The winter months are synonymous with curling up next to the fireplace with a piping hot bowl of soup. The kind of soup that sticks to your ribs. Comforting soup like Creamy Potato Leek Soup.
The next time you have a hankering for a French classic dish, this smooth soup is a great recipe that the whole family can enjoy. Even the pickiest of eaters.
A Classic French Soup
With a blizzard coming to Baltimore, I decided it was the perfect time to prepare an entire French meal, kicking it off with Creamy Leek and Potato Soup.
Fun facts: Leek soup originated in Wales, England. Potato soup originated in the country of Peru. Leek and Potato soup, also known as Vichyssoise, is believed to hail from France.
That said, many other countries have claimed it too. And why not? It is flipping delicious! Not to mention easy to make, cost-friendly, and something even the most picky eaters will enjoy.
How to Clean a Leek
Leeks are known for carrying dirt between each layer. If you choose not to clean them, there is a high chance your soup will be gritty with the remnants of the Earth.
- Trim the roots: Place the leek on the cutting board and trim the roots off the ends, discard.
- Trim the dark green tops: Cut off the dark green tops of the leek, leaving only the white and light green parts.
- Cut lengthwise or in discs: With the leek now mostly white and light green, cut it in half lengthwise or into discs, whichever works best for you..
- Fan out the layers: For lengthwise, hold each half under running water, fanning out the layers to allow water to flow between them. If you cut them into discs, pressing out circles using your thumb into a colander and then rinse well.
- Inspect for dirt: Check between the layers for any dirt or sand. Leeks often trap soil between their layers.
- Clean thoroughly: Rinse the leek halves under running water, making sure to wash away any remaining dirt.
- Slice or chop as needed: Once cleaned, you can slice or chop the leek according to your recipe’s requirements.
- Pat dry: Use a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to pat the leeks dry if needed.
Potato Leek Soup Ingredients
The list looks lengthy, but a lot of it are pantry staples.
- Leeks – When you buy a fresh leek, you always need to make sure to rinse them well. They are known for carrying lots of dirt. See the steps below for how to clean a leek.
- Unsalted butter – I always opt to use unsalted butter when cooking. That way I can control the amount of salt that goes into it.
- Shallots – The minced shallots add a dimension of flavor and texture to this soup that is unmatched. When paired with the garlic, it’s all the flavor you need.
- Garlic cloves – You can’t have a soup without garlic! There are suggested measurements, but as always, you measure that with your heart.
- Vegetable stock – If you are trying to keep this a vegetarian soup, stick with vegetable broth or stock. However, you can use chicken broth or chicken stock if that’s all you have on hand.
- Yukon Gold potatoes – Not all potatoes are good for all things. For instance, a creamy soup requires a buttery, smooth potato like Yukon Gold. Russet potatoes would be too grainy and red not starchy enough.
- Heavy cream – We need a creamy element to this soup, and heavy cream is just the way to do it. It also helps to thin out the consistency as well.
- White pepper – White pepper is more mild than regular black pepper. The flavor pairs so well with the rest of the flavors of this soup.
- Garnishes – diagonally sliced green onions, crumbled bacon and Maldon sea salt
How to Make Potato Leek Soup
Make this easy soup ahead of time or a double batch to make it freezer friendly!
- Clean leeks. Place sliced leeks in a colander and run under cold water. Gently press thumb through each slice, so they come apart. Rinse well, leeks are known for carrying dirt in the crevices.
- Cook leeks, shallots and garlic. In a large Dutch oven or large pot, melt butter over medium heat, adding leeks, shallots and garlic. Saute until soft.
- Add stock and potatoes. vegetable stock and diced Yukon Gold potato, bringing to a low simmer. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
- Blend. Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend until mixture is smooth and return to Dutch oven.
- Add cream and pepper. Whisk in cream and white pepper.
- Serve and enjoy! Ladle into bowl and garnish with sliced scallions, crumbled bacon, Maldon sea salt and a slice of crusty bread.
Here are a few ways to put a fun spin on your new comforting soup recipe.
- Fresh herbs – To add to the flavor of this potato leek soup recipe, feel free to experiments with the herbs and seasonings. Some good options would include: a bay leaf, thyme sprigs (fresh thyme is best,) Italian seasoning or fresh chives.
- Make it spicy – If you’d like to add a little bit of spice, some red pepper flakes, black pepper, dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper would all be great additions to make this a hot soup.
- Toppings – I listed green onions, bacon and additional salt as garnish options. However, you could also top your leek potato soup with homemade croutons, shredded cheddar cheese, roasted cloves of garlic, or extra chopped leeks for even more depth of flavour and texture.
Storage and Freezing
You can store any leftovers of this soup in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Freezing: This creamy potato leek soup freezes wonderfully, so I like to make a big batch and then freeze the rest for later. While you can freeze individual portions and top them beforehand, you can also freeze it in bulk and top it with fresh ingredients when you reheat it.
Thaw in the fridge overnight, in the microwave on the defrost function or as a large ice cube in a saucepan on low heat.
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop on low heat in a saucepan.
More Comforting Soups
Soups are great year round, but these are especially wonderful winter soups for the soul.
Creamy Potato Leek Soup Recipe
- sliced scallions
- cooked bacon , crumbled
- flakey sea salt
- In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, adding the leeks, shallots and garlic. Saute until soft, approximately 6-7 minutes.
- Stir in the vegetable stock and potatoes, bringing to a low simmer. Simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, approximately 30 minutes.
- Using an immersion/stick blender or food processor, blend until the mixture is smooth. Return to the pot if you transferred it to a blender.
- Whisk in the cream and white pepper until no streaks remain.
- Ladle into the serving bowl and garnish with sliced scallions, crumbled bacon and Maldon sea salt.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.