This delicious, hearty and filling soup transforms the humble ingredients potato and leek to a refined and delicate dish. There is one problem: the soup doesn’t look very nice. The combination of the colours of leek and potato give it a slightly icky colour, and the texture before binding the soup with butter and cream doesn’t help either. Therefore I use a picture of the ingredients instead of the finished soup for this recipe. But don’t let the slightly icky look hold you from making and eating this soup, after the first spoon you will know that it is completely worth it! In France this soup is called potage bonne femme (good woman’s soup).
Potato and leek soup (serves 2 as a main course, more if you also serve bread)
50 gram butter
1 large onion, cubed
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
600 ml chicken or vegetable bouillon (from cube is fine)
1 bay leave
2 large leeks, rinsed well and sliced in rings
150 ml cream
salt and pepper
Optional: crisp bits of bacon
Melt a quarter of the butter in a soup pan. Add the onion, cook until soft and translucent.
Add the potato, cook them a few minutes, then add the stock and the bay leave. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender. This takes about 10 minutes.
Add the leeks, bring to a simmer and cook until the leeks are soft. This will take about 5 minutes.
Puree the soup. Place a sieve over another pan, scoop some of the soup in there and use a wooden spoon to press most of it through, leaving the tough bits behind. Repeat until all the soup has passed through. It may seem tempting to use a blender for this, but don’t! The starch in the potato will get free and your soup will resemble wallpaper glue.
Stir in the cream and bring back to serving temperature. Don’t let the soup boil any more, as the cream might split. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir through the remaining butter in small cubes. The cream and butter will give the soup a lovely texture and shine.