Recipe ReDux: Leek and Potato Soup with Spring Pea Shoots

Spring has sprung, and tasty veggies are sprouting up everywhere.  We’re talking leeks, scallions, garlic scapes, pea shoots, and ramps.  Oh, and lets not forget my beloved asparagus, and childhood favorite, rhubarb {at least in my mom’s delicious pie!}

Thanks to Katie at Healthy Bites, this month’s Recipe ReDux theme is “The First Shoots of Spring.”

With all these gorgeous green spring veggies at my disposal, it was hard to choose one to cook with, but I finally settled upon making a dish with one that I hadn’t eaten in a very, very long time, up until about a month ago.


It was actually this Savory Bread Pudding dish from the Urban Baker, I made last month, that turned me {back} on to the sublimely buttery sweet and subtle taste of leeks.

Prior to that, my only recollection of eating leeks, was in my all-time favorite soup from childhood, Vichyssoise.

My grandparents lived in Los Angeles, and on special occasions, we would join them at my grandfather’s favorite “fancy occasion” restaurant, Scandia’s ,in Hollywood. Oh, how I loved that restaurant, and it’s fabulous soup too!

Simply, utterly delicious.

Why, oh why have I not made a batch of homemade vichyssoise before today???

Oh, yes, I know why.

Because my husband Ian, lover of most everything I cook, vehemently and passionately hates c.o.l.d soup.

Actually, he puts cold soup on par with snakes.

And, mowing the lawn.

So, thank you Recipe ReDux for forcing me to experiment with leeks and create this  creamy dreamy soup.

For those of you familiar with vichyssoise, you may know that the traditional version gets it’s ultra rich creaminess, from, well, cream.

Now, I have nothing again a little heavy cream every now and again, but, in a nod to ReDux tradition {and because I’m trying to make amends for 2 weeks of  a little more indulgence than usual}, my version is sans cream.

And, guess what?

You won’t miss it one bit.

Not only is this soup light on calories, yet, full of flavor, it’s also packs a powerful health punch from the leeks, onion, and potatoes.

Sulfur and flavanoid rich leeks belong to the allium family, which also includes garlic and onions.  And, although not as well studied as garlic and onions, it’s thought that leeks confer similar health benefits, including a reduced risk of breast and colon cancer, and protection against cardiovascular disease.

In addition, leeks are an excellent source of vitamins A and K, and a very good source of vitamins A, C, and Folate.

And, as far as potatoes go, they are a pretty healthy tuber in my opinion.  Just check out this post, In Defense of Potatoes, for more information.

But, enough talk about the nutritional benefits…

Let’s get on to my recipe.

I was tempted to try and add more ingredients to spiff up my version of vichyssoise, but in the end, simple won out.

Save for an adornment of  gorgeous spring green pea shoots.

Sometimes simple is best.

Here’s the recipe…

Recipe ReDux: Leek and Potato Soup with Spring Pea Shoots

Leek and Potato Soup with Spring Pea Shoots
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10 cups or approximately 6 servings
  • 2 tablespoons butter {or use a spread such as Earth Balance for a vegan version}
  • 4 cups leeks, chopped {approximately 1 large leek, white and light green part only}
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped {approximately 2 pounds}
  • 4 cups "No Chicken" Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or salt to taste
  • Spring Pea Shoots for garnish
  1. Heat butter or vegan spread in large soup pot or dutch oven until melted and foaming. Add chopped leeks and onions and sauté over medium high heat until vegetables are slightly wilted, but not browned {approximately 2 minutes}.
  2. Add chopped potatoes, broth, water, and salt to pot, and bring to a boil. Bring down heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  3. Puree soup in the pot using an immersion blender, OR transfer carefully in batches to a blender, and combine until well blended. Serve warm OR chill soup in refrigerator, and serve cold.
  4. Top bowls of soup with fresh pea shoots. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups

 You’ll note in the recipe, that this soup can be served cold, a la, a traditional vichyssoise, or warm, as I served it to my hubby and kids, who have apparently inherited their dad’s same aversion to cold soup…

But hopefully not to snakes and mowing the lawn.

Before you go, I hope you will check out all the glorious “First Shoots of Spring” links below contributed by fellow Recipe ReDux Members.

