Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Making a Creamy Soup Creamy Without the Cream.

So I was talking on the phone with my sister/friend from New York, Ellie, when she told me that her daughter (who I consider a niece), Donna, had made Potato Leek Soup; that was funny to me because I'd had a craving for that very soup recently. Donna had decided to go on the Weight Watchers program; to make that soup you did not need the butter or heavy cream. What the heck I thought, might as well try it out and see how good it can be. First I printed out a copy of the Weight Watchers recipe, then I compared it to my Potato Leek Soup recipe; pretty similar in nature.

Anyway, I cooked up a pot of the soup using the Weight Watchers recipe, but added crushed, dried thyme instead of using the chives as they suggested. Wow, I was pretty amazed at how good it came out; not as creamy, but it was still thick and rich tasting; the thyme added a pleasant savory flavor. Serving it to my hubby, he too was amazed at how good this non-dairy version was; he equated the texture to cream of wheat, but still enjoyed it...two bowls worth in one sitting.  Ellie suggested that I mix in a little low fat or fat free sour cream if I missed the dairy; tried it and didn't care for it at all.

So I'm posting the Weight Watchers recipe with a big thumbs up from Roy and myself; two people who thought they couldn't go without their butter and cream in a favorite soup.  Note: I added a couple of preparation steps, such as how to clean and cut up the leeks.

Dairyless Potato Leek Soup

Weight Watchers Potato Leek Soup


64 oz canned chicken broth, reduced-sodium
8 medium uncooked potatoes, peeled 
3 medium uncooked leeks, cleaned 
1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 Tbsp chives, minced (optional)


To clean the leeks, slice them lengthwise and then cut into one inch pieces. 

Put the pieces into a large colander, rinse with cold water until you can no longer see any dirt; separate the pieces as you rinse them.  Let them stand a few minutes to allow excess water to drain out.

Peel the potatoes and cut them one inch in size; they will cook together more uniformly with the leeks.  Yukon Gold potatoes are yellow in coloring and have a buttery taste; perfect for a soup that usually has butter in it, but is now being cooked without it.

Combine the broth, potatoes, leeks, pepper and herb, if using any, in a large stock pot or Dutch oven; bring to a boil on high heat.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the vegetables are very soft, about 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover and let cool slightly.

Puree at least 2 cups or up to all of the potatoes and leeks (depending on the texture you want), with 1–2 cups of the broth in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender; pour the mixture back into the remaining soup, stir, and reheat. Serve hot, or cover and refrigerate to serve cold; hot or cold, garnish with the minced chives, if using.

Yields 1 and 1/2 cups per serving.

This soup can be completely or partially pureed and served hot or cold. It can be refrigerated for up to three days, but not frozen.

Try both recipes and see which one you prefer, or perhaps you'll enjoy both.  I find the Weight Watchers recipe more convenient, since heavy cream is not a staple in my home.  Judge for yourself.

Mary Cokenour


  1. This is a great seasonal recipe, Mary! I'll just substitute vegan broth for the chicken, and we're good to go!