Potato and Leek soup is known across the world, probably because it is a classic combination of two much-loved vegetables. In France, this soup is called Vichyssoise and known more as being served cold. You can, of course,do that if it is the middle of a hot summer, but on a cold winter's day, what could be nicer than the soup served hot and steamy with a crusty French bread sandwich or slice or two of buttery Brioche.
This potato leek soup recipe has been in my family for generations. When I was a child, it was known as the cure for whatever ailed you. It still is. Warm, creamy, and comforting, with just the right touch of seasonings, this simple potato leek soup elevates home cooking into an effortless art.
- 2 medium leeks
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cubed
- 1 small bouquet garni
- 5 1/2 cups chicken stock
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Trim the green tops and root end of the leeks and discard them. Halve the leeks, lengthwise, and swish the leaves thoroughly in cold water to remove dirt and sand, changing the water a few times. Drain the leeks, dry with paper towel and slice the white portions thinly.
- Melt the butter in a large pan set over medium heat. Add the leeks to the butter and sauté them until they turn tender, but not browned, this will take about 4 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, the chicken stock, bouquet garni, salt, and pepper to your taste, to the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Cook the soup for 25 to 30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are very tender. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Remove a few cooked leeks and put to one side for decoration.
- Using a blender or food processor, puree the mixture until it is smooth and silky. Carefully transfer the hot potato leek mixture back into the saucepan and stir in the heavy cream. Gently heat the soup through - avoid boiling it as you run the danger of the soup curdling - and serve immediately with the reserved leeks for garnish and crusty bread, or a sandwich to make a filling lunch.
- The soup is delicious when freshly cooked, you can also freeze, so make a large batch so you have some to eat now and some to freeze. If freezing, freeze before adding the cream.
- When you are ready to eat, defrost the soup and gently reheat, then add the cream as described above.