I love to make a rich hearty potato leek soup on cold winter days. It’s a simple soup to make and its richness gives it a very homey and lovely feeling.  Of course, you don’t need to restrict yourself to winter, or even to having the soup hot.  A chilled potato leek soup is the classic French dish vichyssoise, and is a great alternative to try.

Here’s my version of potato leek soup.

Ingredients for Potato Leek Soup

  • Two leeks
  • One medium onion
  • Garlic Cloves - 2
  • Bacon – 2 strips diced
  • Two potatoes (I like Yukon gold, but any will do)
  • Chicken stock
  • Bay leaf - one
  • Fresh Thyme – teaspoon
  • Cream – half cup
  • Salt and pepper

Recipe Overview & Keys to Success

This soup is fairly simple to make and there’s not a lot of issues that can trip you up.  A few things you want to make sure you do include:

  • Render out your bacon until it’s crispy before adding your vegetables
  • Clean your leeks well.  Leeks are notoriously dirty, and a bit of grit and ruin your soup, so use lots of water and rub them well. You also want to only use the white and very pale green parts of the leeks.  Otherwise you’ll end up with a green soup
  • Keep your potatoes from turning brown by keeping them submerged in a bowl of water once you peel and/or dice them.  .

Making the soup base

  • In a soup pot, sauté the bacon until crispy (you may want to add a touch of olive oil to help get the bacon started).  Remove the bacon and set aside.
  • While sautéing the bacon, dice up the onion, garlic, leeks and potatoes (inch size dice).  Keep the diced potato under water until you’re ready to use them.  Discard the dark green leaves on the leeks, you want the white and pale green parts.
  • Add the onion, garlic and leek to the bacon fat and sauté them until they are soft
  • Add in your diced potatoes, thyme, bay leaf and enough chicken stock to cover the potatoes by one or two inches.
  • Add the bacon back, and season with salt and pepper
  • Simmer the soup base on low heat until the potatoes are cooked through

Making the Soup

  • Once the potatoes are cooked through, remove the bay leaf
  • Using a blender (either regular, or a stick blender) blend the soup (be careful of hot food in a regular blender).  Note, you may want to leave the soup chunky or go all the way to smooth – it’s up to you.
  • Add the cream to the soup and stir together
  • Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper as needed

Serving the soup

  • You can serve as is, or garish with things like garlic croutons, chive, parsley bacon bits, sour cream (think anything that goes great with potatoes)
  • This soup freezes really well and can be make ahead of time, so take advantage of making a large batch

Hope you enjoy it!