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    Porrusalda- Basque Leek and Potato Soup

    I’ve proclaimed this month to be called ‘Spanish Food month!’ My last post was a recipe for Spanish Tortilla and I’ll be posting more Spanish recipes for the next month.  I learned most of these recipes while attending the Madrid Le Cordon Bleu School.

    My recipe today is called Porrusalda, which means ‘leek broth’ in the Basque language. Porrusalda is a rustic Basque soup containing leeks, potatoes, carrots and sometimes cod. It is often presented with chunks of vegetables and cod cooked in a broth- very rustic looking and obviously a very easy and economical way to prepare a meal.

    However, at the Cordon Bleu school, we presented our Porrusalda in a slightly more elegant way. Instead of presenting the soup with chunks of vegetables, we blended the mixture and also placed the cod in the center with some julienned carrots and leeks. The cod is optional for the recipe and you could also use other white fish, such as talapia.

    One thing that strikes me about this soup is that it is definitely creamy in texture! My husband asked me how much cream I used in this recipe and he was surprised when I told him there was none- the soup is naturally creamy without adding all the calories!

    Whether or not you prefer your Porrusalda rustic chunky style or creamy, blended style, I’m sure you’ll like it!



    Porrusalda- Basque Leek and Potato Soup

    Print Recipe
    Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 40 mins


    • 1 piece cod (or other white fish) cut into 2 inch squares
    • For the porrusalda:
    • 2 carrots
    • 2 leeks (white part)
    • 2 med/large potatoes
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 3 tbsps olive oil
    • pinch of saffron soaked in 1/4 cup hot water
    • salt/pepper to taste
    • Poaching liquid for the cod:
    • 2 cups water (approx)
    • pinch salt
    • 1 crushed garlic clove
    • splash of white wine (optional)
    • Garnish:
    • julienne strips of raw carrot and leek
    • chives
    • 1 slice of Serrano ham or prosciutto, diced



    To make the Porrusalda, slice the carrots and potatoes into rough 'chunks.' Cut the white part of the leeks cross-wise into circles about 1/2 wide. Heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a pan and saute' the vegetables for several minutes over medium high heat. The potatoes may stick a little to the pan; de-glaze with a little water to remove the sticky 'brown bits.'


    Add the chicken stock, bay leaf and salt/pepper. Mash together two garlic cloves and 3 tbsps olive oil using a mortar and pestle, then add this to the pan.


    Add a pinch of saffron threads to 1/4 cup hot water and let soak for a few minutes, then add to the pan with the other mixture. Cook over medium heat until the veggies are soft, but not over-cooked (approx. 15-20 mins).


    Let cool for several minutes, then pulse in blender or food processor until mixture is smooth. Adjust seasoning if required.


    Prepare the cod: slice the raw cod into two-inch squares. Add the pieces to a pan and cover with water (approx two cups). Add a pinch of salt, crushed garlic clove and white wine (optional). Simmer over medium heat until the fish is cooked (approx. 5-10 minutes). remove from pan.


    To serve, add the parrusalda soup to a bowl, place a piece of the cod in the center of the bowl and add the julienne strips of carrot and leek on top. (I used a 'zester' to create the thin strips of raw carrot and leek). Sprinkle a few pieces of chopped chives and Serrano ham (or prosciutto) on top of the soup.


    You can serve this dish without the fish if desired.