Monday, November 9, 2009

Rustic Potato Leek Soup

It is really expensive to eat out lunch everyday and hard to think of healthy things to pack that are fast and easy.  One solution I've used a lot in the past is buying Smart Ones frozen entries or bringing canned soup with me to work.  These are easy options, but I am concerned about eating such processed food on a regular basis.  Last week I made a pot of minestrone that easily provided a week's worth of lunch (and when you divide by number of servings, that soup is definitely more economical than canned or pre-prepared).   And this week I made a potato leek soup recipe from Ina Garten.  

I thought it would take a long time to prepare, but two pounds of potatoes can be peeled and chopped in five minutes and that is the hardest part of this recipe.  You do need a food processor or an immersion blender at the end to blend the roasted veggies to an appealing hearty soup texture.  I used my Cuisinart and blended in 4 batches.  I couldn't find creme fraiche at Whole Foods so I just skipped that, and to make it even healthier you could probably emit the cream as well.

Roasted Potato Leek Soup

2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:

35 min

Inactive Prep Time:


Cook Time:

1 hr 35 min




6 to 8 servings


  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned of all sand (4 leeks)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups baby arugula, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, plus extra for serving
  • 6 to 7 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
  • Crispy Shallots, recipe follows, optional


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the potatoes and leeks on a sheet pan in a single layer. Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, turning them with a spatula a few times during cooking, until very tender. Add the arugula and toss to combine. Roast for 4 to 5 more minutes, until the arugula is wilted. Remove the pan from the oven and place over 2 burners. Stir in the wine and 1 cup of the chicken stock and cook over low heat, scraping up any crispy roasted bits sticking to the pan.

In batches, transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor fitted with the steel blade, adding the pan liquid and about 5 cups of the chicken stock to make a puree. Pour the puree into a large pot or Dutch oven. Continue to puree the vegetables in batches until they're all done and combined in the large pot. Add enough of the remaining 1 to 2 cups of stock to make a thick soup. Add the cream, creme fraiche, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and check the seasonings.

When ready to serve, reheat the soup gently and whisk in 2 tablespoons white wine and 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Serve hot with an extra grating of Parmesan and crispy shallots, if using.

Crispy Shallots:

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 to 6 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings

Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer.  Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. The temperature should stay below 260 degrees F. Stir the shallots occasionally to make sure they brown evenly. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain well, and spread out to cool on paper towels. Once they have dried and crisped, they can be stored at room temperature, covered, for several days.

Yield: about 1/2 cup


Allison M. said...

If only I had time to cook these past two weeks.....

A Guy in the Kitchen said...

Just had this soup for lunch...yummmy:) I loved it. Similar to potato soup without all the unnecessary cream.