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Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

Who doesn't love a creamy soup? More importantly, who doesn't love a dish that is like, 2 ingredients?MORE+LESS-

Updated September 20, 2016

2 1/2

heaping cups of leeks


cleaned and cubed russet potatoes

Hide Images

  • 1

    Wash, Wash, Wash your leeks. Soak them, rinse them, dunk them whatever it takes. Don't want that grit.

  • 2

    Clean and cube your potatoes.

  • 3

    Boil some water and toss these two ingredients in.

  • 4

    Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

  • 5

    Mash or process in a blender the contents of this pot until you get a consistency you like. Add salt, pepper, maybe some crisp bacon on top.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 0 Fat;

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (about 2 large)
  • 1 cup chopped white onion (1/2 of a large onion)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped, about 1 Tbsp
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut up (2.5 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • Optional: thyme, chives, and olive oil, for garnish

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 240
  • Fat 4.5g
  • Satfat 1.5g
  • Unsatfat 2.8
  • Protein 6g
  • Carbohydrate 47g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Sugars 5g
  • Added sugars 0g
  • Sodium 350mg
  • Calcium 8% DV
  • Potassium 20% DV

Why is this Chunky Potato Leek Soup special

This Chunky Potato Leek Soup is very special to me, and I have been making it for about 20 years now. I love soups in general, but I make this chunky potato leek as often as I can because it is super delicious. Perhaps the best endorsement is that even my picky 4 year old likes it.

It was about the time when I was graduating high school when I came across this recipe in the Polish edition of ELLE Magazine. It was called ‘French Potato Leek Soup’ and it looked so good that I needed to give it a try.

I followed the recipe precisely and I wasn’t disappointed by the amazing combination of flavors. I had been accustomed to Polish soups like this Traditional Polish Dill Pickle Soup, and the French Potato Leek was something totally different. It was love at first bite.

Ingredients needed to make this potato leek soup

I don’t remember if what I’m making right now is exactly the same in terms of the amount of each ingredient, but for sure it contains the same ingredients:

  • Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Rice
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Chicken stock or water ( I like using stock as it gives a lot more flavor, but you can also use vegetable stock)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste.

How is this soup made

The vegetables are first sautéed in butter, until soft and slightly caramelized. This is a fundamental difference from the way soups were made when I was growing up – we would take a huge pot of water and add some kind of meat bones, then veggies, spices, etc, and let it simmer for a while. But sautéing leeks and onions develops an amazing sweet flavor that sets this Chunky Potato Leek Soup for a huge success.

I bet the surprising part of this soup is the rice. I know, I was surprised too when I saw it for the first time but then once I made it I realized that it actually really compliments the soup. It makes it a little bit thicker and heartier.

But then at the end the cheese comes over to take this humble potato leek soup to a new level. The cheese melts into the broth and tastes incredible! I like using Gruyere like in this Broccoli Au Gratin, as I love it’s nutty flavor. But I think that a Cheddar or Moderate Jack would work just fine it needs to be finely shredded though.

Although the magazine called this potato leek soup “French,” it seems to be closely related to a classic Potage Parmentier or Vichyssoise. It doesn’t contain any cream, milk or flour, though. And most importantly, it isn’t blended. But I guess the combination of potatoes + leeks is French, so this chunky potato leek soup recipe can be called French too, because…why not?

How to adjust this recipe

Anyhow, you can make the following adjustments to your liking here:

  • You can make it vegan, by substituting butter for olive oil, and omitting the cheese
  • You can add bacon bits on top (I bet that’ll taste super good)
  • You can actually add cream if you’d like, or milk or coconut milk if your desire is to have a creamy soup
  • You can even blend it or blend part of it. Even though it’ll lose it’s “chunky” charisma, it will still be delicious (as a matter of fact, I needed to separate part of this soup for my 4 year old & blend it for him, otherwise he wouldn’t eat the chunks.. oh well).

It’s still super cold here in New York and all I crave these days is a super warm soup. In fact, I’m going to get myself another bowl of this wonderful Chunky Potato Leek Soup. If you make it, let me know how you liked it.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 6 leeks, white parts only, washed well, thinly sliced
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Make a bouquet garni: First wrap bay leaves, rosemary, parsley, and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth. Then tie with a piece of kitchen twine, and set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a medium stockpot. Add celery, leeks, shallots, and garlic cook on medium-low heat until very soft, about 45 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Do not brown. Add potatoes, stock, and reserved bouquet garni. Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook until potatoes are very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove bouquet garni, and discard.

