There’s nothing as creamy and luxurious as a spoonful of potato leek soup on the palate. So simple yet so elegant. I was surprised to read that it’s actually a working man’s soup from Wales or Ireland, depending on whom you ask, that has been elevated to elite soup status through the years. Perhaps that’s because it is often confused with Vichyssoise, a chilled version that supposedly has it origins at the Ritz, New York. Very Ritzy! Or maybe in Vichy, France. Oh, the folklore of food!
Wherever this soup originated, it is delicious! Especially when taken up a notch with Misha’s Black Truffle non-dairy cheese, available at the Sunday Market, in place of cream.
Served with toasted baguette with a schmear of the truffle cheese and chopped chives, an arugula side salad and a glass of Chardonnay, and you’re free to pretend you’re dining in whatever country you would like.
The brunt of the work is in cleaning and slicing the leeks (make sure to wash well in between the layers), and peeling and dicing the potatoes.
I used boxed vegan broth that I elevated by cooking with the dark green leaves of the leeks, fresh herbs and a spoonful of Better Than Bouillon plant-based chick’n concentrate. It definitely adds a richer, more homemade taste.
And using Misha’s Black Truffle cheese combined with oat milk in place of cream, added a rich earthiness, as well as made it vegan.
Once the soup is cooked, the next hurdle is to puree it. As I haven’t had luck with immersion blenders, I chose to transfer the chunky brew to my food processor for a good blending. I was able to puree the big pot of soup in three batches. This is where you can be in charge of this recipe. Puree it as silky smooth or as chunky as you like.
I do hope you’ll give this soup a try, as is. You won’t know that its plant based and it might just become a favorite.
Black Truffle Potato Leek Soup:
4 large leeks, thoroughly cleaned
3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large cloves garlic, minced
4 T plant-based butter
2 32-oz. containers vegetable stock
1 T vegan chick’n bouillon
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Handful fresh parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
6 oz. Misha’s Black Truffle non-dairy cheese
4 oz. full fat oat milk (full fat is key)
Fresh black pepper
Thoroughly clean and dry the leaks. Cut off the dark leaves and put in a medium sized stockpot (I used a 4 quart) with the two containers of vegetable stock, the tablespoon of bouillon, and the herbs. Bring to a low boil, then lower the heat and let simmer while preparing the rest. Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leek. Melt the butter in a large heavy stockpot (I used a 5 ½ qt Staub pot..) When butter is foaming, add the leeks and sauté about 5-8 minutes until translucent without browning. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
In the meantime, strain the broth of the leek leaves and herbs into a large container and discard the solids. Add the potatoes and the broth to the sautéed leeks and garlic. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer (gentle boil) until the potatoes are soft. Should be 15-20 minutes. Make sure to stir up so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Turn off heat and let cool 5 minutes.
Puree with an immersion blender or by transferring to a food processor/blender in batches. I used the 4 qt. stockpot from the broth to transfer the pureed soup while still pureeing the rest from the larger pot. Yes, a lot of juggling. I then returned all of the soup to the 5-½ qt. stockpot. Once the soup is pureed and back in the larger pot, heat on low. In a small bowl, whisk the truffle cheese and the oat milk until combined. Add to the soup and stir up until fully incorporated into the soup. Add black pepper and salt to taste.
Serve when it is warmed to your liking topped with few leaves of thyme or chopped chives or both. This soup is delicious hot, room temperature, and chilled. Enjoy!