Potage Parmentier (Leek & Potato Soup)

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But what I really love the sound of is Potage Parmentier. Growing up we called it vichyssoise, and it was well-known as my Dad’s favourite. He didn’t even have to specify vichyssoise on his birthday – we just knew to make it. Of course vichyssoise to anyone outside our household referred to chilled leek and potato soup, but we always served it hot. So really his favourite soup was Potage Parmentier.

I can’t recall if this made it into the movie or stayed in the book, but for some reason the name stuck. The humbleness of it, and the fact that a potato, some leeks and water can be transformed, in name at least, into something fussily French. Julia Child wasn’t just a master at French cooking, she was a pioneer woman when it came to product branding.

Earlier this year I unwittingly married P.P. with turnip soup simply by adding a turnip along with the potato. You could do this… or not.

Potage Parmentier

AuthorJulie

2 largish Yukon gold potatoes, quartered (I leave the skins on)
1 turnip, peeled and chopped (optional)
2 largish leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1-2 L water or chicken or veg stock (Julia uses water, I generally use stock)
4-6 Tbsp. cream (heavy or half & half)
salt & pepper to taste
finely chopped parsley or chives

1

In a large pot, simmer the potatoes, turnip (if using), leeks and water or stock for about half an hour, until very soft. Puree in the pot with a hand held immersion blender, or roughly mash with a potato masher. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper and heat through. Serve immediately, sprinkled with herbs.

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Ingredients

 2 largish Yukon gold potatoes, quartered (I leave the skins on)
 1 turnip, peeled and chopped (optional)
 2 largish leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
 1-2 L water or chicken or veg stock (Julia uses water, I generally use stock)
 4-6 Tbsp. cream (heavy or half & half)
 salt & pepper to taste
 finely chopped parsley or chives

Directions

1

In a large pot, simmer the potatoes, turnip (if using), leeks and water or stock for about half an hour, until very soft. Puree in the pot with a hand held immersion blender, or roughly mash with a potato masher. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper and heat through. Serve immediately, sprinkled with herbs.

Potage Parmentier
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14 comments on “Potage Parmentier (Leek & Potato Soup)

  1. Mama JJ
    December 6, 2009 at 5:06 am

    I’ve been making this soup ever since I read about it in Julie and Julia. It’s wonderful.

  2. Lauren
    December 6, 2009 at 10:51 am

    It sounds just delicious. I love all the flavours and its simplicity =D.

  3. Vivian
    December 7, 2009 at 12:02 am

    The easiest things to grow in the garden and they come together with such perfect love…as if the stars were aligned for just such a union.

  4. Cheryl
    December 7, 2009 at 4:36 am

    If you’re opting out of the turnip, do you need to add an extra potato in it’s place? Sounds yummy!

  5. JulieVR
    December 7, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Cheryl – nah. It’s soup! You could do one turnip and one potato, or two potatoes and a turnip, or just a couple of potatoes. Just wing it! Julia uses more stock and cream than I tend to, so I add more veg.

  6. Elaine
    December 7, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Clearly leeks make everything better… I’m enjoying these soup posts, because Chicago just got its first snow (I know, you all have it much harder than we do) and today is definitely meant for making pots of soup.

  7. Lindsey
    December 7, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Perfect recipe for a weekend of forced hibernation! My family, including kids loved this.

  8. Ruth
    December 7, 2009 at 8:55 am

    I usually add farmers sausage for my carnivores and dill for myself, include a crusty roll and this is weekend dining at its finest!

  9. Lesli Christianson-Kellow
    December 7, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Sounds sort of like my Mom’s Potato Soup – which we ate alot of when I was little – potatoes, bacon, onions & milk. Comfort in every spoonful…

  10. Debbie
    December 7, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I made potato-leek soup for the first time a few weeks ago. Loved it. Hubs loved it (always a good thing). Kids, not so much, but not surprising.

    I left mine a little chunky.

    Now that the snow has arrived, I should make it again. The turnip sounds like a great addition too.

  11. Margaret
    December 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    In the past, I used to make this traditonal potato soup with onions, bacon and cream, but added a handfull of orzo to the soup, and sprinkled it with fresh parsley and green onions. And always served hot.

  12. Christine
    December 8, 2009 at 12:54 am

    I made this tonight. It’s freezing here, and the soup was really nice.

  13. Elaine
    February 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I thought the soup had a nice taste but I was disappointed at how thin it was. I had always imagined Potage Parmentier as a thick hearty potato soup. I suppose I could thicken it with a little beurre mannié.

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