Potato and Leek Soup


Andrew Zimmern loves elegant chilled vichyssoise, but in the fall he prefers a heartier version of the classic French soup served hot with salad and crusty bread. Slideshow:  Warming Soups 

Potato and Leek Soup
Photo: © Madeleine Hill
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 small fennel bulb—halved, cored and chopped

  • 1 medium celery rib, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 thyme sprig

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

  • Salt

  • 8 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • White pepper


  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the leek, onion, fennel, celery, shallot, thyme, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the stock, potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the parsley and 1 tablespoon of the tarragon. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.

  2. Add the cream to the saucepan and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon each of parsley and tarragon and season the soup with salt and white pepper; discard the thyme sprig. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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