Google “potato leek soup” and you’ll get 911,000 results in 0.48 seconds. But I know a secret Google doesn’t know.
This recipe right here. It’s the only one you need.
So. Delicious. Especially after it sits for 3 or even 4 days. That’s right, it’s even better on day three than two, and certainly better than the day you make it, so plan ahead.
Why is this particular recipe so good? In a word, lots of love from the allium family — onions, leeks and scallions — but the kryptonite is white pepper.
I know, I know, lots of my chef pals can’t stand white pepper. But I am here to tell you that in this recipe, my favorite spice — black pepper — can’t hold a candle to the power of white pepper.
A couple other things make this soup terrific: it’s not vegetarian — not that there is anything wrong with vegetarian soups, it’s just that the chicken stock in this recipe adds a certain oomph. The garnish is crucial: applewood smoked ham (and Gruyere and more allium in the form of green scallions.) Lots and lots of ham and cheese. But hey, I added some steamed broccoli to up the green ante. That counts, right?
I suppose if you were serving this as a soup course instead of a meal, you should dial back the garnishes, lest your guests fill up before your main event. But if you want a hearty one-bowl meal during the week that only requires re-heating and some garnish prep — here’s your pal.
Go ahead, make it. It’s pretty simple save some prep work … just don’t eat it until three days later. Taste it after you make it for seasoning, but then be patient and see what happens in three days.
It’s a miracle.Print
Potato Leek Soup
My favorite potato leek soup — ever. Thick, deeply onion-flavored and topped with smoky ham. Making the soup is easy, save a little knife work. But the reason this is the best potato soup is because of white pepper, lots of onions, leeks and scallions. Also, the garnishes — especially the applewood smoked ham — are crucial. And the last thing you need is patience. Wait 2 or 3 or even 4 days before you dive in. It gets remarkable better with time.
- Yield: Serves 6
- Category: Soups
- 1 medium yellow onion (not sweet), peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 leeks, white and light green part only
- 1 pound (about 2 medium-large) russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 4 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, sliced thin
- 4 ounces applewood smoked ham, chopped
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 cup steamed broccoli florets (optional)
- Sauté the onion and celery in the olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot (I use a 3-quart, deep saucepan so that when I puree it with a stick (immersion) blender, it doesn’t splatter everywhere.)
- Cut the leeks in half and run under water to remove any dirt while the onions and celery are cooking. Pat dry and slice into 1/4-inch half moons.
- Stir the leeks into the softened onions and celery and cook until the leeks start to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the potatoes, chicken stock and bay leaf. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring just to a strong simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 25-30 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes before blending. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree until completely smooth (work in batches if using a regular blender and return to the saucepan before continuing).
- Stir in the cream and season with salt and white pepper to taste.
- Let cool before transferring to container(s) to store in the fridge for a couple days.
- Gently reheat over medium-low heat, stirring often to prevent sticking. Taste and add more salt and white pepper if desired.
- Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with Gruyere, smoked ham and scallions — and broccoli if using — and serve.