Recipe: Potato Leek Soup

There’s nothing better than a bowl of hot soup on a cold day! This soup is easy to make, and this recipe will feed eight (or two with lots of freezer portions!)

Potato Leek Soup


1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
3 large leeks, finely chopped (including tops)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

Step-by-Step Directions (If you don’t like all the extra wording, a condensed, printable version of this recipe can be found here.)

Wash your leeks. This is the single most important step in this recipe. Leeks are dirty. Even clean-looking leeks are dirty! Here’s how I do it. First I fill my (clean) sink with water. I cut the roots off the leeks, then put them in the sink. Then I carefully separate every layer. Leeks are in the same family as onions, and they are made up of layers of leaves similar to an onion’s rings. The layers will separate with a bit of prodding. Keep the layers in the sink as you work. You’ll start to see sand-like dirt as you separate the layers. Once you’ve got them all in parts, rub each leaf between your fingers to get rid of any excess sand, which will fall to the bottom of the sink. It seems like a lot of work but it doesn’t take as long as it’s taking you to read this paragraph, and believe me it will be well worth it when your soup isn’t sandy! As you clean the leaves, pile them on a dishtowel or some paper towels to drip.

Chop the leeks. Sometimes it’s easier to bundle the leek layers back together to cut them. No need to be precise, this will all be pulverized later in the blender.

Wash and finely chop the celery.

Now you’re ready for the stove. In a large kettle, melt the butter. Add the chopped leeks and celery, stirring to coat. Cover and cook on low heat for about five minutes. The idea is to allow the vegetables to soften without browning.

While your leeks and celery are softening, wash, peel and dice the potatoes. You can use any variety. I used red potatoes yesterday, but you can also use Yukon Gold or anything you like.

Add the diced potatoes to the kettle, along with the water, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Simmer covered for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft.

Now you need to puree the whole thing. If you’re lucky enough to have an immersion blender it’s the best way to go. Blend it right in the kettle. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can use a food processor or a regular blender. Be very careful using a regular blender with hot foods. Don’t end up with a hot soup bath as I did (and my cabinets, my walls, my stove, my salt pot, and my dog). The keys to blending hot foods are: a.) don’t overfill the blender. Half or less is best, even if this means you have to blend in multiple batches. b.) Allow the steam to escape! Remove the center insert in your blender cover and replace with a folded towel. Otherwise the steam will push the lid (and the contents) right out of the blender. Another option is to simply wait til the soup cools. P.S. The dog is fine! 🙂

Once you’ve blended your soup, add the heavy cream. Heat through if necessary. If it seems too thick, you can add some extra chicken broth or water. (I’ve never had to do this!)

A printable (and much more condensed) version of this recipe can be found here.


Many thanks to my photographer!
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