Three Lily Soup

Tiger Lilies, Calla Lilies  and …………….um……… Lilies of the Valley!……………..

…………… just teasing…………..well, kind of…….. did you know that onions, shallots and leeks are members of the Liliaceae (Lily) family? That’s why I call it Three Lily Soup. I thought this name sounded much more fun and interesting than the original name; Leek and Potato Soup. And anyway I couldn’t have pulled a spoofer on you with such a boring name, could I? 🙂

Whether the original name for this soup is boring to you or not, I’m here to tell you that this is a simple to prepare, healthy (no cream!) and delicious soup. I adapted the recipe from a wonderful cookbook that a sweet friend gave me when she visited Ireland several years ago. It’s aptly named Irish Pub Cooking and is loaded with fabulous, authentic Irish recipes from soups and stews to meat pies, breads and luscious desserts. The pictures are beautiful and totally drool-worthy!

Whenever I can, I try to reduce the fat in recipes without compromising flavor. This recipe called for four tablespoons of butter; I used one and added one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil – a healthier fat. I love to squeeze as many vegetables as I can into our diet, so I included celery, shallots and tiny green peas along with the potatoes, leeks and onions that the recipe called for. The peas add wonderful flavor, but also make the finished soup a lovely, soft green color.

This Three Lily Soup is delicious on its own or paired with a sandwich for lunch (I served it with a yummy grilled cheese made with the Cranberry Pecan Bread from yesterday’s post). It also makes a fabulous, light appetizer soup when served in a pretty bowl and garnished with a bit of sour cream or creme fraiche. Add some fresh herbs and perhaps a bit of crumbled bacon and and you’ll be shocked at the “gourmet” look your simple soup will take on! Take a bit of time on one of these beautiful, cool fall days and surprise your friends/family with this delightful soup!


Three Lily Soup – aka Potato, Pea & Leek Soup


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts, roughly chopped
1 medium shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup tiny frozen peas
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
sour cream, for garnish, if desired
finely sliced fresh chives, for garnish, if desired
cooked bacon bits, for garnish, if desired

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, shallots, leeks, garlic, celery, potatoes and salt. Sauté gently for 8-10 minutes or until all veggies are translucent and softened.

2. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the frozen peas and cook for one minute longer, add the thyme,then either transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor or use an immersion* blender to puree the mixture until smooth.

4. Return to the saucepan (if you used a regular blender or a food processor), Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Ladle into serving bowls and top with sour cream, chives and chopped cooked bacon if desired.

Serves 6-8

Adapted from Irish Pub Cooking 

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