And, in case you missed my news, I am excited to share that my Chinese Aubergine and Bell Pepper Pizza with Cheddar and Fresh Herbs, was a “runner up” in the Recipe ReDux contest.  You can check out the grand prize winning recipe, plus other runner up’s recipes here.

Have you ever had vichyssoise before?  Do you have any favorite childhood “fancy” restaurants?  Do you like cold soup???

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  1. oh wow, this sounds amazing! i love potato leek soup, + this looks right up my alley. i could go for a bowl right now!

  2. Love, love these gorgeous photos of the soup…I don’t think I’ve ever seen soup look so beautiful! I love cold soup. But my hubby does not share the love…he says he just can’t understand the concept. (: My kids are ok w/ it if there’s something else to eat too. Thanks for the new take on this yummy soup…haven’t made it in a while…will have to do now!

  3. seriously pretty photos and I am sure the soup tastes as yum as it looks. thanks so much for the linky! glad you liked the savory bread pudding!

    • Thank you Susan! I can’t wait to make your bread pudding again. I made it for my family, my parents, and husbands parents and we all inhaled it. Thanks for leekspiration!

  4. OMG…just the pictures make me want to eat my computer screen! yum! This looks amazing.

  5. What beautiful Spring-y photos! This looks delicious. Also, your spicy rack totally puts mine to shame. I can never find anything, jealous!

    • Thanks Julie! That Spice Rack was inspired by our friends, who had a similar design in their kitchen. I love it, although I know I need to go through my spices and toss the ones that are out of date!

  6. This soup looks fabulous!
    Sorry I missed out this month. I swear there was just too much going on! I did buy leeks though so I am going to still experiment..perhaps with this soup! 😉

  7. This sounds absolutely wonderful! I didn’t get my act together to participate this month, but I’m having fun looking at all the recipes. This one is definitely on my list to try!

  8. I did not know that vichyssoise was essentially cold potato soup…bad dietitian! I would eat it chilled! I do love chilled borscht, I made it last year for a first time and absolutely love it! Childhood ‘fancy’ restaurants, that funny! We RARELY went out to dinner and when we did I remember going to Fiesta Canteena…the local Mexican restaurant! No eating out. No pop but plenty of kool aid! 🙂
    Have a super week Spicy! Super post!

  9. Love your post, I am new this month to Recipe ReDux. Your post is so inspirational, especially with all your great photography! (and I prefer warm soup!).

  10. This soup looks yummy! And always your photos are gorgeous. My husband is like yours, and in addition to hating asparagus, he hates cold soup as well! Though I will share in your husband’s hatred of snakes, though mine is more like intense fear!

    • Ooo…I think an intense fear is worse than a hatred of snakes! Although, i think My husband is just a little bit scared too 🙂 One time we stayed with some friends that had a snake in a tank outside the bedroom we were staying in. He was very adamant about making sure the door to our bedroom stayed shut!

  11. I am trying to figure out this hatred of cold soup. Hmn, did he have one as a child he disliked? So no gazpacho either? Interesting. My mother made leek and potato soup growing up, lots of memories.

    • Oh, my goodness…absolutely no gazpacho either! The very first time I made him cold soup, I think it was some sort of melon soup, and that’s when I found out he despised cold soup. I tried once again with gazpacho and absolutely no luck!

  12. Oh wow…what a gorgeous soup! Love the lightened up version and all that glorious green!

  13. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. So much of enjoying food is its presentation. EA, you get an A+++ for the beautiful photos. Love potato leek soup, as I mentioned in my post, but love the idea you use no cream. Can’t wait to try it.

  14. I’ve never been much of a soup person but this sounds absolutely delcious!

  15. Thanks so much Erin! Hope you give it a try 🙂

  16. great soup and adore the garnish

  17. How can such a simple soup look so GORGEOUS (well, because EA is photographing it 🙂 and also sound so so yummy. I’m buying leeks in bulk after reading all the ReDux posts this month and some pretty spring pea shoots just to make this soup!

  18. i’ve never tried leeks before, isn’t that crazy??? i see them all the time at whole foods though. and i love cold soup – esp gazpacho. i had that all summer long when i was in spain!

  19. What beautiful pictures! Can’t wait to try this soup!

  20. Sorry I checked, it was on TODAY SHOW RECIPES. They were showing seven foods for eating vegetables of the season and they had your Leek Soup. Thanks.


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