In my younger days when I worked in London I pretty much lived on this soup. It’s delicious and just as importantly in those days – it’s dirt cheap to make. An onion, a few leeks and potatoes cooked up in some chicken broth undergoes some sort of alchemy to transform itself into a highly nourishing and comforting soup. The double cream is a recent addition and entirely optional. It adds a lovely richness but if you want a vegan soup just leave it out and swap out the butter for olive oil. If it’s important to you to live “seasonally” this of course is the perfect winter soup – with leeks and potatoes being the star attractions at the winter farmer’s market.
Vichyssoise – Potato and Leek Soup.
1 medium to large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 oz unsalted butter and about a tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
6 leeks, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
3 potatoes – such as Idaho or russet, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
Pinch of nutmeg
32 oz organic chicken broth
1/4 heavy cream
Pinch of sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper
Minced fresh parsley for serving.
- In a large soup pot melt the butter with the olive oil until foaming. Add the onions, turn down the heat to low and cook gently until the onions are just caramelizing. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions to prevent them burning. Be patient, this can take 15 minutes.
- Add the leeks, potatoes, garlic, bay leaf, nutmeg and some black pepper. Stir together to fully combine. Add the stock, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and partially cover the pot. Allow to simmer away until the potatoes are just cooked through – about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, remove the bay leaf. Puree with an immersion blender. Add the cream if using. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and the best artisanal bread you can find. Enjoy.