A cousin to onions and garlic, but with a sweeter, more subtle flavor, leeks are less brashly assertive than many of their allium cousins. As suitable as the center of a dish as it is as a supporting player, leeks are endlessly versatile. Many hearty winter soups and stocks call for leeks—what combination is more classic and comforting than creamy potato and leek?—but their subtle flavor plays just as nicely in a lighter spring soup.
First things first: check out our all-inclusive guide to buying and preparing leeks before placing them in your stockpot. Once you’ve made your grocery trip, it’s time to get creative. Stuff them with raisins and blue cheese before roasting for a wonderfully fragranced stuffed leek recipe. Or cook the leek tops briefly for a bright onion-flavored green dish. From Swiss cheese soup to braised pork belly with leek and ginger, here are the 18 best leek recipes in our arsenal.