Creamy Leek Potato Soup with Watercress Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Just 5 Ingredients – Delicious Hot or Cold, With or Without Watercress

Year Round Soup

Our family’s favorite year round soup is this super simple, super delicious leek potato soup recipe. AKA leek and potato vichyssoise, the recipe we favor was adapted from a chain of English vegetarian restaurants named “Cranks”, in operation from 1961-1987.

My husband and I honeymooned in UK back in July-August of 1988. As vegetarians in a non-vegetarian friendly country at the time, (UK was meat and potatoes, all the more back then), we were delighted to discover numerous eastern Indian restaurants as well as the vegetarian restaurant chain called Cranks, which we visited numerous times throughout our two week stay.

In addition to frequenting the Cranks’ restaurants while visiting London, we came home with three of their cookbooks.

The former Cranks Restaurant chain in UK Cookbooks

Well Worn Recipe Books

Are you old enough to remember when recipe books or handwritten hand-me-down recipes were the only option?

Before the internet with tons more to do and easy access to online recipes, I used to go through my cookbooks to regularly try new recipes. I would rate them and add the date tried to keep track.

I was on such a mission to go through all the recipes in a book or collection for so long that my husband, Coleman, asked me if we would ever have any of the favorites again. 😜

Back then I used a 4-star rating system. But since the Internet and popularity of the 5-star system, I now use 5 stars. In that case this potato leek soup definitely gets a 5-star rating.

Trying a new recipe almost every time I cooked, kept cooking interesting for me. Experimenting with recipes from various cuisines also expanded my skills and scope of options, and fostered greater ability to successfully create my own recipes.

Trying new recipes expands your food horizons and abilities across genres of cooking.

The Cranks’ Recipe Legacy Lives on

Cranks restaurants don’t exist anymore… the death and aging out of the founders resulted in a sale that resulted in numerous resells over time, none of which ever quite restored the original shine and flair of the original owners.

However, we still have our food stained original cookbooks, and pull them out for the faves. AND… you can find some of the original Cranks’ recipes “reissued for a new generation”.

“Cranks – Reissued for a New Generation”

Cranks Potato Leek Soup (Vichyssoise) is a super simple and delicious recipe

Vichyssoise with Watercress – No Watercress? No Problem!

Though the original recipe is titled Vichyssoise with Watercress, we call it Potato Leek Soup. Watercress is not always available in our area, plus we eat this leek potato soup more often as a hot soup in winter. Though some—such as my son, Nikolai — enjoy it equally well as a cold summer soup. So we’ve simply renamed it as Potato Leek Soup.

Whenever we see healthy fresh watercress, and/or organic leeks in our local grocers, we take that opportunity to make this soup. However, there are substitutes we also enjoy.

Substitutes for Watercress

Whenever we can’t find watercress in the stores, we’ve enjoyed this potato leek soup just as much with watercress substitutes, listed here in our order of preference:

  1. Chickweed – an edible weed readily available in our wooded yard
  2. Arugula – spicy leaves often growing in our garden
  3. Nasturtium leaves – also something growing in our garden
  4. Kale
  5. Spinach
  6. Parsley 

GREENS TIPS: Chop into bite sized pieces

Chop greens into bite sized pieces to keep it from stringing up around the blades of the blenders. We like the hand blenders for a chunkier blend, or a blender (we have a Vitamix) for a creamier soup.

Whenever we can't find watercress in the stores, we've enjoyed this potato leek soup just as much with watercress substitutes, listed here in our order of preference: Chickweed, Arugula, Nasturtium leaves, Kale, Spinach. #Potato #PotatoSoup #PotatoSoupRecipe #SoupRecipes #FoodIdeas #HealthyFoodRecipes

How to Clean Leeks for Soup

A member of our Facebook community had this to say about leek potato soup.

1. CHOP the leeks into 1/2″ circle slices.

2. SOAK them in a large bowl of water while you scrub the potatoes (or peel them… we scrub ours and leave the skins on for the extra flavor and nutrients).

3. SWISH the leeks in the bowl of water like your hand is a washing machine agitator.

4. LIFT leeks into a colander, (don’t pour it as the grit will pour with it and nest where it can).

5. EMPTY the bowl of water (we like to water plants with it).

6. ADD leeks back to the bowl and fill again with water, (using your faucet sprayer if you have one), while you continue to agitate the sliced leeks and breaking up the tight clusters.

7. REMOVE leeks from water by lifting them out again. By now the water left behind in the bowl should be free of grit, but if it isn’t, simply repeat the washing phase in another bowl of clean water until the water is clear when leeks are removed.

Planned Overs

Always Make Extra for Leftovers

As you will see from the recipe image below of the original recipe, I’ve made this in larger batches for guests or potlucks, such as in the x3 column.

When cooking for our family of four, we automatically double recipes so as to have plenty of leftovers which we call “Planned-overs“.

Even that large batch of planned-overs of this potato leek soup recipe gets gone well before the week’s over.

This soup disappears quickly as a main course for a family of four. Plus having a young adult male in the household who eats for two, everything disappears quickly!

DEFINITION of Plannedovers (planned-overs):

Always making extra whenever we cook so that there’s alway leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.

