Even though leek and potato soup could be found on the tables of many Western countries, I’ll take Dorie Greenspan’s word when she says that ‘Soups don’t get simpler or more French than leek and potato’. She gave an example of Antoine-Auguste Parmentier, who used potatoes to feed the poor in the 18th century.
I took a few liberties with this soup and incorporated fennel as well as ham.
Despite the list of ingredients, this soup couldn’t be easier to make!
First sauté a Spanish onion, a few garlic cloves, and a thinly sliced fennel bulb in a few tablespoons of butter until softened. Season with salt and pepper.
Then add a few cubed potatoes, 3 thinly sliced leeks, cubed ham, and equal parts chicken broth and whole milk (enough to cover the vegetables).
I added flavor to the soup with salt, pepper, thyme sprigs, and sage leaves and then let it simmer, half-covered, for 40 minutes.
One of the great things about this soup is that you can leave it chunky, puree it for a smooth texture, serve it hot, or serve it cold. It’s the middle of winter so I couldn’t imagine eating it any way other than hot and chunky, so I lightly squished the potatoes with a fork and served it hot – topped with green onions and alongside a baguette (to be extra French).