Even if you haven’t been reading food blogs back in 2002, you must have at least seen a trailer for the movie called “Julie & Julia” which is an adaptation of the book of the same title which, in turn, is an adaptation of the very first food blog ever. In the blog, book, and film, Julie Powell wanted a challenge and that challenge was to cook everything in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The soup called Potage Parmentier, or leek and potato soup, was Julie’s first project.
I cooked Potage Parmentier a few months ago, everyone loved it, but I wasn’t able to take photos. About two weeks ago, there was just me for lunch, I wanted a no-frills but substantial dish and I thought about Potage Parmentier. It has potatoes which makes it filling and I thought I’d throw in some chicken too. And this was the result.
A hearty, tasty soup that requires very little effort to make. There are only three main ingredients — leeks, potatoes, and chicken — but the result is so satisfying. Never underestimate the power of a soup dish. It can be a complete meal by itself. Heat the butter in a pan and add the leeks. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Add the chicken to the pan and pour in about two cups of water. Add the potatoes and season with salt and a little pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
If you want to omit the butter, you can just boil directly the chicken, leeks, and potatoes.
After 45 minutes, the chicken should be done, and the potatoes and leeks should be mushy. Lift the chicken with kitchen tongs and transfer it to a plate to cool a bit. Mash the leaks and potatoes. Not to a pulp. It’s nice to have discernible bits of potatoes and leeks when you eat the soup.
Meanwhile, separate the chicken meat from the bones. In fairly large chunks. Add the mashed leeks and potatoes to the broth. Stir to combine. Next, stir in the chicken meat. Sprinkle with onion leaves if you like. Finally, enjoy your soup. Accompanying it with a crusty bread would be nice but not completely necessary. The soup is wonderful just by itself.