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Vegetable of the Month – Leeks

This month’s vegetable is that seasonal favourite, one of the only veggies we’re still cropping, that Welsh helmet garnish, the lovely leek!

Fun Facts

  • As a hardy vegetable, we are able to grow leeks year round in the UK.
  • Leeks take about 35 weeks to grow from seed.
  • Not just tasty, leeks are also a great source of vitamins C and B9.
  • Did you know that the leek became a Welsh emblem because St David advised Welsh soldiers to wear them on their helmets, so they could better identify the enemy?

Sewing and growing

March is prime sowing time for leeks, so get out there. Sow any time from February-April, indoors and then transplant outdoors after approx’ 8 weeks. The only equipment you’ll need is a dibber! Make a row of holes with the dibber: 15 cm deep and spaced 15 cm apart

Stand your leek (or leeks, we’ve been trying cluster planting this year and it’s going well!) in the hole and puddle in well with water (this allows soil to settle around the leek) rather than filling in the holes with soil.

Weed your leeks regularly – they don’t like competition! To accentuate the white stem, “earth up” the leeks by mounding soil around them once they get going.

You can lift lovely baby leeks from 2 months, and mature leeks closer to 4 months. Harvesting early will prolong the harvest season. Simply loosen with a fork, and pull out of the ground before trimming off any dead ends.

Give the leeks a brush to remove any loose dirt, and store in a cool, dark place (like your fridge!) for up to a week. Leeks tend to hold on to grit, so make sure to give them a really good rinse before cooking.

Lemony Leek Spring Soup

This zingy soup is a great way to welcome spring, filled with seasonal veggies, it will brighten up any rainy day.

Prep: 5 minutes

Cooking: 15 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 2-3 medium leeks
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • Good handful of spring greens
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 litre of broth, ideally vegetable or chicken
  • small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Himalayan sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste


Wash and roughly chop all your veggies, being sure to give your leeks a really good rinse to get any grit out. There’s no real need to peel your carrots if you can get them nice and clean.

Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large, heavy bottomed pan, and soften the leeks for two minutes. If you feel they might stick, just add a little stock.

Once the leeks have softened, add the carrots and celery and soften for two minutes before grating in the garlic (you can also mince it before adding), a pinch of salt and a generous amount of pepper.

Give this a good stir together and add the stock. Bring just to boiling and cook for five minutes.

Add the cannellini beans, asparagus, spring greens and thyme, and stir well. It’s best to add these at the end of cooking to avoid them getting too soft.

Once the spring greens have wilted (about two minutes) finish your soup with the juice of half a lemon and season as you like.

Serve with seeded sourdough and welcome in spring.