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Potage parmentier (potato leek soup) is simple and simply perfect. Made from just a few ingredients, gluten-free with vegetarian and vegan options, it's oh-so satisfying inside and out. Here's how to make it.
Why we love this recipe
I originally shared this simple, naturally creamy, delightfully flavorful potage parmentier recipe on Serious Eats a zillion years ago, in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving 2010. It's a perfect low-key lunch or dinner then or anytime, and here's why:
"At times like these, even the most devout givers of thanks need a simple, comforting dinner with leftovers for lunch the next day. Said dinner should be composed almost entirely of vegetables, but not in a salady sort of way. It should: fit in a single bowl, fill your belly just enough, and warm you from the inside. And if its smooth, velvety texture happens to gesture almost imperceptibly in the direction of gravy, well then, so much the better. It is November, after all."
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- Leeks are a dreamy ingredient with a nuanced, multifaceted onion-like flavor. When cooking with leeks, remove and discard (or save for stock-making, if you do that sort of thing!) the dark green parts, and trim and discard the root ends. Cut white and light green parts in half lengthwise and then cut each half crosswise into half-moons. Leeks tend to have a lot of sand and soil embedded between the layers, so I like to wash them well in several changes of water in a salad spinner after cutting.
- Yukon gold potatoes give a golden color and a rich, creamy texture to this soup. You can use any gold-fleshed potato.
- You can use chicken both or a good vegetable broth to make the recipe vegetarian (or, of course, homemade stock). This is my favorite vegetable broth.
- I prefer the flavor of a combination of butter and olive oil, but you can omit the butter and double the oil to make this recipe vegan and dairy-free.
How to make it
Here's what you'll do to make a beautiful pot of potage parmentier. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy pot. When the butter melts, add the leeks, garlic, and a teaspoon of salt.
- Stir to coat and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and broth, an additional teaspoon of salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until potatoes are very tender.
- Purée until perfectly smooth and silky in a blender or with an immersion blender and serve.
Expert tips and FAQs
I was surprised to learn that this classic French soup is named after a person. Antoine-Augustin Parmentier was a busy French pharmacist. He's fun to read about. Among many other contributions, he popularized the potato for human consumption in France and throughout Europe.
Absolutely. Potato leek soup only gets better as it sits. It keeps well in the fridge for up to a week and reheats well.
More favorite simple soups
We LOVE soup. You can see all our soup recipes here. And here are a few of our other super-simple favorites.
- 2 pounds (910 grams) leeks (about 4 large leeks)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
- 2 pounds (910 grams) Yukon Gold potatoes
- 8 cups (1900 ml) low-sodium chicken broth or good vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh chives, dill, and flaky sea salt to garnish
- Trim away roots and dark green parts of leeks. Slice remaining white and light green parts in half lengthwise. Cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick half-moons. Place in a salad spinner and wash thoroughly.
- Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add leeks and garlic and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.
- While leeks are cooking, fill large bowl halfway with cold water. Peel potatoes, placing each in bowl of water immediately after peeling to prevent browning.
- Cut each potato in half lengthwise and slice into ½-inch-thick half-moons. Drain potato slices and add to pot along with stock, remaining salt, and pepper.
- Raise heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until potatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes.
- Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches in standing blender. I like to use my Vitamix for a super-silky, luxurious texture.
- Serve garnished with chopped chives, dill, and flaky sea salt.
- For a vegan, dairy-free version of potato leek soup, replace the butter with more olive oil.
- Soup reheats well and will keep in refrigerator for up to a week.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 11.3gCarbohydrates: 38.5gFiber: 5.3gProtein: 13.2g