Soupe aux Poireaux et Pommes de Terre

Potato and Leek Soup

Watercolor of leek

Last week, warm southern winds brought the promise of spring. This week, four inches of sparkling, powdery snow coats the ground.

Spring can be like that. Some years, spring barges in. Some years, winter stubbornly refuses to budge. And some years, like this one, the two bicker back and forth. There’s really no point in taking sides. The outcome is predetermined – winter will sooner or later give way. No amount of cheering or griping will have affect. Patience, acceptance and – for the cook, at least – flexibility are key to riding out this seasonal transition.

A Warm Soup Bowl

Watercolor of potato

All of this occurs to me as I stand in the Kitchen, looking out a window. The snow glitters. A pair of squirrels races up and down the maple tree, perhaps confused by the change in weather. Perhaps not.

I set aside my philosophical musings. It’s time to get cooking. My fingers are cold. Cradling a warm bowl of soup sounds like the perfect way to warm up. And when it comes to easy and delicious soup recipes, not much can beat potato-leek soup.

There are probably as many recipes for potato soup as there are kitchens in France. It’s such a winter staple: a handful of ingredients, quick to prepare, hearty and delicious. I particularly like this recipes for a couple of reasons. The leeks add a brightness that counterbalances the potatoes beautifully. Visually, it’s a gorgeous bowl of soup – particularly with the chive garnish. And, this recipe is ideal for a weeknight meal because it’s ready in less than an hour and requires only a pot, knife, measuring cup and blender (easy clean-up). Read on for the details.

Potatoes and leeks

Soupe aux Poireaux et Pommes de Terre

Potato-Leek Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people


  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 medium-sized onions (chopped
  • 4 medium-sized leeks (about 2 pounds total), white and light green parts only, trimmed, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 medium-sized boiling potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp finely minced fresh chives or scallions for garnish


  • Melt the butter in a heavy 3-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook over medium heat just until they start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the broth and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, reduce the heat to medium, cover partially and simmer until the potatoes are falling-apart tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly, then purée in a food processor or in a blender. You may need to do this in batches.
  • Return the purée to the saucepan and, over low heat, add the cream and milk. Season with salt and pepper and simmer just until heated through. Ladle into warmed soup bowls and sprinkle with chives or scallions.


An immersion blender works just as well as a food processor, and makes clean-up easier.
Source: La Bonne Soupe Cookbook
Keyword leek, potato, soup