Potage Parmentier (Potato & Leek Soup) – Julia Child

"Posted here for safekeeping. This is the basic recipe with variations, so you can create your own favorite version. I usually make this non-dairy using vegetable stock, which I actually prefer over the dairy version given here. I usually cook my soup for less time than this recipe indicates and it comes out fine."
photo by AmandaInOz photo by AmandaInOz
photo by AmandaInOz
Ready In:
1hr 5mins


  • 1 lb potato, peeled and diced (I leave skins on)
  • 3 cups leeks, thinly sliced (white and tender green parts only)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 -6 tablespoons whipping cream or 2 -3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 -3 tablespoons minced parsley or 2 -3 tablespoons chives


  • Simmer vegetables, water and salt together, partially covered, 40-50 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Mash the vegetables in the soup with a fork, or puree in blender. Correct seasoning.
  • Off heat and just before serving, stir in cream or butter by spoonfuls. Pour into a tureen or soup cups and decorate with the herbs.
  • Good hot, cold or room temperature.
  • Variations:

  • The following may be simmered with the potatoes and leeks at the start:

  • Sliced or diced carrots or turnips.
  • Peeled, seeded or chopped tomatoes or strained, canned tomatoes.
  • Half-cooked dried beans, peas, or lentils, including their cooking liquid.
  • The following may be simmered for 10-15 minutes with the soup after it has been pureed:

  • Fresh or frozen diced cauliflower, cucumbers, broccoli, Lima beans, peas, string beans, okra or zucchini.
  • Shredded lettuce, spinach, sorrel, or cabbage.
  • Diced, cooked leftovers of any of the preceding vegetables.
  • Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, juiced and diced.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Paka1931
    This was outstanding! I used broth as was suggested in the reviews and had 1/4c of chopped roasted red peppers left over from another recipe so I dumped them in. The butter is a must! This is a wonderful and easy basic recipe. Thanks for posting. I may just have to buy her book!
  2. Roothe
    I love this soup- easy, simple, quick, tasty, and filling. After making it a couple of times, I decided that I like going a little heavy on the leeks, though I don't keep close track of how many I use, either. And I like it mashed just enough that the appearance is creamy, but there are still bits of potato and leek to add some texture. I haven't tried any other variations because I like the basic one so much.
  3. Barbara M.
    I have followed this simple basic recipe so many times. It is a comfort food in this house. Delicious and healthy, I have never deviated from the recipe nor have I ever blended it other than with a fork. Making it for the millionth time right now, and the scent is divine!
  4. byron
    Puree in blender? Don't, and don't be misled into thinking that Julia Child did anything but discourage such a thing. This misstep reveals no understanding of the science of cooking.
  5. jenpalombi
    I love Mastering the Art of French Cooking and I love this recipe. Thanks for taking the time to post it here. This is a family favorite... so simple, inexpensive and good!


  1. AmandaInOz
    Nice basic soup. I made the carrot variation. Next time I would use stock instead of water though, as it was a bit bland. Thanks for posting! Made for PAC Fall 2009.



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