Potato, Garlic, & Leek Soup

4 servings
30 min prep time
1 hr 50 min total time

Satisfying and substantial, this creamy potato leek soup from Two Red Bowls is perfected by crème fraîche, crispy pancetta, and roasted garlic.



1 head garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons Vermont Creamery Unsalted Cultured Butter - 82% Butterfat

1 cup (about 1) thinly sliced leek,

4 cups (about 3-4) sliced Yukon Gold or russet potatoes

4 cups chicken stock, divided

1 tablespoon white wine or sake, or more to taste

1 tablespoon (about 2 sprigs) chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche or more to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

Pancetta Breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic, use reserved tops from garlic head

1/4 cup finely diced pancetta or bacon

1/4 cup coarse plain or panko breadcrumbs

salt and red pepper flakes, to taste

Fresh parsley , if desired

Vermont Creamery Crème Fraîche


  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 400°F.

  • STEP 2

    Trim about 1/2-inch off top of head of garlic, exposing all the cloves inside. Save any tips of cloves that are sliced off for pancetta breadcrumbs. Rub exposed cloves with about 1 teaspoon olive oil, just enough to coat. Wrap in aluminum foil; bake 40-45 minutes or until cloves are soft when poked. Once garlic is done, carefully remove foil; set roasted garlic head aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, slide cloves out of their skin; set aside.

  • STEP 3

    Heat 2­- or 3-­quart pot over medium heat. When a drop of water dances and sizzles when it hits the pot, add butter and remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to the pot; stir until melted. (Waiting until the pot is hot will help prevent the vegetables from sticking.) Add thinly-sliced leek and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes or until vegetables have begun to soften and brown slightly. If the bottom still sticks, don’t worry -- the stock and white wine will loosen any brown bits.

  • STEP 4

    Add 3 cups chicken stock, wine or sake, roasted garlic cloves, thyme, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine, scraping up any stuck bits from the bottom of pot. Bring mixture to a boil; turn heat down to a bubbling simmer. Cook 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

  • STEP 5

    Meanwhile, place pancetta into a cold skillet. Heat to medium-low. Let pancetta cook slowly 5-8 minutes or until crisp and fat has rendered. Add breadcrumbs, salt, and red pepper flakes; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes or until crumbs are an even golden color.

  • STEP 6

    Puree soup using an immersion blender or doing batches in regular blender. Stir in crème fraîche and enough remaining stock until soup reaches desired consistency. Add more salt and black pepper as desired. Add a splash more of white wine or sake if soup tastes a bit too heavy or rich.

  • STEP 7

    Serve with pancetta breadcrumbs, minced parsley, and extra crème fraîche on top.

Two Red Bowls

Two Red Bowls_Image

Two Red Bowls

Balancing her job as a lawyer in New York with her passion for cooking and small-batch baking, Cynthia founded Two Red Bowls to share her love of Korean food and anything that can be made in miniature. Her blog is a simple distillation of everything she likes best about food —  good portions with nothing gone to waste, a touch of Asian influence, and experimenting with new things. To learn more about Cynthia and her recipes, visit her blog, Two Red Bowls.