Potato and leek soup was what Louis Diat cooked one cold summer morning at the Ritz in NYC over a century ago because he had a lot of it as a child. The soup was left in the fridge all day, spun, strained, creamed and turned into vichyssoise. It became a classic. I love that soup, but in recent years I have taken to cook it the ‘original’ way – hot, in the fall, where it warms my bones and makes for one of my favorite lunches with salad and crusty bread.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, halved, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • 8 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1-½ lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • White pepper


1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the leek, onion, fennel, celery, shallot, thyme, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the stock, potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the parsley and 1 tablespoon of the tarragon. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.
2. Add the cream to the saucepan and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon each of parsley and tarragon and season the soup with salt and white pepper; discard the thyme sprig. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.


Soups, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Dishes


Potatoes, Leeks


Andrew Zimmern


8 servings


European : Western



preparation times

• Total Time: 1 Hour