Joni’s Creamy, Chunky, Rustic, and Flavorful Potato Leek Soup (or is it Celine’s?)

Posted by on April 22, 2010 | 14 Comments

As my friend Ricki pointed out, half the fun in using recipes from 500 Vegan Recipes is trying to guess which author wrote which recipe. Both ladies have been blogging their recipes for quite some time, offering hints of their style. But still, I was stumped on some. This recipe though, definitely Joni. I think.

Well, whoever created it, it is delicious! And talk about filling. I tend to be one of those people who eats half my body weight at each meal. But a modest bowl of this soup at dinner was plenty. For that reason, it makes a perfect vegetarian night meal (Meatless Mondays anyone?), and who doesn’t love leftover soup for lunch?

There are many potato leek soup recipes out there, but this one has its own special touches that I just loved. Unpeeled potatoes for a “rustic” look and taste (mmm, love those potato skins!); lemongrass for a unique essence that melded perfectly, and the use of vegetable broth instead of chicken broth gave the soup a beautiful and unexpected orange hue. I liked this, as it left my husband guessing on what type of soup it really was, and of course looks better in pictures …

Rustic Vegan Potato Leek Soup

I adapted the recipe just slightly, adding a wee bit of white pepper, specifying the salt amount I used, and substituting dried lemongrass (luckily I had some on hand since the fresh lemongrass in store looked far less than stellar). I discovered dried lemongrass at Cost Plus World Market. A generously filled jar for just $2.99, so I had to give it a whirl. I also adjusted the directions quite a bit to fit how I made the soup. But, the basis of this soup is all Joni, err … or Celine.


Recipe: Rustic Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Summary: Recipe adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman


  • 2 Tablespoons Dairy-Free Margarine (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free; I think you could substitute olive oil here if need be)
  • 2 Medium Leeks, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds and halved (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Lemongrass or 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemongrass
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth (I used Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth)
  • 1-1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (skin on)
  • 3/4 to 1 Teaspoon Salt, or to taste (I used 1 teaspoon total)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon White Pepper (optional)
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste (optional)


  1. Heat the margarine in a stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the leeks and lemongrass and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the leeks soften quite a bit and just begin to brown.
  3. Add the broth, deglazing the pan if needed, and bring the soup to a boil.
  4. Add the potatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  5. The original recipe called for using an immersion blender, leaving some chunky, but I don’t have one. So I placed half of the soup in my blender, and carefully (make sure that lid is covered, you don’t want hot soup flying out!) whizzed it until creamy and relatively smooth. I then added this back to the pan along with the white pepper and gave it all a stir to combine.
  6. Taste test and season to taste with more salt (I used another 1/2 t). If using black pepper, this is the time to add it, or you could let each person grind in their own.

Diet type: Vegan

Number of servings (yield): 4

Copyright © Alisa Fleming.

Rustic Vegan Potato Leek Soup

Comments (14)


  1. celine says:

    congratulations, you guessed right!

  2. Ricki says:

    This does sound yummy! And I’d have to go with your guess. . . Joni. Though I’ve been wrong in the past! 😉

  3. Funny, I was going to make this soup this week — sans lemongrass, which I couldn’t find — because I have some leftover leeks.

    But I’m prepping to go out of town & other recipes came first. Good to know it’s a winner!

  4. Christina says:

    You know for some reason last night leeks popped in my head and I realized that I love them, but always forget about them! Perfect timing for this recipe!

  5. Biz says:

    I wish I liked leeks – the look of the soup is so creamy!!

  6. Helen says:

    Lovely! What an excellent idea with the lemongrass.

    It has has given me an idea to rework one of my recipes with it!

  7. Joanne says:

    Potato leek soup is a classic that will never grow old. I love the lemongrass in this. It must really brighten up the flavor.

  8. this looks awesome and it’s brrrrr here all of a sudden, could use some soup! you’re a blogging machine this week!

  9. Marianne says:

    You definitely wouldn’t guess that was a potato leek soup from the colour, but it sounds so simple and delicious.

  10. Libby says:

    It looks amazing! Is the yellow color from the vegetable broth or lemongrass?

  11. Chaya says:

    This soups looks so totally inviting.

  12. that looks SO godo! perfect for a chilly summer evening 🙂

  13. The soup sounds so good, I love the chunky texture, yum!

  14. But not flavor free…right? I would say Joni too if I had to guess. Looks delicious! I don’t have that book, but I probably should get it!

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