or until they begin to soften.

2) Add the potatoes, stock, water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat cover, and cook gently for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

3) Remove the soup from the heat and let cool slightly. Place about half of the soup in a bowl and use a hand processor to puree until smooth. Return to the pan with the rest of the soup and stir well.

4) Place the fish in to the soup pan. Reheat gently and cook for about five minutes or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Gently stir in the cream and add a bit of lemon juice and tarragon to taste before serving. Add additional salt and pepper if you prefer.


Linda Maria Steele

Linda Maria Steele

— By Linda Maria Steele

Linda Maria Steele is the author of “Meet me in My Cape Cod Kitchen: Recipes for Seaside Living.”

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