Cream of Potato Soup

I’ve been back over a month, and I’m back to eating Cambodian food. There’s a food-cart-turned-brick-and-mortar spot called Sok Sab Bai. It’s about as authentic as it gets, so it’s nice to know it exists. You just don’t see Cambodian food often. Amok Trey [salmon, prahok, krueng, coconut milk, egg steamed in banana leaves, assorted vegetables for dipping], Nom Pa Chok [chicken, noodles, carrot, potato, onion, peanuts, shrimp paste, fresh assorted vegetables], and Khwa Ko [grilled fermented beef and rice sausages]. Hea-ven. It’s hard for me to explain the flavor profile of Cambodian food other than a lot of emphasis on any sour/fermented flavors. I love it. The Amok was thicker than the one in the coconut, but dipping vegetables in it was fun. The Nom Pa was heaping, and had the most tender chicken. The Khwa Ko…easily my favorite dish of the night. Those sausages were so flavorful. They were served on a bed of rice with slaw that was fresh and sour and pickles. It’s such a great contrast of bright flavors.

I miss daylight already, if only for the vitamin D good photo light. Priorities, y’know? I like to think the tripod is helping, but I still don’t like the artificial light. It’s never going to be the same.

I’m still on a soup kick. I keep bookmarking new soup recipes more than anything else. Soup is easy to make and easy to eat at work. They generally don’t smell terrible either, which is key when eating at the workplace. I’m not above eating smelly things, but I do try to have some common courtesy.

Smooth, velvety soups are not my go-to soups. I love them, but they leave me with the mental game of telling myself I’m full. My brain instead tells me I’ve just had something with the consistency of a smoothie, and that I should eat accordingly. It’s a first world problem, for sure. I can’t help but be drawn to them. Cream of potato is one of those soups that you can get away with less cream since potatoes are pretty dang creamy all on their own. I still put in a half cup or so. It helps the soup to achieve that thick and velvety texture. The bacon? Necessary. The leek? A flavor that I cannot get enough of. New potatoes are just that, new. I happened to find some, so I went with them. I think I’d go with some nice golden Yukons if I couldn’t get my hands on some new ones.

Quick. Easy. Simple. Delicious.

Inspiration: Simple Bites


  • three slices of thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 3/4 leek [about one large one], sliced from white to light green
  • Approx. one pound of new potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • rosemary, chives, croutons for serving


In a large dutch oven or soup pot, cook the chopped bacon through until all of the fat is rendered. Sauté the leek in with the bacon once the bacon starts to caramelize. It will take about 2-3 minutes for the slices to really start softening and breaking down in the fat. Add the chopped potatoes and about three cups of water. You can add more later if you want to thin it, but I like thicker soups.

Bring the water to a boil before turning the heat down to a simmer, and partially cover the pot while the potatoes cook fully. Once the potatoes are soft, about 20-25 minutes, puree the soup into velvety goodness either in your blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with herbs or croutons or even a grilled cheese.

  • Eileen

    Oh yes! SOUP. It’s 90% of what I want to eat right now. (The rest is sandwiches, of course.) :)

    • Michelle

      I wouldn’t expect anything less!

  • Sara Kuhlman

    Yum! I just sent this to my boyfriend asking if we can make it! I was thinking recently of making mashed potatoes, but also mixing it with mashed cauliflower to cut down on dairy but still have that nice flavor. I wonder if a bit of cauliflower would be good in potato soup as well!

    • Michelle

      I’ve been craving mashed potatoes, too. Pretty psyched to get some Thanksgiving cooking on. Do you still faux-celebrate being in London?

      I think cauliflower would be fine in the soup, just might be a little watery depending on how moist it is.

      • Sara Kuhlman

        Yeah! We always have a huge Thanksgiving, usually the Saturday after though. The Whole Foods in London is the biggest I’ve ever seen, and they totally cater to Americans at Thanksgiving. They even have those nasty little fried onions ;) Oh, and just in the past 2-3 years most supermarkets have Libby’s pumpkin for some reason. I always have the dinner at my house with all my European friends, but this year I’m dating an American (the guy from Portland!) so we’re doing a big dinner together. :) I love Thanksgiving!!

        • Michelle

          This is the best news ever!! I have a friend in Wales who never even knew what pumpkin tasted like because no one ever carried it. That’s a damn shame.

          I love that you’re doing a big dinner. Eating is the best holiday ever.

  • Allie

    I really want to like potato soup, but I never quite do. Although, cream, bacon and leek is pretty spectacular, so much like baked potatoes, I really just want the toppings/trappings sans potato. Hmm, maybe with sweet potato? I have a pile of those and butternut squash, and I’m thinking I’m going to have to go soup to use them up before they go bad (okay, the sweet potatoes will last all winter, but the squash situation is getting desperate…)

    • Michelle

      Oh totally. Cream, bacon, and leek in a butternut squash soup? DONE. I’d do it totally.

      • Allie

        I ended up wimping out and roasted up my squash. Mostly because I love any roasted veggie. Partially because I only had veggie broth and no cream or bacon, and that is simply NOT the same sort of base for a soup.

        • Michelle

          Good call. That would have been the saddest soup.