I’ve always looked enviously at clam chowder but I’ve never tried it. Now I know what chowder tastes like 😀. When the kids had this soup my eldest Sri said it tasted like clam chowder and asked me if this was a vegetarian clam chowder? It is!
The inspiration for this soup was Barefoot Contessa’s Ina Garten’s French Mussel Bisque. Her soup had plenty of steamed mussels, leeks, and carrots in a creamy herbed broth with saffron. The soup looked so delicious that I was racking my brains trying to figure out a way to make it without the mussels. The vegetable that came to mind is potatoes. I followed Ina’s instructions with my own selection of vegetables and cut down on the amount of butter, half and half, and cream.
Potato Leek Bisque
- 2-3 leek stalks white and light green parts finely cut
- 4-5 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 carrots cut into small pieces
- 4-5 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes cut into small chunks
- 1 tsp saffron threads and some extra for garnish
- 1 tsp thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup white wine (optional)
- Olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup half/half
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Cook’s Notes: To make this soup dairy-free, skip the butter and cook with olive oil, don’t add cream and half/half. The rest of the directions follow as instructed.
- In a large pot heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté until translucent about 5 minutes.
- Next add the carrots and garlic, salt, pepper, saffron and thyme leaves and mix together. Cook covered for 10 minutes until carrots are tender.
- Add the cut potatoes, 1-cup wine, and 5 cups broth. Cook covered for additional 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Turn the stove off. Lightly blend with a hand blender so the vegetables are still chunky but a little smaller.
- Add half and half and cream and mix-in. To keep this soup dairy free, leave out the cream and half and half. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Add fresh parsley and bring soup to a low boil. Soup is ready.
- Serve hot bisque with garnish of fresh parsley and saffron threads.