Sep 21

Ahh, fall is in the air and the hearty soups that go with it are back on the menu!  (you’d think I’m writing from Vermont, not Florida where it was 93 degrees yesterday!)

In our case, we have to lower the air conditioner to experience fall.  True, we miss out on the turning of the leaves and the crisp morning air;  but we don’t get the colds and runny noses that come with fall either.  And, our downtown throws a superb Oktoberfest during which copper-toned paper leaves fall from the sky and we enjoy beer and sausages wearing t-shirts and shorts.

I’ve been trying to get back to the Paris Bistro Cookbook project but frankly I’m stumped on the next Bistro because it’s going to be a challenge and I’m chicken!  So instead I made the most humble and wonderful of french soups.  I based my recipe on the one found in Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  This is the first recipe from the book I’ve cooked.  This soup is deceptivley simple.  It would seem with 5 ingredients counting water it would be hard to destroy.

I had 3/4 lb of Leeks once they were cleaned, which is slightly less than the book recommends. To compensate I reduced the amount of water and potatoes.  I also reduced the salt — but not enough.

As written, the recipe yielded a very watery soup with little flavor other than salt.  Luckily I had some mashed potato leftovers in the refrigerator and I was able to use them to thicken the soup — even with the addition of the mashed potatoes there was too much salt.  So I’ve adjusted the water and salt below.

Potato and Leek Soup (click here for printable recipe)
6 cups of water
1 pound diced potato
1 pound sliced leek (pale green and white only)
2 sprigs thyme
fresh ground black pepper (or you could use white pepper if you don’t want to see the flakes)
1T salt
2 pats butter or dash of cream

Place vegetables thyme, salt and pepper in water in a 4 quart saucepan and simmer for 50 minutes or until tender.  Use an immersion blender or food mill to puree soup.  Taste for seasoning, you may wish to add more salt.  Stir in butter or cream to finish the soup.  Serve with fresh chives as garnish.

The soup was so good and so filling my 17 year old step son thought it was dinner, he was surprised when I put another course on the table!

If you make the soup and it comes out too watery for you, instant mashed potatoes would work to thicken it.  You could also puree some canned white beans such a cannelloni which would add  a tasty new dimension.

A nice viognier or sauvignon blanc would be the perfect accompaniment to this meal.  Having a merlot while preparing it helped enhance the flavors as well!


5 Responses to “Potage Parmentier (Potato and Leek Soup)”

  1. With all of the Irish blood in my family, this is a favorite soup in our household. I’ll have to compare this one with the family recipe to see how they both stand up! 🙂


  2. This looks wonderful and comforting. I love leeks. It is one of my all time fav. ingredients…

  3. WOW, I never knew that soup could be made so easily! Thanks!!!

  4. I am going to have to try this out. Always on the look out for a great new soup recipe! Thanks!

  5. I love that it’s soup season. I love the combination of leeks & potatoes! 🙂

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