I adore Potato & Leek Soup, or Vichyssoise as the French refer to it. Vichyssoise is typically served chilled, but in the winter or on a rainy Spring day, I prefer to eat it piping hot with some fresh bread. There is nothing fancy about this recipe; it is incredibly simple but also delicious and comforting. Don’t even try to substitute leeks for onions here, because it just won’t taste the same. Leeks have a much sweeter and slightly more complex taste in my opinion. Typically this soup has heavy cream in it, but I prefer to make a lighter version because I find that the potatoes add plenty of creaminess without the need for extra fat.
Soups like this, with only six ingredients (not including the salt and pepper) remind me of why good quality and fresh ingredients are so important. The flavor of this soup far exceeds what you would expect from these humble ingredients.
Potato & Leek Soup
Serves 5-6 as an entree, or 8 as a first course
- 3 large leeks (split lengthwise, soaked, and rinsed in cold water to remove the dirt). Chop only the white and pale green parts into thin slices.
- 3 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes, cleaned, peeled, and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves)
- 2 tablespoons half & half or heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a large soup pot or large enameled-cast iron Dutch Oven over low heat on the stove.
- Add the butter and leeks and sweat the leeks over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until translucent.
- Add the potatoes, broth, and thyme and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through. Remove from the heat.
- Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the soup (you can make the soup as smooth or as chunky as you like!)
- Add the half & half (you can use more or less depending on how creamy you like your soup) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled.
Serving suggestions: This soup is a meal in itself when served with some nice hearty bread, cheese (I like cheddar or stilton with this soup), and a simple salad. Alternatively, this soup would make a great first course, served either warm or chilled.