Sunday, December 16, 2012

Potato Leek Soup for #SundaySupper Holidays

So, nine sleeps left until the Big Day arrives for another year. Whether you love the hustle, bustle, tinsel and bows of the holiday season or (like me) wish you could hop onto a pane bound for Tahiti for a month and avoid it all, the fact is that most of us will be entertaining at least a few extra people in the next couple weeks, and that obviously means preparing extra (and extra-special!) food and drink too.

This year is a first for us in terms of the sheer number of holiday / celebratory meals we've got on the go, especially the ones we're hosting. Today was a potluck lunch/dinner shindig at my second cousin's home (which I managed to avoid!), which is always a (mostly) delicious mashup of crockpot meatballs, shrimp rings, 7 layer dip and of course the dessert tray to end all dessert trays. Along with our go-to Caesar salad (which admittedly comes out of a boxed kit), Mom's bringing her (now favourite) Italian Salami Pasta Salad with Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette. My contribution,even though I wasn't attending in person, was pecan pie biscotti.Then, keeping in the Italian traditions of my stepfamily, we're once again hosting the big seafood feast on Christmas Eve. Although this is a source of enjoyment for my stepfather and stepbrother, it's a lot of work to plan, prepare, time, cook and serve everything - especially since we only have one kitchen and my mom is stuck doing all the work! Christmas day is usually our day of relative relaxation, since we normally just do a simple brunch of peameal bacon, scrambled eggs, challah and brioche and then head over to my grandparents' house for turkey dinner. Of course, this year, things have changed slightly in the family - and so my grandma's not shouldering the brunt of the work for one big meal, my mom is taking the torch for that dinner too!

One of our favourite easy-yet-elegant special occasion starters is a warm bowl of Potato-Leek Soup. My version's a little different than my mom's heavy cream, roux-thickened decadent (and delicious) potage, though it's still a rich, "special treat" course. It starts with a buttery saute of leeks, onions, potatoes and parsnip, gets fleshed out with evaporated milk and flavoured simply with a few select herbs. At the end, for presentation's sake, a garnish of fresh chives (and chive blossoms, if you have them) seals the deal.

Potato Leek Soup

With all those meals to contend with (not to mention the normal day to day eating in between!) it helps to have some ideas for treats to get the festive mood started. The #SundaySupper Team is having a Holiday Cocktails and Appetizers party, and everyone's invited! With an amazing assortment of recipes, it's easy to have a party for two or twenty this holiday, on any budget and for any style. Conni from The Foodie Army Wife is our host this week.

Party Beverages

Appetizers or Hors d’oeuvres

In honor of the Sandy Hook victims and their families, we have cancelled our regularly scheduled #SundaySupper Chat this week. Let this be a time when we renew our faith in the power of love and realize the importance of time with our families.

Leek and Potato Soup
Makes 6 "lunch" servings
3 tbsp salted butter
3 large leeks (white and light green parts), sliced and rinsed well
1 large sweet onion, chopped
10 oz Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
1 2/3 cup evaporated 2% milk
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 - 1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste
fresh chives and/or chive blossoms, to serve
  1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the leeks and onion, stir to coat with the butter and cover.
  3. Cook 10 minutes, then stir in the potatoes and parsnip and re-cover.
  4. Cook a further 10 minutes.
  5. Pour in the milk and broth, then add the bay leaves, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  6. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, until the vegetables are falling apart.
  7. Remove bay leaves.
  8. Using an immersion blender (or working in batches in a standard blender), puree smooth.
  9. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 200.5
Total Fat: 7.3 g
Cholesterol: 25.9 mg
Sodium: 177.4 mg
Total Carbs: 27.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Protein: 6.5 g


  1. Love the addition of parsnip in your soup and I can imagine how delicious it must taste!

  2. Yum! This soup sounds so comforting and delish!

  3. Delicious! I love potato leek soup and the addition of parsnip sounds fantastic. Thank you for sharing! ~ Bea @ galactopdx

  4. This is a perfect soup for the rainy day we're having today! I love your addition of parsnips!

  5. I love soup so much. This sounds like the perfect flavor!

  6. This soup sounds so good! I love all kinds of potato soups!

  7. I have to laugh because one of my best friends counts days by "wake ups" instead of sleeps.
    Soup sound wonderful!

  8. Mmmmm- this looks delicious! It reminds me of a German potato soup :)

  9. Love your elegant and healthy approach to your potato leek soup. Thank you for sharing your recipe, Sarah.

  10. Drool...I love potato leek soup and it's awesome that you lightened it up a bit. Whew, that's a lot of big parties for you to attend. My mom was always the same - she'd have to host these giant get-togethers and spend all day in the kitchen cooking. What would we do without our moms? Happy holidays!

  11. Potato leek is one o my all time favorite soups. Yours looks great!

  12. I'm glad I'm a little late in visiting because I see you posted the pecan pie biscotti :D

    Anyway, love the way your potato soup sounds with all of the ingredients! I may have to make this soon in January.

  13. What an interesting recipe! I have made potato leek soup for years but this version has me intrigued!

  14. Not sure how I missed this but I love your leek and potato soup with the addition of parsnips! I have never tried that but it sounds delicious. I need to give it a try.


Thanks for the feedback!