Potato & Leek Soup
Every time we dip our spoons into a bowl of potato and leek soup we are struck anew by its creamy uniformity, which seems to belie a wondrous depth of character. Its texture is silky smooth and luxurious. Its flavor is rich and savory, distinct yet harmonious — you can taste the butter, cream, wine, potatoes, leeks, and herbs, but they are perfectly balanced.
In this version, a sprinkling of chives gives the soup a lovely crunch, a pop of color, and a spring mood. If you’re planning a small family celebration, potato and leek soup has an elegance perfectly suited to a soup course, but we’ve also served it as an appetizer — it looks dashing in a tiny, white ceramic bowl. And, setting all that stuffy business aside, it’s also the soup we crave for any old winter evening on the patio. A blanket, the S.O., a glass of wine, and thou, darling soup!
Our tip: A classic French soup calls for a classic French wine, and we like to pair this one with a dry Chardonnay from Mâcon-Villages — its creaminess brings out the wine’s lively citrus and honeysuckle notes.
2 bay leaves
8 sprigs thyme
10 black peppercorns
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 leeks rinsed and chopped, white and light green parts only
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, grated
½ cup white wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups heavy cream
Salt, to taste
2 Tbsp chives, sliced for garnish
Using a square of cheesecloth measuring 5 x 5 inches, make a sachet with the bay leaves, thyme, and peppercorns.
In a large, heavy bottomed stock pot, melt the butter over medium heat, and then sauté the leeks and onion until they are translucent and tender.
Add the potatoes and garlic and sauté until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the white wine and simmer for two minutes.
Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, and sachet and simmer for 25 minutes, or until very tender. Remove the sachet and discard it.
In three batches, carefully scoop the hot soup into a blender and purée it until it’s smooth. Note: Hot soup will expand in the blender. Puréeing in batches will help protect you from burns — and big messes. You can also use an immersion blender, but the soup will not be as smooth.
Season with salt and garnish with fresh chives. Serve immediately.