This recipe appears in:The Food Lab: How to Make Potato Leek Soup the Easy and Easier way
An easy potato-leek soup that takes no shortcuts to deliver the best flavor and texture possible. A touch of buttermilk and potatoes pressed through a ricer are the secret.
Why this recipe works:
- The recommended method here is to press the potatoes through a ricer (instead of using a blender), which gives the soup a light and clean texture and eliminates the gluey consistency common in other recipes.
- For those who want to save time or don't have a ricer, an alternate blender method is included that minimizes the potential for a gluey texture.
- Buttermilk adds brightness and tang to the rich soup.
Note: For best results, follow instructions using a ricer. Blender soup will still taste good, but will have a slightly gluier consistency.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 quart homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters (about 3/4 pound)
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Sliced chives or scallions, for serving
Heat butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until melted. Add leeks, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add stock, potatoes, and bay leaf, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until potatoes are fall-apart tender, about 15 minutes.
To Finish With a Ricer (Recommended): Remove potatoes from soup using tongs and transfer to a bowl. Set aside. Discard bay leaf. Transfer remaining soup to a blender. Slowly increase blender speed to high and blend until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Return soup to a clean pot.
Press potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill into the pot with the soup. Whisk in buttermilk and heavy cream. Whisking frequently, bring soup to a simmer over medium-high heat. Whisk in grated nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with chives or scallions.
To Finish With a Blender (Faster): Add heavy cream and buttermilk to pot. Discard bay leaf. Working in batches if necessary, transfer soup to a blender. Slowly increase blender speed to high and blend until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Return soup to a clean pot, pressing it through a fine mesh strainer or chinois with the bottom of a ladle if a smoother texture is desired. Whisking frequently, bring soup to a simmer over medium-high heat. Alternatively, chill completely and serve cold. Whisk in grated nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with chives or scallions.