Chunky Potato Leek Soup with sliced potatoes, leeks, onions, rice and cheese, is far and away the best potato leek soup recipe that I’ve ever tried.
This Chunky Potato Leek Soup is very special to me, and I have been making it for about 20 years now. I love soups in general, but I make this chunky potato leek as often as I can because it is super delicious. Perhaps the best endorsement is that even my picky 4 year old likes it.
It was about the time when I was graduating high school when I came across this recipe in the Polish edition of ELLE Magazine. It was called ‘French Potato Leek Soup’ and it looked so good that I needed to give it a try.
I followed the recipe precisely and I wasn’t disappointed by the amazing combination of flavors. I had been accustomed to Polish soups like this Traditional Polish Dill Pickle Soup, and the French Potato Leek was something totally different. It was love at first bite.
I don’t remember if what I’m making right now is exactly the same in terms of the amount of each ingredient, but for sure it contains the same ingredients:
- Chicken stock or water ( I like using stock as it gives a lot more flavor, but you can also use vegetable stock);
- Salt & pepper, to taste.
The vegetables are first sautéed in butter, until soft and slightly caramelized. This is a fundamental difference from the way soups were made when I was growing up – we would take a huge pot of water and add some kind of meat bones, then veggies, spices, etc, and let it simmer for a while. But sautéing leeks and onions develops an amazing sweet flavor that sets this Chunky Potato Leek Soup for a huge success.
I bet the surprising part of this soup is the rice. I know, I was surprised too when I saw it for the first time; but then once I made it I realized that it actually really compliments the soup. It makes it a little bit thicker and heartier.
But then at the end the cheese comes over to take this humble potato leek soup to a new level. The cheese melts into the broth and tastes incredible! I like using Gruyere like in this Broccoli Au Gratin, as I love it’s nutty flavor. But I think that a Cheddar or Moderate Jack would work just fine; it needs to be finely shredded though.
Although the magazine called this potato leek soup “French,” it seems to be closely related to a classic Potage Parmentier or Vichyssoise. It doesn’t contain any cream, milk or flour, though. And most importantly, it isn’t blended. But I guess the combination of potatoes + leeks is French, so this chunky potato leek soup recipe can be called French too, because…why not?
Anyhow, you can make the following adjustments to your liking here:
- You can make it vegan, by substituting butter for olive oil, and omitting the cheese;
- You can add bacon bits on top (I bet that’ll taste super good);
- You can actually add cream if you’d like, or milk or coconut milk if your desire is to have a creamy soup;
- You can even blend it or blend part of it. Even though it’ll lose it’s “chunky” charisma, it will still be delicious (as a matter of fact, I needed to separate part of this soup for my 4 year old & blend it for him, otherwise he wouldn’t eat the chunks.. oh well).
It’s still super cold here in New York and all I crave these days is a super warm soup. In fact, I’m going to get myself another bowl of this wonderful Chunky Potato Leek Soup. If you make it, let me know how you liked it.
Chunky Potato Leek Soup Recipe
- 1 Vidalia Onion chopped
- 3 Leeks medium, white and pale green parts chopped
- 2 Potatoes medium size, red or yellow, sliced
- 1/3 cup Fresh Parsley chopped
- 1/3 cup Rice Basmati or Jasmin
- 1/2 cup Cheese Gruyere, Cheddar, or Moderate Jack, thinly shredded
- 5 cups Chicken Stock Or Vegetable Stock or Water
- 2 tbsp Butter
In a large soup pot like dutch oven or other heavy pan, melt butter and add chopped onions with leeks. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally;
Add sliced potatoes and chopped parsley, cover the pot and cook for another 5 minutes;
Add stock or water, cover and cook for about 15 minutes;
Add rice and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked;
Turn off the soup, add thinly shredded cheese and mix well, allowing the cheese to melt into the broth;
Check for seasoning, add salt and pepper as needed;
Serve with some more fresh parsley and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
If using water as opposed to chicken or vegetable stock, you can add a teaspoon of salt to the soup. I normally go low on salt because the cheese is salty and seasons the soup pretty well. I would adjust salt and pepper at the end of cooking once the cheese is incorporated into the broth.
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