Warm Up with Potato-Leek Soup

We’re definitely in the middle of winter now here in Ottawa, and I’m gravitating toward hot comforting foods these days after the rush of the holidays.  The veggies required for this soup abound in the winter, so make it now! It freezes well, so you can make a big batch and enjoy it later.

A tip from Williams-Sonoma: don’t substitute another type of potatoes in this recipe; only russet potatoes have enough starch to get the proper consistency in the soup.

Potato-Leek Soup (from Williams-Sonoma)


5 or 6 large leeks

1 large yellow onion

1 lb (500 g) russet potatoes

3 tbsp unsalted butter (use olive oil – it’s healthier and does the same thing, you won’t taste the difference!)

4-5 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock for a vegan soup)

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper

Several blades of fresh chives


  1.  Prepare the leeks and onion. Cut of the ends and rinse of any dirt between the layers.  Take the outer layer off if it is dirty. Cut the leaks into thin slices (1/8 inch thick). Prepare the onion as you would usually, chop into small-ish pieces – it doesn’t really matter if they’re not very small as you will purée the soup later.
  2. Prepare the potatoes. Peel the potatoes and chop them
  3. Sweat the vegetables. Place a wide sauce pan over medium-low heat and add the olive oil (or butter). When the oil is hot (or the butter has melted) add the leeks and the onion.  Stir and make sure they are covered in the oil. Cover and cook until tender, approx. 15 minutes. Check every couple of minutes and stir the pot; when you’re sweating the vegetables you don’t want anything to brown at all, just become tender.

    Makin' those veggies sweat
  4. Simmer the soup. Add the potatoes, the stock and salt. Raise the heat and once it begins to boil reduce the heat; cover the pan. Check to make sure the stock stays at a gentle simmer. Re-cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, approx. 15 minutes. Uncover and remove the pot from the heat. Let the soup cool to room temperature.
  5. Purée the soup. In a blender or with a handblender, purée the soup until smooth.
  6. Enjoy! You can adjust the consistency by adding more stock if necessary and season to your taste. Garnish with some chopped chives and/or some croutons. Yum!

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