Recipe: Jacques Pépin's Rustic Leek and Potato Soup

Recipe: Jacques Pépin's Rustic Leek and Potato Soup

Christine Gallary
Oct 22, 2015
(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

When I asked chef Jacques Pépin about his favorite childhood dishes, he fondly brought up this soup. He mentioned that it was simple, versatile, comforting, and satisfying — all qualities I agree that this delicious soup has.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Jacques says, "Leeks and potatoes are commonly made into creamy vichyssoise. For Parisian potage, the leeks and potatoes are cut into very small pieces, stewed in a little butter for a couple of minutes, and then cooked with chicken stock. This is one of my favorite soups. I serve it sprinkled with grated Gruyère cheese, but that is not essential."

Serve this meal with:

Tester's Notes

This may seem like an unconventional way to slice potatoes, but it actually works quite well here so you get thin slivers that cook quickly, but are still bite-sized.

With just one leek and a few potatoes, you have a great fall or winter soup. While this soup is meant to be served chunky, you can always blend it if you like!

- Christine, October 2015

Parisian Potage

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon

    peanut or vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1

    large leek, damaged outer leaves discarded, split, washed, and finely minced (3 cups)

  • 1 pound

    Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and held in cold water

  • 4 cups

    (1 quart) homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup


  • 1/2 teaspoon

    salt, or more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon

    chopped fresh parsley or chervil

  • 1/2 cup

    grated Gruyère cheese or a dollop of softened unsalted butter (optional)

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into sticks about 3/4-inch thick and slice the sticks crosswise into 1/8-inch slivers (you will have about 3 cups). The potatoes should be kept in water after peeling, but they should not be washed after they are cut into slivers; this would wash away their starch, which helps make the soup smooth.

Add the stock, water, salt, and pepper to the leeks, then mix in the potato slivers. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and boil gently for about 12 minutes.

Serve the soup with a sprinkling of the parsley or chervil on top and, if you like, the grated cheese or a dollop of butter.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

(Image credit: Tom Hopkins)

Find Jacques' Book:

Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin

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