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Potato, Leek, and White Bean Soup Recipe

Be sure to have a hearty loaf of bread on hand to sop up the soup. You won’t want to leave a single drop of this soup in your bowl.

I adapted this wonderful soup recipe from The Cooking of Southwest France : Recipes from France’s Magnificent Rustic Cuisine by Paula Wolfort.

Prep Time:  2 1/2 hours | Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours | Servings:  8



  • 1 cup dried small white beans
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large leek, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 ounces pitted green olives
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons coarse ground pepper (to taste)


  1. Sort beans and rinse.  Place in 2 to 3 quart heavy saucepan.  Cover with 2 inches of water and bring to boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Cover saucepan and remove for heat for one hour.  After hour has passed, drain and rinse beans.  Set aside.
  2. In the same saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Add whole rosemary sprig, garlic, and leek and cook until golden brown, for about 5 minutes.  Add drained rinsed beans, salt, potato slices, and chicken broth.  Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook for until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from  heat and allow soup to cool for about 30 minutes.  Discard rosemary sprig.
  3. Add soup to food processor in batches to puree until smooth.  Reheat soup in saucepan.  While soup is reheating, drain and rinse the olives.  Place olives, water, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in food processor and puree until smooth.  Taste soup and add pepper, to taste, and more salt, if needed.  Bring soup to boil, then remove from heat.  Drizzle the olive puree over the top of the soup and serve at once with warm bread.

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