Meatless Monday: Roasted Potato Leek Soup with Crispy Shallots

Gluten-Free, Main Courses, Meatless, Soup / Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Soup Season is kicking in, and if you love taters like I love taters, you’ll be crazy in love with this Roasted Potato Leek Soup with Crispy Shallots from Ina Garten (code name: Barefoot Contessa).

You won’t believe how much flavor is infused into every half-cup serving. The soup’s foundation is a combination of potatoes, leeks and arugula roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then comes the next layer of flavor: white wine (or apple cider) and vegetable stock.

Most cooks would stop here with a perfectly respectable soup, but when have we ever been respectable?

Onward, Ina!

Her next step is to take the pureed vegetables, stock and wine and transform them with the addition of heavy cream, creme fraiche and Parmesan, adding complexity, richness and tang. And fat (see also half-cup serving).

The finishing touch? A pinch of crispy shallots. You might be tempted to skip the shallots (I was), but having that intense flavor and little bit of crunch makes this soup.

We paired it with a hunk of beer bread for a pretty low-key dinner, but this soup would make an excellent first course for a more elaborate meal. Something with intricate outdoor lighting, a welcome-to-the-party-cocktail and a tablescape, as The Good Ina intended.

Roasted Potato Leek Soup

When you get to step 5, be sure to puree the vegetables with the stock and the pan liquid. Otherwise, your pureed potatoes will be glued to the metal blade of the food processor. Trust me.

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics”

Makes 6 to 8 servings (1/2 cup each)

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned of all sand (4 leeks)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups baby arugula, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or cider, plus extra for serving
  • 6 to 7 cups vegetable stock (originally chicken)*
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
  • Crispy Shallots (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine the potatoes and leeks on a sheet pan in a single layer. Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, turning them with a spatula a few times, until very tender.
  3. Add arugula, and toss to combine. Roast for 5 more minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven, and place over 2 burners on low heat. Stir in the wine and 1 cup of the chicken stock, and scrape up any crispy roasted bits sticking to the pan.
  5. In batches, transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor, adding the pan liquid and about 5 cups of the chicken stock to make a puree. Pour the puree into a large pot or Dutch oven. Continue to puree the vegetables in batches until they’re all done and combined in the large pot.
  6. Add enough of the remaining 1 to 2 cups of stock to make a thick soup.
  7. Add the cream, creme fraiche, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
  8. When ready to serve, reheat the soup gently and whisk in 2 tablespoons white wine and 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Serve hot with an extra grating of Parmesan and crispy shallots.

*Gluten-Free Tip: Use GF vegetable stock.

Crispy Shallots

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 to 6 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat until it reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown. The temperature should stay below 260 degrees F. Stir the shallots occasionally to make sure they brown evenly.
  3. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain, and spread out to cool on paper towels. Once they have dried and crisped, they can be stored at room temperature, covered, for several days.

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34 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Roasted Potato Leek Soup with Crispy Shallots

  1. Oh, yeah, let soup season begin and I am so going there with this one again…I think I have cooked my way silly through Ina's books…the guys here love all her recipes and they always say, "Well, if it is good enough for Jeffrey, it's good enough for us!" I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, but they say it every time I do an Ina recipe. Your soup looks wonderful. I'm trying your version this round. Swim meet this weekend, good time to have soup ready. I love this blog.

  2. Yum. I have been making a lot of soup lately. I made potato-leek soup last week, but I hadn't thought of roasting the vegetables. I just cook the leeks and potatoes in bacon fat which gives the soup a nice smokey richness. But I guess that wouldn't qualify for Meatless Monday :)

  3. That looks fantastically over the top and delicious, just like Ina would make it – lovely! I might lighten it up so I can have more than 1/2 cup though!

    1. It could easily be lightened up. When I'm making a recipe with the Barefoot Bloggers, I try to do it Ina's way first, but sometimes I still have to cut back on all the "extra."

  4. This looks amazing…can't wait to try it. I have really enjoyed your blog…don't remember how I found you, but I'm glad I did!

  5. My mother made this same recipe this past weekend when I was visiting. I loved it! Instead of shallots, she made bacon (everything is good with bacon, right?).

  6. I just saw this on one of her episodes this weekend – it looked so good! And when she was making those shallots? Mmmmm…. Now that I have an actual review, I will definitely be making the soup sooner rather than later!

  7. That is so interesting that she uses arugula! I actually have only ever made one version of potato leek soup… the first one I ever made. It is dead easy and contains like… 4 ingredients but I am sure I am losing out because of that. Great pics!

  8. Wow, this is definitely going on my to make list. I'm a huge fan of potato soup since I used to work at a restaurant that had it on the menu . . . and this looks ten times better!

  9. I just made this the other day and I concur with all your observations. When I saw that the shallots took 30 minutes it was sooo tempting to skip them – but the soup wouldn't have been the same. They're worth the extra effort!

  10. I LOVE leeks! I'm so glad you posted a soup recipe using them. Since it is soup season, I make a from scratch soup every Sunday that lasts us usually until Wednesday and we have that for dinner with some salad and homemade bread. Thanks for this post, I will be making it this Sunday!

  11. Fry the shallots for 30 to 40 minutes? Is that right? I've never heard of deep frying for more than a few minutes. Please advise.
    Sounds delicious!

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