What a chilly spring! Cold nights and days mean my tummy craves warm comforting soup. This leek potato soup fits the bill and then some. It is also known as vichyssoise: the fancy French name for pureed leek and soup. My mom used to make it when I was a kid, in the summer she served it chilled and in the winter it is perfect hot from the pot. Both versions are awesome.
I love to make this recipe as it gives me the opportunity to yank out my boat motor blender and let it go! It is a small, hand held immersion blender that is fun and effective although it often leaves a few chunks of potato and leek in my soup which I kinda like.
I used half and half to make it creamy. The original recipe uses heavy cream but I wanted to lighten the fat load, sometimes I use plain whole milk. I have a friend who makes it with nonfat milk, in my mind that is going a tad too far in that austere direction. Don’t use less than 2 percent if you want a rich creamy texture and great mouth feel. You could mix some cream and some milk. Whatever works for you or is in the fridge! Note: if your chicken broth is unseasoned you will need to add salt for sure; taste and add as much as you desire; I have added salt as an ingredient for that reason. If you use broth containing salt taste before adding any additional salt.
You can guild the lily by sprinkling this with chopped fresh chives, nice but not necessary.
Mom’s Potato Leek Soup
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced small
3 leeks; white and pale green parts only, chopped into small rounds
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
3-4 cups chicken broth
¾ cup half and half
¼ tsp. mace or nutmeg
1-2 tsp. sea salt to taste: depends on salt level in chicken broth used
I use my heavy bottomed small soup pot. Heat the butter, add the onion bits and leek slices. Cook 4 minutes. Add 3 cups gluten free chicken broth. I really prefer Kitchen Basics; says GF on box and tastes great. Heat to boiling, add the diced up potatoes, cook 15 minutes or until potatoes are done. Add more broth if it seems low in liquid. I add up to 4 cups broth and then I add water to thin it further if needed. I usually poke the potatoes with a fork to check for almost falling apart status. Turn off and let stand 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. Can also use a blender or a food processor for this action but in any case, be very careful not to burn yourself with a splash of hot soup. Add half and half, half the salt and the mace. Blend them in until it is smooth. Add more salt if you desire. White pepper is good as a seasoning too. Great hot or well chilled once we reach that lovely season of summer heat that makes a chilled soup seem fabulous. Right now, it is practically the last thing I want to eat.
Anyway, enjoy it hot or cold. This recipe is an adaption from The Joy of Cooking, a handy resource volume for classic recipes like this one. Great taste never goes out of style.
Originally posted March 2015. Slightly revised.