My Dad frequently made Potage Parmentier or Leek and Potato soup. He was often whipping up soups for weekend lunches for us throwing in what ever we had on hand and needed to be used up. This soup was on regular rotation as soon as the cooler weather set up. Though I am usually not a fan of heavier potato based soups, this one is a different story. It is incredibly filling, smooth and creamy, despite having no dairy of any sort in it. It’s thanks to the potatoes that it has the consistency it does. Plus it is quick to put together and only contains a few ingredients.
My challenge with this soup was getting the kids to eat it. Like many kids, they turned up their nose at this bowl of cream stuff. Immediately saying they didn’t like it even though I promised they would. I even added a little extra salt to their bowls given their love for anything salty! But every time there was a fight. Then one day I had left over pasta from last night’s dinner and I thought, would they eat it if there was pasta in it? I dropped a few rotinis in each of their bowls and told them I clumsily “dropped” a few pastas in the soup and whoever found them would be the lucky one. Now given the size of their mini bowls it didn’t take long for them to discover they both were the lucky ones. The devoured the pasta and a few spoonful of the soup. My youngest even said “this soup is actually not terrible”. Not what I was expecting but better than “I hate this soup”. I decided to reward the “lucky” ones that found the pasta with a few chocolate chips or cookie for dessert. This soup became known as “Lucky Leek Soup” and over time, the protests ended and now they slurp up this yummy soup. Of course they still expect the prizes!
Try this strategy out with this soup or any other dishes you are trying to coax your kids into trying.
A classic French soup, commonly eaten by French children, though my two would not try it until I made a game with it. If you are lucky and find a piece of pasta (not typically found in this soup, I know) you win a small chocolate or cookie for dessert. We have since used this strategy with other soups too!
2 medium leeks
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed
4 cups vegetable stock
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
4-5 pieces gluten-free pasta, cooked
2 tbsp chives or parsley, minced
Remove the end and green part of the leek and slice it down the center. Rinse under cold water to remove any sand or dirt between the layers. Pat dry with paper towel and cut into thin slices.
In a medium soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced leeks to the hot oil, toss and let sweat for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and let cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Pour in vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let cook on low for 30-35 minutes, or until the leeks and potatoes have softened.
Using a hand blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
To make it “lucky” hide one piece of cooked pasta per kiddie bowl. Top with optional minced chives.
Makes about 4-5 servings.