Russian Potato and Mushroom Leek Soup

You don’t want to miss out on this deliciously hearty and comforting Russian potato soup! It’s quickly becoming our favorite soup this winter.

Russian Potato Soup

Now…let’s talk about this soup.

This deliciously humble and endearing Russian potato soup completely stole my heart (actually all of our hearts – we all decided we are huge fans of this soup).

At first glance, my excitement level was a little “meh” when I thought of adding this soup into our menu. But when I found myself with a couple extra leeks hanging around my fridge after this terrifyingly yummy Stuffed Apple and Bacon Sweet Potato Casserole, I figured it was worth a shot.

And what began as a bit of a skeptical meal, turned into an all out raving session about the deliciousness of this soup.

I’m not exaggerating. This soup is one of those that is so much more than the sum of its parts. The ingredients are simple and the flavor is amazing.

Since I have a sixth sense about these things and can already anticipate a few concerns/questions, let me try to preempt what I can:

1) Q. Do I really have to use mushrooms? Because, ew. A. As a mushroom lover, I highly encourage it (my mushroom preference is listed in the recipe); however, if mushrooms make you quiver and gag, by all means, leave them out, and I’ll weep for you.

2) Q. Is this really meatless? A. Why yes, yes it is. The mushrooms give it a hearty, meaty flavor, but if you live in the camp of “I only eat a meal if it has meat” then definitely feel free to experiment adding cooked, chopped chicken, sausage, or whatever else your meat-loving heart desires. Just be forewarned I haven’t tried it myself.

3) Q. How is this Russian and are you sure it is a bonafide authentic recipe? A. I have no idea and I have no idea. But it’s tasty. And I like the sound of Russian potato soup, so I’m sticking with it. If anyone has Russian roots, please feel free to chime in.

4) Q. I’m certain you made an error and that is waaaaay too much dill. Please correct the recipe ASAP. A. Why, thanks for your feedback, but I actually do sometimes proofread my recipes, and that is the correct amount of dill; I promise it works.

5) Q. Are the leeks mandatory? They scare me. A. Breathe. You can do this. Leeks are actually quite harmless, and honestly, they really make the soup go from great to amazeballs. I have a little tutorial just a few lines down all about leeks – how to cut them, wash them, love them. But, I also won’t tell anyone if you want to try to sub in another type of chopped onion.

Russian Potato Soup

Speaking of leeks, here’s a handy dandy look at how to work with this wonderful vegetable. Leeks are one of my most favorite savory ingredients; I already know one of my resolutions in 2017 will look something like “eat more leeks.”

I fell in love with leeks after making this No-Cream Creamy Basil Spinach Soup years ago. Have you made it? Seriously healthy and seriously yum.

Leeks are a milder member of the onion and garlic family, and they really are fantastic. The trick is getting all the dirt out of the tight layers. Solution? Rinse after they are chopped.

Russian Potato Soup

Now that we’ve covered most of our bases (although please do ask any remaining questions in the comments!), please make this Russian potato soup.

It’s simple and very, very delicious. I actually love the fact that in appearance, it looks a bit like your average potato soup, but a couple of spoonfuls in and you’ll realize that it’s quite special.

And for all of you that are longtime fans of the Instant Pot or just bought one on the maniacally crazy Black Friday sale, I’m going to try to add pressure cooker instructions or suggestions going forward to any recipe that might work with a pressure cooker.

For this soup (note: haven’t tried it yet, just a suggestion), I’d use the Sauté function (on an Instant Pot) and follow steps 1-4 of the recipe. Add the potatoes, secure the lid, and cook on high pressure for 4-5 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes before releasing the rest manually. Proceed with the rest of the recipe using the Sauté function to heat through and thicken.

If you’re interested, here’s a post I did all about the ins and outs of pressure cooking. Here’s a list of specific Instant Pot recipes I’ve posted lately, and another list of pressure-cooker friendly recipes.

What To Serve
Simple Herb Focaccia Bread
Fresh fruit and/or sliced cheese

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Russian Potato and Mushroom Leek Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (see note)
  • 2 leeks, cleaned, trimmed, and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and small diced (about 1 cup)
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and small diced (about 5-6 cups)
  • 1 cup milk (preferably not skim)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Crumbled bacon, fresh dill, for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and golden, 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate (keeping as much liquid/oil in the pot as possible).
  3. Add the leeks and carrots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, dill, salt, pepper and bay leaf.
  5. Stir in potatoes; the liquid will just barely cover the potatoes, most likely. If it doesn’t, add enough extra broth to just cover the potatoes. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes (depending on how large or small you chopped them).
  6. Optional step: for a slightly thicker soup, right now, take out the bay leaf, grab a potato masher, and lightly mash the potatoes right in the pot until desired consistency before proceeding.
  7. Stir the mushrooms back into the soup.
  8. Whisk or blend tog ether the milk, sour cream and flour (I prefer to use a blender for an ultra-lump free mixture).
  9. Quickly stir the milk mixture into the soup, and heat until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  10. Serve with crumbled bacon or fresh dill, if desired.

Notes:

I prefer portabella or baby bella mushrooms for a richer flavor, but white button mushrooms can be used, too. Also, as noted in the post above, you could probably sub in another type of chopped onion for the leek, but I highly encourage the use of leeks if at all possible (because, yum). See the post for a quick tutorial on trimming, cutting and washing leeks.

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Recipe Source: Russian potato soup adapted slightly from Allrecipe (reduced butter and number of pans used, subbed in milk + sour cream for half-and-half, among a few other things) by way of Crystal, a MKC reader who emailed me and raved about it