This creamy potato-leek soup is warm, rich, and flavorful but so simple (only 6 ingredients!) and easy. It may become your favorite soup!
Potato soup has been one of my go-to comfort meals since I was a very young child. I can remember my mom making me the simplest potato soup ever…cooked chunks of potato mixed with milk and butter. I haven’t made or eaten potato soup like that in years (my mom has moved on to a fancier recipe), but I can still taste it, eaten with saltines, probably with a glass of Sprite.
If there is potato soup on the menu at a restaurant, there’s a pretty good chance that I’m going to try it with a salad or maybe a BLT. There’s just nothing like something creamy and familiar and maybe a little bit cheesy. Plus, there’s usually bacon involved and how can you go wrong with bacon?
The honest truth, though, is that I’ve made potato soup a hundred different ways over the 20+ years that I’ve been cooking and, while I am never going to turn down a bowl of potato soup topped with bacon, cheddar, and green onions (come to mama!), this simple preparation is my favorite. It’s my homage to Julia Child, who is one of my cooking idols (who doesn’t love Julia???).
Several years back, I had dinner at a friend’s house and we were planning to watch Julie and Julia (by the way, if you are interesting in Julia Child’s life, see the movie…but for reading, I recommend Julia’s autobiography, My Life in Paris.). We ended up not watching the movie, but we made this creamy potato-leek soup anyway, as a tribute to the fabulous Julia. The recipe is from Emeril Lagasse. I’ve made this so many times since that night, and it’s by far my favorite potato soup….my favorite soup, period. Hands-down.
A few things to note: leeks are dirty little vegetables. Clean them well or you will regret it. There is nothing that ruins a meal faster for me than biting into grit (seriously, it makes me cringe just thinking about it!). I prep my leeks like this: 1) Cut off the root tip and the dark green end; (2) cut the leek in half lengthwise; (3) slice the leek halves into half moons, about 1/4-inch thick; (4) place the sliced leeks into a colander and submerge into a large bowl of warm water (this is to keep from freezing your hands); (5) swish the leeks several times; and (6) drain the water, rinse and refill the bowl, and repeat step 5 two or three times until the leeks are clean. Also, creme fraiche can be hard to find and kind of pricey when you do. You can make it yourself, but usually I don’t think that far ahead so I just sub in sour cream. I can never tell the difference!
I’ve tried three or four other versions of potato-leek soup, and, while each of them has been okay, none of them have been as good as this creamy potato-leek soup. I keep coming back to it, and I hope you will try it….you may find that you keep coming back to it, too.
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Shared on The Weekend Potluck on Served Up With Love and Meal Plan Monday on Southern Plate!
Yield: 6 servings
This recipe is adapted (slightly) from a recipe from Emeril Lagasse .
15 minPrep Time:
40 minCook Time:
55 minTotal Time:
- 3 leeks, thinly sliced and well washed
- 3 cups peeled and diced Russet potatoes
- 6 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
- chopped parsley or chives
- Place the leeks, potatoes, water, and salt in a Dutch oven (mine is 6 quarts). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Cover the soup, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender. Stir in the cream and sour cream/creme fraiche until thoroughly combined. Salt to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley or chives.