Potato Soups

Updated: Feb 23

By Luci

As the temperatures outside drop and the cold bites our cheeks and ears, we soup lovers think thick, hearty, substantial, warming. Potato soup fits that bill, especially if made with butter and cream. “Ho-hum” you may be thinking. Not necessarily. Make it a bit different with novel combinations of ingredients and you will have a winner, for everyday or a special occasion. Here are three variations on a basic potato soup recipe that bring great taste and a bit of excitement to this winter favorite. Don’t forget to embellish your creation with an attractive garnish.

The Basic Recipe

Ingredients 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 small leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and roughly chopped 4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes ½ pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 1 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup heavy cream Garnish: A sprig of parsley


  1. Melt butter in heavy pot over medium heat.

  2. Add leeks and sauté until soft, about 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add chicken broth and bring to boil.

  4. Add potatoes, parsnips, salt and pepper. Return to boil, lower heat and simmer gently until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

  5. Process or blend until smooth.

  6. Return to pot, add cream and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.

Provençal-Inspired


  1. Sauté ½ teaspoon dried lavender buds and 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary with the leeks.

  2. Process 4 ounces goat cheese with the soup in Step 5.

  3. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a small scattering of lavender buds.

Northern European


  1. Substitute 1 medium onion for the leeks.

  2. Forget the parsnips.

  3. Add two tablespoons chopped dill.

  4. Substitute sour cream for the heavy cream.

  5. Garnish with a sprig and some chopped dill.

East Indian


  1. Substitute 1 large onion for the leeks. Sauté with 1 large garlic clove, grated; 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds; 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric; 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger; 1 green chili, chopped and seeded; 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne.

  2. Substitute Greek yogurt for the heavy cream.

  3. Garnish with black cardamom pods as shown or with a slice of ginger or some cumin seeds.


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