Lindsey Bareham’s leek and potato soup

This super simple soup originates from Richard Olney’s seminal Simple French Food and is made by boiling equal quantities of diced potato and thickly sliced leek with a lavish seasoning of salt, finished with a humongous lump of butter.

A crumble of vegetable or chicken stock cube lifts the flavours if the potatoes are lack lustre and it’s a richer soup made with real stock. I sometimes add a sprig of thyme to change the mood and like a garnish of finely snipped flat-leaf parsley if I have some.

Serves 2
15 min
Cook 15 min


  • 300g trimmed leeks
  • 300g potato
  • 600ml boiling water
  • ¼ vegetable or chicken stock cube, optional
  • 25g butter, preferably unsalted
  • A few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, optional

Slice the leeks in 1cm thick rounds. Agitate in a bowl of water to loosen any dirt between the layers. Drain. Peel the potatoes and cut into similar-sized pieces. Rinse. Place both in a suitable pan with 600ml water and a generous pinch of salt.

Boil for about 15 min until the potatoes are very soft and starting to disintegrate and thicken the liquid, the leeks tender. Add more salt to taste and half the butter. If you are not satisfied with the gentle flavours, add the crumbled stock cube, stirring to dissolve. Strip the parsley leaves from the stalks, finely chop and add just before serving with a final knob of butter.