Potato and Leek Soup (Potage Parmentier)

Potatoes and leeks were meant to be cooked together, as you can see in the recipe for this popular soup. Much simpler and humbler than its American counterpart, vichyssoise, this original version is simplicity at its best.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/tovfla]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/tovfla

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled and diced

1 pound leeks, trimmed and washed well to remove dirt and grit; white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

8 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons minced parsley

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons heavy cream

  1. Combine the potatoes, leeks, broth, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 40 minutes.

  2. Mash the potatoes and leeks against the side of the pot with a large spoon. Taste and add salt if necessary.

  3. Before serving, stir in the parsley, butter, and cream.

This soup can be used as a master recipe for other vegetable soups. Try adding any of the following vegetables or a combination: 1 packed cup watercress leaves, 1⁄2 to 1 cup sliced or diced carrots, small cut string beans, cauliflower, or broccoli broken into small florets.

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