Cold Potato-Leek Soup with Cured Salmon and Pickled Vegetables

Puréed leeks, spinach and potatoes create this chilled, velvety, perfectly balanced soup, while a selection of garnishes help to elevate from the ordinary.
Cold Potato-Leek Soup with Cured Salmon and Pickled Vegetables / Photo by Sang An

Courtesy Tim Schulte and David Mueller, co-executive chefs, Bauhaus Restaurant, Vancouver, BC.

“When I create a dish, I always want it a little sweet, a little acidic, a little bitter and with a little crunch,” says Chef Schulte at Bauhaus. Here, potatoes, leeks, spinach and chives are puréed into a velvety soup with those pops of flavor and texture. Garnishes like cured salmon, pickled vegetables and potato crumble are easy to prepare, but you can skip them or substitute store-bought gravlax and crumbled kettle-style potato chips.

The New Global Face of German Cuisine
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 6 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 5 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 large white potatoes, preferably Kennebec, peeled and diced
  • 4¼ cups vegetable stock
  • 1¼ cups cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chives, roughly chopped
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks, shallots and potatoes, and cook until softened slightly. Add vegetable stock, cream, thyme and bay leaf. Increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until potatoes are fork tender. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf, and add spinach and chives.

Using an immersion blender (or regular blender, working in batches), purée until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with nutmeg and salt, to taste. Cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until chilled.

Serve chilled soup in bowls, topped with desired garnishes. Serves 4.

Cured Salmon
  • ½ pound salmon fillet, preferably king or chinook, skinned
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt
  • Zest from one lemon, grated
  • 2 bay leaves, ground finely in a spice or coffee grinder
Directions for Cured Salmon

Combines sugar, salt, lemon zest and ground bay leaves. Rub ingredients on salmon and cure overnight in the refrigerator (or at least 12 hours). Rinse salmon with cold water and pat dry. Slice thinly on the bias.

Ingredients for Pickled Root Vegetables
  • 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar (like Mizkan brand Sushi Seasoning or Marukan brand Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 stalks celery
Directions for Pickled Root Vegetables

Peel and slice carrot length wise in half, then lengthwise again into strips ⅛ inch thick. Peel and slice celery lengthwise in half, then into ⅛ inch thick slices length wise. Cut each strip of celery and carrot on the bias into diamond shaped pieces about ½ inch long.

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring seasoned rice vinegar to a boil. Remove from heat, submerge carrot and celery pieces in vinegar and allow to cool at room temperature. The pickles are ready once the vinegar has cooled.

Ingredients for Potato Crumble
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups canola oil
Directions for Potato Crumble

Combine potato and water in blender. Increase speed to high until potato is reduced to small bits. Strain off the liquid and dry crumbs with a kitchen towel, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Heat oil in a medium-sized sauce pan to over high heat and fry crumbles until golden brown. Remove crumbles with a slotted spoon or skimmer and drain over paper towels.

Additional Garnish Options

Use chive oil, extra-virgin olive oil or trout roe to add some extra flavor. Also try chopping up dill frond or chive into 1-inch spears for a little extra crunch.

Pair It

Dönnhoff 2016 S Weissburgunder (Nahe). Delicate spice notes in this dry, crisp Pinot Blanc lend contrast to this rich, creamy soup with chive and spinach accents, says Daniel Klintworth, general manager of Bauhaus.

Published on January 9, 2018
About the Author
Anna Lee C. Iijima
Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from Germany and the Rhône Valley

Anna Lee C. Iijima joined Wine Enthusiast in 2010. A former attorney turned beverage devotee, she holds a Diploma in Wine and Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is a student in the Masters of Wine Program. She is also an Advanced Sake Professional of the Sake Education Council with an enduring love for saké and shochu.


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