RecipesAndMe.com

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Potato leek soup recipe – a 4 star before I began using the 5-star system, but this is definitely a 5 star recipe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

LEED POTATO SOUP RECIPE

Leek Potato Soup Recipe - AKA Vichyssoise with Watercress

Recipes and Me
THINK HOT: Hot soup in winter - like a baked potato with butter and chives, except in soup form.
Or...
THINK COLD Vichyssoise - like a potato salad in summer, except in soup form and with butter instead of mayo.
Always a delicious crowd pleaser or soothing comfort food for one or a few!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine French
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 2 lb leeks sliced in 1/2" rings
  • 2 lb potatoes roughly chopped
  • 12 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper for tate
  • 2 bunch watercress can substitute with arugula, spinach, kale or other favorite greens
  • 1 cup organic whole milk

Instructions
 

  • MELT butter in a large soup pot. (We prefer salted butter, but use whichever you prefer and adjust salt as desired at the end.
  • ADD the leeks and potatoes, stirring to coat well with the butter.
  • COVER and cook gently for 5 minutes.
  • ADD soup stock and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • REMOVE from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so.
  • ADD watercress, chopped, to keep stems from winding around blender blades, (or arugula or other substitute); (reserve a few tablespoons of leaves for garnish).
  • BLEND with a hand blender or pitcher blender to liquidize. If you prefer a partial blending so you have some pieces to chew, then use the hand blender or set aside some of the soup before you blend it.
  • SEASON to taste. 
  • FOR HOT SOUP - stir in the dairy, top with garnish and serve.
    FOR CHILLED SOUP - stir in the dairy and chill
  • GARNISH with chives, watercress or parsley, if desired.

Notes

About Use of Milk

We've found that while the half and half makes for a whiter color and creamier broth, it actually dulls the flavor a bit, so we've found the best flavor to be organic whole milk.
See also our tips on how to clean leeks for soup.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
ABOUT THE COVER IMAGE:
The current cover image is by Elise Bauer of SimplyRecipes.com, where you can find another great leek potato soup recipe. While we make this soup OFTEN, we’ve been remiss in taking photos. (Whoops!!!) But will update with our own here SOON!

A super simple staple recipe, that’s easily adaptable to other greens and herbs, this is one of our family’s favorites. Creamy and delicious, as a hot soup or cold as vichyssoise, you can’t mess up this recipe.

How to Make Creamy Soup Recipes Richer or Leaner

You can also make this recipe less indulgent through easy substitutions.

Richer Substitutes

  • Milk
  • Half & Half
  • Yogurt
  • Sour cream

We prefer the milk to the yogurt for this recipe as the yogurt infuses a hint of tart more than creamy.

Leaner Substitutes

  • Whole milk for:
    • low-fat milk
    • nut milk – plain, such as unsweetened:
      • hemp
      • oat
      • almond milk

The thing about adding the fat is that it’s more filling. So while it adds calories, you may also end up consuming less than with low fat. The other advantage of fat is how it slows the rate of carb absorption.

Leek Potato Soup Recipe – AKA Vichyssoise with Watercress

Recipes and Me
THINK HOT: Hot soup in winter – like a baked potato with butter and chives, except in soup form.
Or…
THINK COLD Vichyssoise – like a potato salad in summer, except in soup form and with butter instead of mayo.
Always a delicious crowd pleaser or soothing comfort food for one or a few!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine French
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 2 lb leeks sliced in 1/2″ rings
  • 2 lb potatoes roughly chopped
  • 12 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper for tate
  • 2 bunch watercress can substitute with arugula, spinach, kale or other favorite greens
  • 1 cup organic whole milk

Instructions
 

  • MELT butter in a large soup pot. (We prefer salted butter, but use whichever you prefer and adjust salt as desired at the end.
  • ADD the leeks and potatoes, stirring to coat well with the butter.
  • COVER and cook gently for 5 minutes.
  • ADD soup stock and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • REMOVE from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so.
  • ADD watercress, chopped, to keep stems from winding around blender blades, (or arugula or other substitute); (reserve a few tablespoons of leaves for garnish).
  • BLEND with a hand blender or pitcher blender to liquidize. If you prefer a partial blending so you have some pieces to chew, then use the hand blender or set aside some of the soup before you blend it.
  • SEASON to taste. 
  • FOR HOT SOUP – stir in the dairy, top with garnish and serve.
    FOR CHILLED SOUP – stir in the dairy and chill
  • GARNISH with chives, watercress or parsley, if desired.

Notes

About Use of Milk

We've found that while the half and half makes for a whiter color and creamier broth, it actually dulls the flavor a bit, so we've found the best flavor to be organic whole milk.
See also our tips on how to clean leeks for soup.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Comfort Food – Potato Soup is Loved by All

Potato Leek Soup Recipe with Watercress

It’s a soothing, warming comfort food in winter and a refreshing vichyssoise in summer.

As a Hot Soup – it’s like a baked potato with butter and chives, except in soup form.
As a Vichyssoise (cold soup) – it’s more like a potato salad in summer, but with butter instead of mayo.

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