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.
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:
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
peanut or vegetable oil
large leek, damaged outer leaves discarded, split, washed, and finely minced (3 cups)
Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and held in cold water
(1 quart) homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
salt, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley or chervil
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.
Reprinted with permission from Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.