Working in batches, pass half of the soup through a food mill, fitted with a medium disk, into a large saucepan. Add remaining chunky soup. Place the saucepan on medium-low heat to warm soup. Slowly stir in milk and cream, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

  • 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil
  • 3 leeks, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced (3 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 pounds all-purpose potatoes, (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into small chunks
  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan or stockpot over low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme cook for 2 minutes more. Pour in broth, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Pour the soup through a strainer set over a large bowl. Puree the leeks in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding some the broth if necessary. Return the puree and broth to the saucepan. Add potatoes and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes thoroughly with a potato masher.

Stir in sour cream, salt and pepper. Return to low heat and heat until hot, but not boiling. Serve hot or chilled.

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I think it's a bit..wrong? To rate a recipe, when you change this or that, or have to substitute something. If someone follows the original recipe, and doesn't like it, that's an honest review. I see this all the time on other recipe sites, and I just think it's unfair to rate a recipe poorly if you haven't made it like the author wrote it. However, I love all the different ideas people have around making this recipe suit their tastes better! We all like different things, and our culinary skills. or efforts. are made better by the sharing we can do on sites like this one.

I like to look at a lot of recipes and take the best ideas from all of them. I love that you got your children involved! I wish Iɽ done that with my son, but now, at 32, he just likes my cooking and doesn't want to try it himself. *sigh* Anyway, I used 3 leeks, added thyme and rosemary. Left out the garlic, but I can add it tomorrow. I have some leftover marscapone cheese, which I'll use instead of cream cheese, and add the cheddar. And cheddar on top, as you suggested. I am obviously not critiquing your recipe, which sounds delicious! I can't critique other's cooking, unless I follow their recipe, which obviously, just isn't my style. Most importantly, you are getting your kids involved! Kudos to you!

I made this soup with a few modifications, and it was delicious. Instead of sauteing the veggies in plain butter, I browned a few slices of bacon and used about 1 tbsp. of bacon fat to cook them along with 1 tbsp. of butter. I cooked the veggies about 30 minutes in the broth. I only had half the amount of cheddar cheese called for, so I used that along with some grated Swiss and a slice of American cheese to make up for it. I didn't use any cream cheese, as I though it was plenty rich without it. I served the soup with a bit of crumbled bacon on top.

I have never made a cream-based, cheesy soup before, but my daughter specifically requested a potato leek soup for dinner and wanted it with cheese. This was a huge hit with the whole family (including my 13 year old who is not a huge soup fan). As always, I made a few modifications based on recommendations. Used veggie broth instead of chicken. Doubled the leeks and garlic and added a few scallions and eliminated the carrots. Cooked veggies for about 30 minutes and cooked the whole thing with the broth etc. for a bit longer as well (it was Sunday, I had time!) Used fat free half and half instead of milk and didn't use the cream cheese. That with the cheddar cheese was plenty rich enough! Served with a loaf of bread and a green salad and everyone was very happy!

I followed the recipe with the following exceptions: 1. slightly increased amount of leeks & garlic 2. used half & half instead of milk. It took closer to 30 minutes for the veggies to become tender. In the process, I lost a lot of liquid, resulting in a thicker soup than I would have liked. Maybe I should have chopped the potatoes and carrots into smaller pieces so they would have cooked faster. I don't think carrots added too much to this soup, so I will omit them next time. To all reviewers who criticize the soup for being too "fatty": when you decided to try the recipe, why did you not think a soup with milk, cheese and cream cheese would be fattening? Saying something is "heavy" is a legitimate complaint, but this recipe doesn't claim to be low-fat.

I've made this a number of times, and this is what I modify at this point: <p>- double the leeks <p>- triple the garlic <p>- add one bunch of green onions, half in the beginning, and half at the end when you return the puree to the soup <p>- use chicken stock or Better Than Bouillon instead of low-salt broth <p>- double the dill <p>- use sour cream instead of cream cheese <p>- half-and-half instead of milk <p> Adding a head of broccoli doesn't hurt, either, though I don't do this every time.

With a few modifications, the soup was quick and delicious. I skipped the dill and used fresh tarragon instead used only a 1/2 cup of 2% milk and used onion & chive cream cheese rather than plain. A good dose of white pepper and salt brought it all together.

Iɽ remove the word 'leek' from the name as this hardly tastes at all like a traditional potato-leek soup should. Bland and thick, although the texture is nice - I added half the cream cheese it calls for (and noticed without it, it would have been tasteless and very un-creamy). Very disapponted as I've been meaning to make a good potato-leek soup for weeks, searched many recipes, and ultimately settled on this one.

