This soup is one of the first things I ever learned how to cook on my own. When I was 12 my family took a vacation down to Colonial Williamsburg. After reading all of the American Girl series up to that point, I was so excited to go there it almost hurt. And being there did not disappoint. My family had lunch at the taverns and inns around Williamsburg, but this soup came from the cafeteria in the visitor’s center. It was amazing. I loved it so much in fact, that we bought a Williamsburg cookbook just for that recipe. The way I remember it tasting was not how the recipe described it, so we did a lot of tweaking. I have made this recipe so many times, that when I pull out the original recipe it is caked with potato starch and splattered broth, so that it is barely legible. This soup can be light and refined or thick and hearty. I prefer somewhere in the middle. Please use amounts of vegetables to your discretion, adding or subtracting the amount you prefer. You can also freeze this soup very well.
The key to thickening this soup is to add mashed potatoes at the very end – here is where you can make the soup as thick as you like. In the recipe below I ask you to make mashed potatoes from scratch, but this recipe works equally well with instant mashed potatoes (and I won’t tell or judge, if you use them) – just be careful – instant mashed potatoes take about a minute to come to their full thickening power. —KaffeeAndKuchen
Chicken or vegetable stock
diced raw potatoes, skin left on
diced raw potatoes, peeled (for mashed potatoes)
medium leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
medium onion, diced
milk, at room temperature (use whatever you have on hand, the creamier the milk = the creamier your soup)
Start boiling your peeled potatoes for mashed potatoes. After about 10 minutes, start checking for doneness. Once they are soft, mash with a splash of milk, salt and pepper and set aside.
While your potatoes are boiling, place in a large pot the chicken stock, onions, potatoes and leeks. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Then reduce heat to low until the roux is ready to add.
To make the roux, melt butter in a sauce pan and then stir in flour. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly about 3 minutes. Then slowly pour in the milk, stirring to combine the roux. Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly until the mixture starts to thicken.
Add milk and roux mixture in with the stock and vegetables. Bring to a simmer and then begin to add the mashed potatoes, stirring so that now clumps form. Continue to simmer for another few minutes until the mashed potatoes are completely incorporated, or you reach your desired thickness.
Keep soup warm on low heat until ready to serve.