Cooking With Leeks
I just received an email from Carolyn who asked, "Can I use leeks interchangeably with onions in vegetable soup? I never use leeks. I heard they get slimy. thanks, carol"
My response to Carol is yes you can. Leeks are in the same family as onions and in my humble opinion they are one of the most underrated vegetables readily available. I love them and the flavor they add to a dish. In fact, whatever you are making might taste even better than with onions.
Be sure to use only the white and light green parts of the leek. They can be very sandy, so cut off the root end and the tough dark green parts, slice them right down the center longways and then into little half moons.
Break all the layers apart and dunk and swish into cold, deep water in a clean sink. The sand will fall to the bottom of the sink and you will be left with clean leeks. It has not been my experience that leeks get slimy, so you shouldn't have to worry about that.
What Do Leeks Taste Like?
Because they are in the onion family, they will have an onion-e flavor but it's going to be much milder. But like onions when cooked, leeks become sweeter, buttery and creamy. Cooking with them gives a slight onion flavor but with wonderful buttery flavor, fantastic aroma and extra texture.
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Thank you, I used them and the soup is wonderful! I will use them more often.
I need to substitute leeks in a recipe that call for 1cup of diced onion. Do I use 1cup of diced leeks? Or do I use smaller amount or more?
G. Stephen Jones
Hi Sue, leaks are similar in taste to sweet onions or green onions. Red and yellow onions are a bit more stronger tasting but I often exchange one for one leaks to onions and don't notice any difference.