Leek and Potato Soup 6.000
Dec 29, 2004

Hardly any soup could be simpler than this one, straightforward and soothing. The consistency can be varied from thick and hearty to thin and delicate. The optional watercress puree provides a variation on the basic recipe.

Servings: 6 - 8
  • 1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound (about 3 medium) leeks (white and tender green parts), cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Finely chopped parsley or chives for garnish


In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the potatoes, leeks, water and salt almost to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Strain the vegetables, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the vegetables and a little of the cooking liquid to a blender or food processor and puree, or pass only the vegetables through a food mill. Return the puree to the pot and add as much of the cooking liquid as necessary to achieve the desired consistency, from 6 to 8 cups. Stir to combine. (May cover and refrigerate overnight.)

To serve, return the soup to a gentle simmer and stir in the cream. Do not boil after adding the cream. Sprinkle with parsley or chives.


To add a watercress puree: Remove and discard the stems from 2 bunches of watercress. Cook the leaves in 2 quarts (8 cups) boiling, salted water for 2 minutes. Drain the watercress in a colander and rinse immediately with cold water. Place in a blender with about 1/2 cup water and blend until smooth. Stir into the finished soup just before serving. (May substitute 6 ounces fresh spinach leaves for the watercress.)

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (Knopf, 1961).

Tested by Ed Bruske.

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