As comfy as a pair of worn jeans, leek and potato soup is just as delicious.  Particularly today, as the extreme freezing temperatures demand making and eating soup!

The typical leek and potato soup most Americans know is Vichyssoise, that cold and creamy version created – as legend has it – at the Ritz Carlton in New York, in the early 20th century.  The version I present here is French family style, more of a potage than a soup really, as simple as dawn and just as wonderful.  It’s a perfect week night warm-you-up, served with fresh bread and followed by a salad.  If you want to dress this up, use chicken stock instead of water, and whisk in a dollop of creme fraiche just before serving.  Or, do as I do and drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil.  Then, decide which you like best.

What follows is the recipe and a trio of “how to” videos, so you can make this in a thrice.

Leek and Potato Soup

5 good-sized leeks, trimmed of all but 1-inch of their green leaves, well-       rinsed, and diced
3 medium or 2 large, starchy potatoes, peeled and diced
1 fresh or dried, imported bay leaf
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

  1.  Place the leeks, potato and bay leaf in a medium-sized saucepan, and cover by 2-inches with filtered water.  Place the pan over medium high heat and when the water is boiling, add a generous pinch of salt, reduce the heat so the water is simmering, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender and the leeks have lost some of their vivid green color, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat, and remove the bay leaf.  Puree the soup, using a wand blender. If it is too thick, stir in either water or cream, until the texture is what you like best.
  2. To serve, divide the soup among four soup bowls.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and make sure you’ve got bread on the table.

Serves 4

Preparing leeks for Washing

Washing leeks:

Dicing Leeks:

Dicing Potato:

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8 Responses to Leek and Potato Soup

  1. Cynthia Crumlish says:

    Loved watching these videos! Recently completed a plant-based nutrition course through Cornell (Dr. T Colin Campbell’s aegis) and am now finishing an online course called ROUXBE that Cornell recommended. Nice to see you are dicing leeks in the recommended way!

    • Susan says:

      Cynthia, Yes, it’s part of French dicing technique. Note how I hold the knife. I’ll show this more often in short videos…it is so important to have good knife skills because it makes everything easy! Your courses sound great. What do you mean “plant-based” nutrition? I’m very curious.

      • Cynthia Crumlish says:

        Hi Susan! I am making the soup right now! Que de beaux souvenirs of this soup at la vieille gare in Orléans where Dad was stationed when I was a teen. Knife skills are oh so important! I learned a lot from Christina Pirello (vegan/macrobiotic cook and teacher extraordinaire!) but also got some great hints from the Cornell course. I can now dice an onion in ten seconds! Whole foods plant based nutrition is just what the name says: no animal foods. Plants. Delicious! One starts out with “What can I POSSIBLY eat?” quickly arriving at “How can I POSSIBLY eat all of this?” More info from the Drs. Neal Barnard, Esselstyn, Campbell (author of The China Study), Greger and McDougall. Not everyone’s tasse de thé but the tastebuds are definitely changing in that direction. Bon appétit!

  2. Karen Shadbegian says:

    Sounds great for a cold evening… What is a “wand” blender?

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