Because leeks are locally available over the winter through early spring, I have been wanting to try the classic soup Potage Parmentier, aka Potato Leek soup, before it’s time for new seasonals. Finally, I did. This soup was really fun to make because I took the liberty of making some updates to the classic recipe.
Some variations of Potato Leek Soup actually call for water and heavy cream, including that from the maestra herself, Julia Child. With all due respect to the Queen, I updated this version with homemade chicken broth (vs water) for flavor and protein, and used half and half (vs heavy cream) to reduce the fat. Skipping the cream entirely isn’t really my calling, but swapping out the hard stuff feels like an appropriate update! And since as this four-serving recipe only calls for a half cup, I can easily live with the per-serving quantity.
Then, as I was prepping the soup base, I had an overage of about 1/2 a potato. Saving half a peeled potato struck me as the makings of a gross produce drawer, so out came the mandolin to slice it up for baked crisps. As I sliced, some smaller cuts were produced at the end of the potato. These struck me as the ideal garnish, for crunch and extra flavor – I sprinkled them with truffle salt before baking…
For a further layer of flavor, I finishing the bowl with a few finely chopped leeks and kale micro greens to amp up this subtle soup.
Time: 45 Minutes – 1 Hour
Hands-On Time: 30 Minutes
Kitchen Equipment: Heavy-Bottomed Stock Pot or Dutch oven, Measuring Cups and Spoons, Sharp Knife, Cutting Board, Immersion Blender or Standing Blender, Mixing Bowl, Baking Sheet, Parchment Paper.
For the Soup:
– 1 Lb Peeled Russet Potatoes, about 1 & 1/2 large potatoes, coarsely chopped
– 1 Lb Leeks, 3-4 large leeks, trimmed, cleaned and coarsely chopped
– 2 Tbsp Butter
– 6 Cups Chicken Broth
– 1-2 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
– 1/2 Cup Half and Half
– 1 Tsp+ Salt
For the Garnish:
– 1/2 of a peeled Russet Potato, peeled and finely sliced
– 1 Tsp Olive Oil
– Salt or Truffle Salt for sprinkling
– 1 Tbsp finely chopped leek
– 1/3 Cup Kale Micro Greens
Start the Garnish:
– Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F.
– Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
– In the mixing bowl, drizzle potato slices with olive oil and mix with your hands to ensure each surface is coated.
– Place the slices on the prepared baking tray and sprinkle with salt.
– Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping and checking for golden-brownness at each ten minute mark. I set a ten minute timer since this is a multi-tasking recipe! When ready, remove potatoes from the oven and place baking sheet on a cooling rack. Kill the heat.
Meanwhile, Start the Soup:
– Heat butter over medium-low heat in the heavy-bottomed pot.
– Add the leeks and potatoes and saute until beginning to brown, stirring regularly. (Time will vary based on size of the pot.) If necessary to deglaze the pot as you go, use a few *drops* of the chicken broth to do so.
– Add all of the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes show no resistance to a fork.
– Puree stock-vegetable mixture in the pot with an Immersion Blender or in small batches in a Standing Blender. (To prevent a steam powered take-off of the blender’s lid, remove the inner part of the lid and hold the lid down with a dishtowel.)
– Back in the stock pot, add lemon juice and the half and half to the puree. Mix throughly, then add salt to taste.
– Ladle into soup bowls and layer on garnishes, first with potato crisps, then chopped leeks, and finally the kale micro greens.
I hope you love the flavors!