Recipe: Classic Potato & Leek Soup

This simple and satisfying soup can be put together in about the time it takes to open a can and an be made as a smooth creamy soup or left chunky. This versatile soup is a base for three other soups: cream of asparagus, green pea, and spinach soup.


3 medium leeks
1 large Yukon Gold potato for purèed soup, or 1 large white or red waxy potato for chunky soup, peeled
1 quart milk, water, or chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or 4 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground black pepper


Clean the leeks and slice them thin. If you're making a purèed soup, slice the Yukon Gold potato thin. If you're making a chunky soup, cut the waxy potato into 1/3-inch dice.

Put the potatoes and leeks in a pot with the liquid and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the potatoes and leeks are completely soft, about 25 minutes. If you're serving the soup chunky style, add the cream or butter and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving. If you're making a purèed soup, purèe in a blender or with a hand-held immersion blender and strain into a clean pot before adding the heavy cream, salt, and pepper.

Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 quart

Chef's Tips
Different potatoes create different effects. If you want pieces of potato with texture to remain in the soup, use white or red waxy potatoes and dice them. If you're pureeing the soup and want a smooth texture, use Yukon Gold potatoes.

If you want a richer tasting soup, you can add butter to the top of the soup once it has been placed into bowls.