Potage Parmentier or Potato Leep Soup is the quintessential French dinner soup.
This was one of the first dishes that I learned to prepare when I was a child, for the simple fact that it is super easy, takes a few ingredients, and requires little attention while cooking.
Who does not like all those beautiful qualities in a soup? I sure do.
Once your lips take their first spoonful, you will never believe that this dish is only vegetables with water and cook together. Like I said earlier, simplicity is at its finest.
In this Article
- Where did Potage Parmentier originate from?
- The star of this straightforward dish is the leek, and if you are unfamiliar with it, here are a few tips.
- Here are a few helpful cooking tips, ingredients needed, and substitutions.
- Cooking tips and step by step to make this fabulous Potage Parmentier
- Immersion blender or blender?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Storage instructions
- If you enjoy this dish, check out these flavorful recipes:
- Potage Parmentier – Potato Leek Soup
Where did Potage Parmentier originate from?
Antoine Parmentier was a young, trained chemist. Not able to open his pharmacy. Therefore, he decided to join the army and was sent to Hanover in 1757.
Here, he discovered potato soup served by the Prussian while he was their prisoner of war.
Parmentier was so impressed with the nutritional qualities of the potatoes that he launched a campaign to promote it, stressing the benefits and a way to alleviate hunger.
In 1786 King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette embraced the potatoes by telling Parmentier that France was grateful for discovering the bread of the poor.
Streets bore his name throughout France, and many French dishes based on potatoes.
The star of this straightforward dish is the leek, and if you are unfamiliar with it, here are a few tips.
What is a leek, and what does it taste like?
Related to the garlic, chives, onions, and shallots family, it has a sweet onion flavor that adds an intense flavor to most dishes that you add to it.
A very loved vegetable in French cooking. Ideally, with soup and stews.
How to pick a leek at the store?
Look for a light green stalk that is even, not bruised, and the light green part is longer than the upper fan out stalks.
The base of the leek should be between one to two inches in diameter. Most importantly, it should still have the roots attached to it.
What part of the leek do you eat?
The most edible parts of the leeks are the bottom white and light green parts. Tender and have the most flavor.
The upper green parts are eatable as well. However, quite challenging, requiring more cooking time. Usually, you would want to sautee them to soften them before enjoying them.
Here are a few helpful cooking tips, ingredients needed, and substitutions.
This potage Parmentier required nothing more than potatoes, leeks, salt, water, and cream.
Potatoes: Russet or Idaho potatoes with thick dark skin are the best. Peel them and cut them into small dice. The smaller, the faster this recipe will cook.
Leeks: Select your leeks that have a very long pale white core. Leeks contain a lot of dirt. Therefore, I cut off the root base.
- Slice halfway thru the pale green body with a sharp knife, keeping the top dark leaves intact, and then slice each half into small rounds.
- Remove the deep dark stalk and thinly slice the center core.
- Place them in a colander and rinse well with running cold water.
Water: Cold water, of course.
Whipping cream: Adds that light touch to the thick creamy soup.
- Substitute it with sour cream or creme fraiche.
- I am partial to creme fraiche but cannot find it easily.
Chives: Like the leeks, they have that delightful onion flavor. Just a few fresh chives on top and you have an added layer of flavor.
- Dry chives will not have the same taste. I recommend not using them.
- Chervil and dill are great substitutes.
Cooking tips and step by step to make this fabulous Potage Parmentier
Once you have all your ingredients prepared, the rest of the cooking is quite simple.
- Use a heavy bottom pot and saute the leeks until translucent with the butter. Do not rush this step, and do not burn the edges of the leeks.
- Once the potatoes are added to your pot, cover them with water so all the potatoes and leeks are submerged.
- Lower the heat and partially cover with a lid. This step will allow all the steam to remain in the pot and have a faster cooking process.
- Once reduced to a cream, see below instructions for immersion or blender, and return to the pot over medium heat to reheat if necessary.
- Ladle into bowls and add either the heavy cream or sour cream
- If you have fresh bread, a couple of slices are always welcome.
Immersion blender or blender?
I have an old immersion blender that does not finely chop all the leeks. Therefore, I use my Vitamix blender under the soup section. What you want is a very smooth soup. All the potatoes and leeks are finely ground.
Frequently Asked Questions
Want to make this soup richer?
Instead of water, use homemade vegetable or chicken stock. This will not change the flavor.
Can you make this ahead of time?
Yes, you can. As you can see, it takes no time to make, and I enjoy making a large pot. It stores well for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
Can I make this soup with the Pressure Cooker?
Absolutely! Follow the same steps as the recipe card here below. Program your pressure cooker for 10 minutes on the program 2 or grains.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for soups.
Once the soup is entirely cooled off, it can be stored in an air-tight container, I prefer glass, in the refrigerator for up to two days.
This excellent Potage Parmentier or Potatoes Leek soup is the perfect light lunch or dinner starter.
If you enjoy this dish, check out these flavorful recipes:
The equipment used to make this potato and leeks soup
Potage Parmentier – Potato Leek Soup
- 3 potatoes, peeled, cut into small dices potatoes
- 3 cups leeks, washed and thinly sliced leeks
- 2 tbsps unsalted butter
- 4 cups water
- 5 tbsps whipping cream
- 3 tbsps chives
- In a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leek and sauté until the leeks are soft, 4 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the water and salt and partially cover cooking at medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are nice and tender.
- With an immersion blender or food mill, mash all the vegetables to a rich paste-like consistency.
- Off the heat, and just before serving into the soup bowl add the whipping cream and stir well.
- Ladle on bowls, place a dollop of crème Fraiche in the middle, and sprinkle the chive over it.
Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.
Did you make this?
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