It’s cold in South Louisiana.

So last night I wanted to warm up with homemade soup.

This one is special, satisfying and oh-so-easy to make. It’s Potato and Leek Soup and you can find the recipe in Patricia Wells’ The Paris Cookbook. Her version includes oysters, which I adore, but I decided to omit them in hopes of getting my kid to eat the soup too.

According to Wells:

“Potato soups have long been a French favorite, and the classic combination of leeks and potatoes . . . is one of the most obvious winter warm-ups.”

What boosts the comfort factor? Outside of the potatoes, it’s definitely the cream and butter.

You can never go wrong with cream and butter.


Anyway, here’s what you need to  make this rich, subtly sweet soup:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I like to use Plugra because it’s super-creamy)
  • 2 leeks, white and tender green portions, rinsed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced.
  • fine sea salt to taste
  • 8 ounces baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream
  • freshly grated nutmeg


  • Combine butter, leeks and 1 teaspoons sea salt. Cook the leeks over low heat until they are soft, but not browned. Add potatoes, milk, cream and several gratings of nutmeg. Simmer for 20 minutes, covered, stirring often to prevent the soup from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Blend soup until smooth. (Best tool ever for blending soup? The KitchenAid 2-Speed Hand Blender.) Serve. *If you want to include oysters, you can float them in the soup at this point and the heat will gently cook them.

Wells recommends pairing this with a glass of chilled white wine. Last night I wanted to avoid cold at all costs so I went with a full-bodied red wine instead.