Saturday, November 1, 2014

Potato Leek Soup or Vichyssoise

With Autumn upon us here in the U.S. Midwest today I'm making one of the simplest soups of the season. It may be easy, but it is also a favorite because of its delicate taste and comforting bouquet. If you serve this soup at room temperature or even chilled it's what they call 'vichyssoise', and is particularly good with a cold supper on a hot day. But the weather here is now decidedly chilly, so I will be serving it warm. With that said, I will still prepare the soup just after lunch and let it sit on the cooktop until just before dinner.

A Delicious Combination ~ Potato and Leek

Some cooks cooks use a chicken base and others add onions as well as leeks. But if you want the delicate flavor and perfume of the leeks, I would not recommend using either. Today I'm just peeling and chopping a couple white potatoes and cleaning and chopping a large leek. These are simply cooked in lightly saled water. Nothing else but cream will be added to the soup to ensure the leek flavor is not masked. Also, I puree the mixture but you really could eat it just as it. Still delicious. And you do not have to add the cream. It will still have a wonderful taste and texture. The cream just adds a bit of luxury!

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1-2 large leeks
2 large white potatoes
Cold water to cover the vegetables
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
pinch of white pepper
1/4 cup sour cream (optional garnish)
Pinch of chives or parsley for color (optional garnish)

Equipment:  Stick Blender OR Food Processor OR Drink Blender

Julian's Stick (In Pot) Blender
Caution must be taken when cleaning the leaks as they can have sand between the leaves. So cut off the root end and all but about 2-3 inches of the green leafy section. Halve the leak and then peel back the layers under running water to be sure you remove all of the dirt/sand. Then roughly chop the leek and place in a pot of cold water. Peel and roughly cube the white potato and place in the cold water with the leeks. Add some salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the cooking temperature to achieve a low simmer. Cover and cook until very tender, about 45 minutes.

When the vegetables are quite tender, turn off the pot. You can proceed or simply let it sit until closer to serving time. About 30 minutes prior to serving, puree the ingredients. I prefer to do this with a stick blender that you emerse directly into the pot. Puree until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and add a pinch of white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Reheat to just warm if necessary. Serve in bowls garnished with a dollop of sour cream in the center. Sprinkle with chives or parsley.

Julian's Cream of Potato Leek


  1. I bought a leek today so I can make this tonight. I'll let you know how it goes! :) Can you believe I've never even eaten potato leek soup before?

    1. Beth, you're going to love it. Some yummy and velvety!

    2. Yes, it was delicious! But I definitely need to purchase a stick blender. Processing it in the blender didn't work so well for me. :) Thanks for sharing your recipe!