Julia Child’s Recipe for Leek and Potato Soup, Two Ways

Julia Child's Recipe for Leek and Potato Soup, Two Ways

Leek and Potato Soup – Hot or Cold

Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Julia Child
Serves: 6 – 8
Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright © 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. as part of the JC100 Celebration.
  • 3 to 4 cups, or 1 lb, peeled, potatoes, sliced or diced
  • 3 cups or 1 lb thinly sliced leeks including the tender green; or yellow onions
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 Tb salt
  • 4 to 6 Tb whipping cream or 2 to 3 Tb softened butter
  • 2 to 3 Tb minced parsley or chives

1. Either simmer the vegetables, water, and salt together, partially covered, for 40 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are tender; or cook under 15 pounds pressure for 5 minutes, release pressure, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

2. Mash the vegetables in the soup with a fork, or pass the soup through a food mill. Correct seasoning. Set aside uncovered until just before serving, then reheat to the simmer.

3. Off heat and just before serving, stir in the cream or butter by spoonfuls. Pour into a tureen or soup cups and decorate with the herbs.



– 3 cups peeled, sliced potatoes
– 3 cups sliced white of leek
– 1 1/2 quarts of white stock, chicken stock, or canned chicken broth
– Salt to taste
– 1/2 to 1 cup whipping cream
– Salt and white pepper
– 2 to 3 Tb minced chives


1. Simmer the vegetables in stock or broth instead of water as described in the master recipe [Potage Parmentier]. Puree the soup either in the electric blender or through a food mill and then through a fine sieve.

2. Stir in the cream. Season to taste, oversalting very slightly as salt loses savor in a cold dish. Chill.

3. Serve in chilled soup cups and decorate with minced chives.

Bon Appétit!

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22 thoughts on “Julia Child’s Recipe for Leek and Potato Soup, Two Ways

  1. Trish Worth says:

    Some like it hot! That’s me and you both.
    This recipe looks simple and the photos promise me a delicious soup. Thanks Laura.
    Let me know if you’re ever going to be making tartes au citron.

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Thanks Trish! Julia does have a wonderful recipe for Tarte au Citron et Aux Amandes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking so maybe it will be one of the assigned recipes. I never know in advance what we’ll be cooking each week. It’s always a surprise until the email from the publisher arrives on Monday afternoons.

      The anticipation reminds me a little of the Friday Weekly Photo Challenges.


  2. Ken Rivard says:

    This was one of the first recipes I made from MAFC back around 1969. Cold soup! How exotic is that! That first taste was a shock. These days the cream content is too much for me–not just because of the calories, but because of the the flavor. Maybe our palates have all grown up a little bit and we’re after a bit more than just richness. A culinary milestone nevertheless. I’ve never seen a bouquet garni wrapped in leek greens. Nice. Lovely pics too. Ken

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Thanks very much for the compliment on the pics. I’ve finally stopped shooting blog photos with my iPhone 🙂

      Cooking the MTAFC recipes with the JC100 project has been a great opportunity for me to try out some of what I’ve been reading in Le Cordon Bleu’s first year textbooks – Cuisine Foundations. The books are filled with gorgeous step-by-step colour photos illustrating the classic techniques, including this one for the bouquet garni. Those books turned out to be the best Paris souvenir I could have bought myself!

      I’m curious to see what you and Jody have in store for us on your Friday post…I’m guessing chickpeas will figure into it 🙂

      • Ken Rivard says:

        We try (but don’t always succeed) in being at least a week ahead in case some disaster strikes to throw us off our game. But I’ll take your guess for NEXT Friday. 😉 Ken

  3. island traveler says:

    Looks and sounds delicious. I will try the recipe. Soups not only gives a delicious and comforting meal but it helps us remember beautiful memories when we were younger and how our parents used to make one for us. Beautiful post. Thanks.

  4. Giovanni Vidotto says:

    I love leek and potato soup! I’m going to get my wife to cook me some. She loves to cook – and I love to eat. I believe it is a hot soup, n’est-ce pas? One thing I don’t like is cold soups. When I was vacationing in Spain, many years ago, I asked for soup at a restaurant. They gave me Spanish Gaspacho, and I simply went, “Huh – this is soup? – It’s cold!”

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Hi Giovanni – You could serve this soup either way, hot or cold, but I’m like you; cold soups just leave me cold. The only ones I’ve tried have been vegetable based, but I do have a recipe for chilled strawberry soup that I’ve never made. I imagine it tastes a lot like ice cream 🙂

  5. Luisa says:

    LOVE the soup cup and saucer! What is the pattern/ceramic maker?
    On the soup front, just got back from a 3 week trip to UK and Ireland and had potato leek soup which we devoured. Thanks for the recipe ! Also love the leek wrapped bouquet garni.

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