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Leek and Potato soup

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I've made this soup twice, second time I used more potato and it didn't seem as flavorful, not a lot of leek taste, which is understandable. Is there a proportion of leek vs. potato to follow for best results? A recipe in Bernard Clayton's soup cookbook says that french peasant households use equal parts, and water. Question: is chicken stock necessary? Also, I sauteed the leeks in butter first. Clayton's recipe just throws everything into one pot and adds butter to individual servings. Any ideas?

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  1. I make a pretty decent version. It's about equal parts leek and russet potato (I'd say 2 cups each). I sweat the leeks in butter. Then I add cubed, peeled potatoes and a quart of veggie stock (I've made this for vegetarians lately; I'd prefer to use chicken stock). Since I used veggie stock, I've finished with some cream or half and half. I find that rounds out the flavors. It's still nice to finish with cream if you use chicken stock but not as necessary. Make sure you salt and pepper well.

    Hope that helps.

    2 Replies
    1. re: filth

      My French mother-in-law used equal portions of leeks and potato. She only used water, not stock. Sometimes she sweated the leeks, sometimes not. The soup was always finished with a big glob of butter melted into it and heavy cream. Here in the States I have found that many times the leeks are a lot less flavorful than in France, so addition of broth may help if you don't have good leeks.

      1. re: lattelover

        . Lattelover, you bring up an interesting point.. about the flavor of leeks. I never considered that. I think someone on epicurious suggested using sherry pepper sauce, which I bought today and used. Thanks, everyone.

    2. I like Deborah Madison's version. Saute leeks in butter, add potatoes, water and season with salt and pepper. Very simple and healthy. No cream necessary.

      1. i use equal parts. i cook both the potatoes and the leeks in butter before adding water. i've tried it with broth but i think it tastes better with just water. i prefer it pureed and seasoned with only salt, though i have heard some people use a little lemon.

        1. I also add some artichoke hearts (frozen is best). Not traditional I know, I got the idea from the Tabasco cookbook (also add some of that of course) but everyone who tries it thinks it's the best they ever had. Great secret ingredient!

          Here's their recipe

          http://www.recipesource.com/soups/sou...

          1. I use the JC recipe from MTFC and I believe it has more leeks than potatoes - 3 cups vs. 2 cups. I use water and cook the leeks and potatoes in butter first. As another poster mentioned - salting is key. I keep salting and tasting until it is just right.