As far as potato soups go, this one is probably one of the best.  Inspired by Julia Child’s recipe for Potage Parmentier, this is my version using the addition of a few ingredients including herb pistou.

Serves 6


  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 4 C organic leeks, chopped – white and light green parts only
  • 1/2 C onion, diced
  • 2 T fresh garlic, minced
  • 7 C russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 C homemade organic chicken stock (or boxed organic)
  • 1/2 C good white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
  • 2 T fresh organic thyme
  • 3/4 C heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 C fresh herb pistou (see recipe below) OR you can use 2-3 T chopped organic chives
  • Lemon wedges (optional)


In a large stock pot on medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and add in leeks and onions, cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the potatoes and stock.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and partially covered, cook for about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Using an immersion blender puree the soup until it’s creamy smooth (you can also do this carefully in batches in your blender or food processor).  Add in cream, salt and pepper (adding more if needed).  To serve; ladle into bowls and garnish with a swirl of pistou.  If using chives, swirl a bit of cream on top and then the garnish of chives.


When a recipe calls for pistou or pesto, I always make extra.  It lasts in the fridge for up to two weeks, but in the freezer for months! It’s great on eggs, sandwiches, on pasta, dressings – just about anything!  A traditional French pistou is made with fresh basil, garlic, salt and olive oil. The addition of other fresh green herbs and lemon juice, brightens the green color and gives the sauce a little more life.


  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 C fresh organic basil, without stems
  • 1/2 C fresh organic Italian parsley, without stems
  • 3 T fresh organic thyme, no stems, chopped
  • 1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp each Kosher salt and cracked  black pepper

Add garlic, basil, parsley, chives and olive oil to blender.  Process until silky smooth.  Add in lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper and process until incorporated.  Taste for seasoning.  That’s it!  For this soup recipe, this is the best pistou we’ve found.

Cooks Note:

Pistou can also be made with mint, tarragon, chives – basically any fresh green herb.  Make with the same ingredients above.  However, for the Potage Parmentier and to keep it as French inspired as possible, we suggest the herb profile in the recipe provided.