February 5, 2013

Potato Leek Soup Recipe

"I am doing very well though, on bread & coffee -- now & then a little potato soup -- think my health is as good as ever it was -- though I am working very closely, hoping to get a respite for a few days that I may come to my own sweet nest for a few days of this rapidly passing winter. If you have not sent my eatables &c, let them rest until I write again."  

- Jedediah  Hotchkiss in a letter to his wife, Sara, December 21, 1862.

This is a good soup for letting simmer all day over a fire in camp. The potato is really the main ingredient to this soup and in the past, would probably have just been referred to as potato soup. The leek, just like the onion would only be adding more flavor to the main ingredient. It's simple but very flavorful and could be used as a base for more complex soups.

To make this soup even simpler and more period appropriate you can avoid using leeks altogether and just add a second onion or try and find some "wild leeks" or "ramps," (Allium tricoccum.) Leeks, while called for in some period recipes, never became as popular in the U.S. as they were in Europe.  


Potato Leek Soup Recipe:


- 3 Leeks (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
- 1 Onion
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 6 Potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 4 Cups of Vegetable broth
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- White Pepper and Salt to taste


Put a large soup pot on medium to high heat. Add the butter and sauté the leeks and onions until they start to brown. Add the broth and the potatoes and cook on medium heat until the potatoes are soft in the middle. Mash the potatoes in the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove pot from heat and add the cream, salt and pepper. 

In modern times, a cold version of this soup is known as vichyssoise and is largely attributed to french recipes in the 1860s. In 1917, Louis Diat, a chef at the NY Ritz-Carlton claimed to have reintroduced the soup which was based on the soups his mother and grandmother used to make.


  1. This is one of my all-time favorites. Can we make this in the field one weekend?

    1. Sure. We should find some new stuff too. I know T-P- was interested in some new stuff, possibly for demonstrations.

    2. Maybe. Only we'd need a hair sieve.

    3. Actually some good period stuff would be really cool, especially as a demonstration. I think you should find some fun stuff, coordinate with Mrs T-P- and ask M-C- to help. Specifically. I think he needs to feel important. :)

  2. May I print this? My mom and I LOVE this soup!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Tell me what you think!

Copyright © 2008-2020 Stephanie Ann Farra. All rights reserved.

All materials posted on this site are subject to copyrights owned by Stephanie Ann Farra. Any reproduction, retransmissions, or republication of all or part of any document found on this site is expressly prohibited, unless the author has explicitly granted its prior written consent to so reproduce, retransmit, or republish the material. All other rights reserved.