Soups: RECIPE: Potato and Leek Soup

Subject: RECIPE: Potato and Leek Soup
From: Rob Novak (rob.novak at
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 18:16:50 -0500
Apart from having to clean the leeks (which are notoriously gritty), here's a fairly simple recipe for a very tasty soup:

(serves around 6)

4 lbs leeks
3/4 stick (6 tbsp) butter
Approx. 1 tbsp flour
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
2 lbs red-skin or new potatoes (any waxy potato, really)
Salt and black pepper to taste
6 slices of smoked bacon
Chives or scallions

Clean leeks by cutting off tough dark-green tops and root end. Leave about 2 inches of light-green beyond the white portion. Rinse under cold running water, or in a tub of cold water, until all sand/grit has been removed.

Slice the leeks in half, lengthwise. You may notice at this point that some grit has worked its way into the layers. You might re-rinse at this point, if you wish. When you are satisfied that the leeks are really clean, chop into 1" pieces.

Cut potatoes into about 3/4 to 1" cubes, and set aside in cold water until needed.

In a dutch-oven or other large, heavy-bottomed saucepan (6 qt or better), heat butter over medium heat until melted and it just begins to foam. Add leeks, stir to coat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until leeks are just tender, stirring occassionally. Do not carmelize (brown) the leeks.

Add flour, and stir to coat. Whisk in chicken/vegetable stock gradually. Add drained potatoes and bay leaves. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and cover. Continue to simmer until potatoes are tender. season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low to keep warm until serving.

Before serving, chop 6 slices of bacon and fry until crisp. Drain. Snip chives or thinly slice the green tops of the scallions, enough to make about 2 tbsp. Serve soup into warm bowls and garnish with a touch of crumbled bacon and chives/scallions.

This soup makes a great lunch when served with some cheese (shaved parmesan, nutty alpine-lace Swiss...) and a hearty bread. A glass of good, oaky Chardonnay wouldn't hurt, either. If you wish to make this a vegetarian dish, forgo the bacon, use the vegetable stock, and top with a grilled baguette crouton, some shaved parmesan, and the chives/scallions.
From: Peter G. Aitken (peter at
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 00:01:36 GMT
Here's a tip from a long-time leek lover. Cut them into the final size pieces before cleaning, the put the pieces in a sink or large bowl full of water. Swish them around - the grit settles to the bottom. Scoop out with a strainer and proceed.
From: JulieB (julie.blake at
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 20:20:35 +1000
I was just thinking about making some of this - I've got stock in the freezer and I've just bought a leek. Were you reading my mind?? Thanks!
From: Dan (danrcan at
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 11:54:34 GMT
Except for the scallions, bacon and the fact that you served it hot, it is almost Julia Child's Vichysoise.