"Everybody" Potato-Leek Soup

You can serve this soup so many different ways: with a dollop of crème fraîche and smoked salmon, topped with roasted broccoli florets and shredded cheddar cheese, or simply plain, as it has a mellow, delicious flavor on its own. Left as a chunky-style soup, it eats like a chowder, while the pureed version has a silky and light texture rich enough to be served chilled, if desired. Read Emily Nunn's essay 'Everybody Soup' Has Something for Everyone.

Everybody Soup Recipe
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, halves cut into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons (about 8 cups)

  • 4 large celery stalks, chopped (about 2 cups), plus small, tender leaves for garnish

  • 6 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 9 cups)

  • 7 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon jarred chicken stock base (such as Better Than Bouillon)

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • Dash of freshly grated nutmeg

  • Finely chopped fresh chives and crushed potato chips, for garnish


  1. Melt butter with olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add celery; cook, stirring often, until tender and deeply saturated in color, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes; stir to coat potatoes in butter and oil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring often, until potatoes are coated in a shiny, milky starch, about 5 minutes. Stir in 7 cups water and chicken stock base; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are just tender and vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a ladle, remove 2 cups of cooking stock (liquid only), and reserve in a small bowl. Let remaining soup stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

  2. Stir milk, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg into soup. Stir in reserved stock, a little at a time, to reach desired consistency. (If desired, use a potato masher to mash some of the soup. To serve pureed, pour soup and reserved 2 cups stock, in 2 batches, into a blender. Process until smooth, about 20 seconds per batch.) Divide soup evenly among 8 bowls, and garnish with celery leaves, chives, and crushed potato chips.

Make Ahead

Let soup cool completely, and store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.

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