Preserving and freezing leeks is a great way to be able to use leeks year round in delicious soups, stews and stir fries. We recently were gifted a box of seconds leeks from our friends’ farm down the road. We made homemade Bacon Potato Leek soup but still had a bunch of leeks left so decided we should preserve them. It is so simple and easy to preserve and freeze leeks- they are probably one of the easiest vegetables to preserve since there is no cooking, peeling or blanching involved!
Leeks are in the same family, Allium, as onions, shallots and green onions. They all have a slightly different flavor but leeks can make your eyes burn and the tears fall just like an onion- and I know this from experience!
This last week we preserved close to a dozen leeks. I actually had to walk away and take a break a few times to give my eyes a rest since they were watering so much.
Despite the watery eyes, I love the taste of leeks! Especially when eating them in a warm bowl of homemade soup on a cold wintry Montana day. Yum!
How to preserve leeks
- Step 1: Wash the leeks and scrub away any soil still stuck on.
- Step 2: Cut the root end off the bottom of the leek. Cut the stalk at the pale green end right before the leaves turn dark green. If any of the leek is starting to yellow or dry out, peel this outer layer off the leek. If you have fresh from the garden leeks this may not be an issue but with seconds that were starting to dry out and yellow a bit we had to remove a layer or two to get down to the fresher leek underneath.
- Step 3: Rinse the leeks again to remove any soil that was trapped between the greens as they were growing. Pat dry.
- Step 4: With a sharp knife, slice the leek horizontally across the stalk into thin slices about 1/4″ thick.
- Step 5: Package the leeks in plastic zip bags or we use a vacuum sealer like this one that seals them well so they last longer in the freezer. Each leek measured about 1 cup sliced so I bagged ours in 2 cup quantities so I know that is about equivalent to two sliced leeks.
How to use preserved leeks
I made a roast chicken and put sliced leeks in the roasting pan when cooking it. The chicken tasted great but the homemade chicken broth we made from it tasted even better since it was flavored with the leeks!
We made a big pot of our family’s favorite recipe for chicken corn soup using the homemade broth with leeks. It was so delicious!