This simple chilled potato soup is packed with buttery, sweet sautéed leeks and pureed for a silky-smooth texture. A swirl of half-and-half adds the perfect amount of richness to cut the starchy potatoes without weighing down the light and creamy vichyssoise. Topped with crunchy garlic croutons, shaved pecorino Romano cheese, and a scattering of sliced scallions, this soup deserves a spot in your summer rotation.

Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver
Active Time:
35 mins
Chill Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs 15 mins


  • 3 large (10-ounce) leeks 

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (2 ounces)

  • 5 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • ½ cup half-and-half

  • Black pepper, to taste

  • Thinly sliced scallions, garlic croutons, and shaved pecorino Romano cheese, for garnish


  1. Trim and discard root ends from leeks. Trim and discard the dark green tops, reserving the white and light green parts of the leeks. Halve leeks lengthwise; rinse them, inside and out, under cool water. Pat leeks dry, and thinly slice crosswise. (You should have about 7 cups sliced leeks.)

  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium. Add leeks, and stir to coat in butter; cook, stirring often, until leeks are softened but have not developed any color, about 8 minutes.

  3. Add broth, potatoes, and salt to leek mixture; bring to a simmer over medium. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  4. Working in batches if needed, pour leek mixture into a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer soup to a heatproof bowl, and refrigerate, covered, until completely cold, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove soup from refrigerator, and stir in half-and-half. Taste soup, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide soup evenly among 4 bowls. Garnish with scallions, croutons, and pecorino Romano cheese.

Make Ahead

Soup may be kept chilled up to 1 day.

Suggested Pairing

Citrusy, tart French white: Domaine Delaporte Sancerre

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