Of countless recipes I have prepared from this site, this is the first I will not make again. I did not use cream cheese, and I added an additional garlic clove. Otherwise, I stayed true to the recipe. There is a possibility this would have been a fine soup with thyme in place of the dill, but I won't make it again to see. Too many other yummy potato and leek soups out there to try!

We love this soup. I always double the recipe. I never have used the cream cheese, but do add whole milk or cream if I have it in the house. Delish! Sometimes I throw some corn or broccoli in the next night to make the leftovers seem different.

Following suggestions from other reviewers, I used 2 leeks and omitted the cream cheese and the soup was delicious, creamy but not too rich. The time for my veggies to soften was more like 30 min. so I added another 1/2 cup of chicken stock as I like a thinner soup, and blended a little less than half. My husband billed it as my best soup yet! I will be making this again, maybe with a dash or two of tobasco.

I did not have many of the ingredients so I improvised based on comments I've read from others. I didn't have leeks, so I instead used 5 scallions. I didn't have chicken broth, so I used 1 can of veggie broth and I didn't have cheddar cheese, so I just grated some Stilton to give it some flavor. In addition to dill, I added some rosemary. This was a perfect way for me to use the remainder of my Xmas veggie ingredients! The soup was great! I also didn't use 4 oz of cream cheese, I just used about 1/8 - 1/4 of a cream cheese package. Lastly, I made some extra boiled potatoes and carrots and added those to the soup to give it some texture.

Great soup for a cold snowy night. I didn't have enough carrots so I added a celery stalk. This worked fine. My husband loved this soup and we both thought it very flavorful. I did add extra dill.

I thought this soup was delicious. My teenagers loved it.

pretty bland, I think I expected more of a cheese flavor, I did use good sharp cheddar. I added a crunch with small homemade garlic croutons to sprinkle on top and that was great..

Wow! What a fantastic soup and very simple to make. I've made it several times and it freezes beautifully. I even used light cream cheese and cheddar cheese and it's still great. I do chop up the vegtables a bit smaller because I prefer it that way. Hands down, my favourite soup!

Gloppy and bland. Color is very appetizing. I tried every add-in to coax flavor out of this sludge-lemon juice(helped)crumbled bacon(was gobbled up) and additional sauted onions-still searching for the flavor. My childen my enjoy this heavy, fattening, concoction but I'll keep searching for a tastier potato soup. recipe.

Iɽ have to agree with the reviewers who felt the soup doesn't know what it wants to be. While heartwarming and tasty on a cold night, its a bit fatty not delicious. Julia Child's more basic potato and leek recipe (just do a web search) is better.

It was great. I made the following changes: Omitted the dill, used cream instead of milk, cooked a couple of extra potatoes (cubed) and threw them in when the soup was ready for some texture. Everyone loved it. Highly recommend

Easy to make in advance for parties. I blend about half of the soup and leave the rest a little chuncky to add texture.

Everyone loves this soup. I've made it several times. Can't get enough

It was alright. Easy to make, but nothing special.

My kids even loved it and have requested it again.

I can't pinpoint exactly what was wrong with this recipe, but I noticed a weird aftertaste after each spoonful. Could've been the dill. It was also very, very rich and creamy. If I were to make it again Iɽ reduce the cream cheese. On the plus side, it had a beautiful golden colour.

Very good, and easy to make. The dill gives it a nice tang. I used 2 leeks instead of 1, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. The kids liked this.

Potato Leek Soup

I am sharing a thick and hearty potato leek soup recipe that is simple to prepare and loved by everyone. My mom’s famous potato leek soup is comfort in a bowl.

I turned on the news this morning and found out that Spring is about to officially begin. But rather than jump into the spring recipes, I’m going to help you savor these last couple days of winter by providing the the ultimate comforting soup recipe: a thick and hearty potato leek soup.

Over the years, I have made and shared this particular recipe more than any other. So, of course, friends and family have been asking why I’ve never posted it on Pinch My Salt.

That’s a very good question. The answer is simple: this is my mom’s soup.

What does that mean? Well, it’s just hard to write about a recipe that is so intertwined with memories of the person who meant the most to me and who isn’t here to make it anymore.

I can make the soup, eat the soup, share the soup, but just haven’t quite been able to write about it without the tears starting up.

