Potato Leek soup always intimidated me. I think because Julia Child and Potato Leek Soup are connected in my mind, I always assumed the soup was an elaborate and difficult one like so many French recipes. I was so very, very wrong. This is the easiest soup ever! If you’re ever in need of a quick dinner that involves very little effort and prep, make this soup. It’s the kind of recipe that involves chopping a few things, throwing them in water, and then reading a book or doing your taxes for an hour while it cooks. This is one of my favorite types of recipes: the lazy ones. Others in this category? My favorite breakfast dish: Steel Cut Oats. These are the perfect types of recipes to always keep in the back of your mind, things you can throw together at very little notice and still have time to shower before your friends arrive. They’re the basic white T-shirts of the cooking world!
A little while ago I was struck by the urge to make Potato Leek Soup. My Uncle Scott and Aunt Karolyn had made a big pot soon after Thanksgiving when some relatives and I visited them in Davis. I was impressed and intrigued. It’s been in the back of my mind ever since. So I picked up my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and flipped to Julia’s Potato Leek Soup. What do you know, there on the page, something along the lines of: “Chop these things. Throw them in water. Go take a shower and read a chapter of your book.” Thanks, Julia! After glancing at the recipe for less than a minute. I grabbed my keys and hit up Berkeley Bowl.
After I gathered my ingredients, I didn’t even bother looking at the recipe again. The measurements for this type of recipe you can fudge any which way. Perfect! I threw some potatoes in my Staub pot. I threw some leeks in too. I poured water over everything. Then I turned to my spices and went a little crazy, because #YOLO. And recipes are boring unless you spice things up a little. Below you’ll find my tweaks to this classic dish.
POTATO LEEK SOUP
6 medium-sized organic russet potatoes
2 stalks of organic leeks
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon organic nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon organic paprika
1/4 cup chopped fresh organic sage
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
First wash, peel, and cut your potatoes into pieces no large than 1.5″. Then slice your leeks into rounds approximately 0.5″ thick. Place both vegetables into a 4-6 quart pot and add water (the liquid should cover the vegetables, but just barely). Add nutmeg, paprika, salt, and pepper and bring to a soft boil. Once the water bubbles, reduce heat to low and let cook until vegetables dissolve, about 40-60 mins, stirring occasionally. Use a spoon to help the vegetables integrate into the liquid. Chop your sage in the meantime and sprinkle into soup, saving some for garnish. Taste soup and add additional salt as needed. Serve immediately.