Leek and Pea Soup with Basil Oil and Sour Cream

Lessons Learned TLDR:

  • Leek is annoying to prep
  • Sieve pressing makes shit real smooth!
  • Sieve pressing is real boring!
  • I should read recipes thoroughly. The original mentions right at the top pressing is optional.
  • My Nikon’s file naming scheme rolled over which means this is the 10,000th picture I’ve taken with this camera!
    I know you’re not reading this part, I put that “skip to recipe” button up top for a reason 😉
Mister 10,000

Original amazing recipe courtesy of Yotem Ottolenghi

You’re in for a lot of pee puns if I don’t get this out of the way now:

Don’t you hate when you leek when you pea? Eh? Eh? Anyway, on to business.

The texture of the broth is fucking next level. This is far and away the creamiest thing I’ve ever made that didn’t have any cream.


But, holy shit that was the most labor I’ve ever put into making a soup, and the number of dishes generated was insane. Luckily there was that 20 minute period when the veggies cook down that I was able to clean a lot of the mess. Too bad the messiest part happens after: the blending.

I got into the rhythm eventually. Like folding chocolate chips into cookie dough. For thirty. Fucking. Minutes.

I’d never be able to get this texture without cream or pressing, but I’m gonna try.

To get this phenomenally creamy texture, first you blend everything until it’s as smooth as your blender can achieve. Then you press it all through a sieve into a new pot. For like 15 minutes. Per batch.

The effort and time required to push it all through the sieve was more annoying than kneading dough for pasta. But, like homemade pasta, the difference in quality between the hard way and the easy way is obvious. And appreciated.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Oh! I forgot about the basil oil. SO GOOD, picture a lighter, milder pesto. I have zero changes for that. Cheap, easy, and delicious. That checks most of my boxes. Only things it misses are that there’s lots of calories in the oil and also it didn’t dominate me enough, to get off.

The Good Enough Version

  1. The sieve either has to go or be a lot quicker. If I just thin it out with more water, or less leek we get less flavor so I’m gonna try thinning out the broth with vegetable stock (might as well keep this vegetarian). Also my opinion of the original was that the basil oil did all the heavy lifting in the flavor department. The contrast between the mild sweetness of the broth, and the fatty herby goodness of the oil obviously plays a part, so I’m not super worried about some flavor loss. Also I’d prefer not to resort to straight up cream because of the calories. The idea that this dish can taste so creamy, but be so low in calories is a big thing for me.
  2. 1% Sour Cream instead of Crème Fraiche. CF Isn’t that fancy an ingredient, any place that’s even slightly fancy is gonna have it. But unless I know for sure my grocery has a thing, it’s inconvenient. Gone.
  3. Can’t do anything about this one really, but holy shit are leeks labor intensive to clean and chop at this scale. I don’t envy any prep cook stuck on leek duty.
  4. The white pepper has a distinct flavor and plays a crucial role in the broth’s flavor. If you have or already wanted to get white pepper, I’d recommend it. You won’t miss it too much swapping in black pepper, though. I think this is the fourth ever time I’ve used white pepper in something.
  5. Don’t get me wrong. Shallots are great, and they’re unique, and they are the perfect choice for this soup. If someone else is making it for you. Shallots swapped for cooking onion.

Leek and Pea Soup with Basil Oil and Sour Cream

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Servings: 8
Calories: 289kcal


The Broth

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 leek trimmed, sliced fine and cleaned
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • 2 stalks celery chopped fine
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper black is fine too (in these trying times)
  • 800 g peas I got 2 400g packs.
  • 1/4 cup sour cream for serving, ideally 1% but not a big deal
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice

The Basil

  • 4 cups basil leaves only, loosely packed
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 100 ml olive oil


The Basil

  • combine all ingredients in a food processor and process til combined.

The Soup

  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot on medium. Once hot add the butter, onions, celery, white pepper, garlic and season with salt. Saute for 2 minutes until soft and fragrant
  • Add the leeks and cook on medium-low covered for 20 minutes,
  • Add the peas, bay leaves, water and broth. Bring to a boil on high, then reduce to simmer and cook, covered another 20 minutes
  • Remove the bay leaves and blend everything until fully smooth, Add lemon juice and salt to taste
  • Serve with a tablespoon of basil oil and a tablespoon of sour cream


The servings are small, because this shit is fancy.
It’s tagged as vegan because I assume you’re smart enough not to include the sour cream topping for vegans. Don’t @ me about it.


Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 376mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2072IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg

Haha, sike

a flavorless mush I call “root marm”