But hearty soup season is almost over so I got out the box of tissue, pulled out the 25-year-old recipe card, and I’m here to share this easy and wonderful potato leek soup recipe that has the power to transport me back to my childhood with just one bite.

You’ll find the printable recipe at the very end of the post. Here is a photo tutorial to show you how easy it is to make this potato leek soup.

First of all, I’ll let you in on a little secret. For years I always sliced my potatoes by hand until I realized that my new food processor has a large enough feed tube to fit one or two whole potatoes at a time!

Now I always slice my potatoes in my Cuisinart food processor using the slicing blade. If you have one that will work, great! If not, just slice them by hand using a sharp knife to about 1/4 inch thick. It really doesn’t take as long as you think!

Start the soup by sauteeing the leeks and onions in butter until they are limp and just starting to brown.

Next, add all of the potatoes that you worked so hard to slice (unless you’re a cheater like me).

After adding potatoes, pour in enough chicken broth to just barely cover them. The amount you use depends on the size and amount of potatoes you sliced. Two 14 oz. cans of broth is average but use more if you need it.

As you can see the level of liquid is just even with the potatoes. If I push down on the potatoes with the masher, they will be completely submerged.

This amount of liquid results in a very thick soup. The soup can always be thinned at the end with some extra broth if desired.

It doesn’t take long for the potatoes to cook and you can probably start mashing within 10 minutes or so. The amount of mashing you do is entirely up to you.

If you like chunkier soups, leave the potatoes a bit chunky. If you want a smooth soup, mash for a longer time. If you prefer a completely smooth soup, peel the potatoes before slicing and puree soup with a hand blender.

When the soup has reached your desired consistency, add some heavy cream. My mom’s original recipe says 1 – 2 cups of cream but I never use more than one cup.

I think you lose a lot of flavor by adding more cream. But, again, it’s up to you. Make sure to season well with salt and pepper after stirring in the cream.

This is what my soup looks like when it’s ready to eat. As you can see, I like a slightly chunky consistency but no large pieces of potato.

Enjoy! I really hope this potato leek soup becomes a family favorite and that the recipe continues to be shared.

Published by Estelle Forrest

I am a lot of things – wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, friend, business owner, volunteer, and a home chef. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of my adult life and plan to stay forever – while traveling a lot. I am currently running a General Contracting business with my husband out of our home. Between us we have 6 kids in our blended family, 4 of which live with us full-time. We are a highly active family during the week – sports, bands, dance classes – as well as on the weekend – camping, hiking, car shows, and concerts. We like to go go go, but when it comes to dinnertime, we mostly like to dine-in! I love to create things with my hands and have probably tried almost every craft out there at least once or twice. Cooking is a huge part of my life. No matter what anyone says – you can taste the difference in the food if it was made with love. Some of the simplest meals can be elevated so much when they are cooked with care. Pouring love into the meals I create brings a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction, not only to me, but to the people I care about. View more posts

Canning Leek and Potato Soup

As many of you read from my Facebook page I finally harvested the leeks in my garden and had five pounds of “what am I going to do with all of this?”. This is the main reason I started canning now over a year ago in anticipation of having more crops than I can eat in one or two meals. I turned to my sources of inspiration, my readers, my followers, and my Ball Book and decided to can the start of a potato leek soup. Now when I say “start” it just means that I am Pressure canning the vegetables in a stock with a few herbs so that when I want to serve it I can add my starch, creams, or pastas which can not be canned with the soup.

During the pressure canning process one of the lids did not go on straight so the jar never sealed. I put that one in the refrigerator and will make some soup for dinner or take it for lunch at work. I tasted the cooled version and the leeks tasted fantastic. I used a chicken stock as my liquid and it had just the right amount of salt to enhance the flavor of the leeks.

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (waxy variety), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 medium leeks (about 3 pounds, washed very well and sliced very thin, use white part only)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cups chicken broth, water, or milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Garnish: 1 tablespoon fresh chives (finely chopped)

In a large pot over medium-low heat add the butter.

When melted, add the leeks and gently sweat (you don't want them to brown) until they are soft (about 5 minutes).

Add the potatoes and chicken broth, water, or milk. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer.

Simmer until potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a fork (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.

Add the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Do this in small batches (no more than half full) as the hot soup creates pressure and can spray out.

Return the soup to the pot and whisk in the cream. Stirring all the time, bring the soup to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes and remove from heat. If the soup is too thick, add a little water or broth.

Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper.

Cool quickly to room temperature, cover with plastic, then refrigerate until chilled (preferably overnight).