Potato Leek Soup

February 20, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

Simple Potato Leek Soup – it’s a smooth and creamy pureed soup made with a handful of basic ingredients including an abundance of flavorful leeks and hearty potatoes. You’ll love that it’s a perfectly sip-able, deliciously tasty, and just a completely cozy and comforting soup!

Close up photo of potato leek soup in a wooden bowl garnished with chives and olive oil.

Best Potato Leek Soup

Potato leek soup is a popular soup in Welsh and French cuisine. It’s made up of mainly fresh potatoes and leeks.

And even though it’s smooth and almost sauce-like in consistency, it’s still hearty and filling since it is potatoes that build up the base of the soup (and they have a moderate amount of carbs, starchy fiber, and protein – specifically proteinase inhibitor 2).

It is similar to the typical potato soups found in the U.S. and elsewhere but rather it’s pureed instead of chunky, and doesn’t included meat. Plus it has a chicken broth base and not milk. Then another main difference is of course the use of leeks versus commonly found yellow onions.

Using the Leek Greens

Usually in potato leek soup recipes you’ll see just the white and light green portions of leeks are used but that seems quite wasteful of something that could have otherwise nicely flavored the soup.

This is done because if you add those darker green portions to the soup and puree them in at the end they would turn the soup a not-so-appetizing green color once blended in.

So I’ve come up with a solution for them to at least season the soup by layering and wrapping those leaves in kitchen twine, submerging them into the soup to season it as it simmers, and then they are removed at the end before blending.

Though it’s a step you could skip I highly recommend it for the extra depth of flavor it gives the soup. Plus it just feels better than tossing at least a half portion of the leeks straight into the trash.

The Helpful Tool to Make It

My preferred method to process this soup is to use an immersion blender. It’s an inexpensive kitchen tool that comes in quite handy for several different applications (sauces, soups, batters, whipping cream, making milkshakes, etc).

Here it avoids the need of transferring soup to a blender. Plus it’s a hassle to have to work in batches to puree the soup in a countertop blender. If you have an immersion blender you can just puree the entire batch of soup right in the pot it was cooked in.

Who doesn’t love less clean up?

And since this is a very smooth soup I recommend serving with some toasted baguette slices (or homemade croutons) to have a little bit of textural contrast to the soup. The pairing works beautifully.

Pot with potato leek soup garnished with chives and a wooden ladle is scooping soup.

Potato Leek Soup Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 lbs leeks (about 3 large)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp minced garlic (1 large clove)
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 lbs. Russet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks about 1-inch thick
  • 1 large thyme sprig
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp minced chives (optional)

Photo of ingredients used for potato leek soup.

How to Prepare Leeks for the Soup

  • Trim away stringy roots.
  • Cut the leeks between the white and light green portion and the dark green portion. Slice in half through the length of every portion with a chef’s knife.
  • Rinse both on the exterior of the leeks as well as rinsing well between interior layers to remove dirt and debris.
  • From there turn on their flat cut side onto the cutting board and cut those white and light green portions into 1/4-inch slices (you should have about 6 cups).
  • Layer together the remaining dark greens of the leaks (upper area of leaves) into 2 snug portions then wrap and tie with kitchen twine (refer to photo below).

Photo showing how to cut leeks for soup.

How to Make Potato Leek Soup

  1. Prepare leeks as directed above.
  2. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add chopped leeks, season lightly with salt and saute until starting to soften, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and saute 2 more minutes.
  3. Pour in white wine and chicken broth, tied greens of the leeks, russet potatoes, thyme, bay leaves and season with salt to taste. Press down with a wooden spoon to submerge potatoes and leeks as much as possible.
  4. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 17 to 20 minutes.
  5. Remove soup from heat and remove greens. (Remove leek greens using tongs then press agains side of pan with a wooden spoon to extract juices, discard. Remove thyme sprig and bay leaves, discard.)
  6. Process with an immersion blender until smooth (be mindful not to scratch pot).
  7. Whisk in sour cream and heavy cream until smooth. Can rewarm over low heat if needed (don’t simmer or the sour cream can curdle).
  8. Garnish servings with chives and a little black pepper.

Collage of eight images showing steps of making potato leek soup in a pot on the stovetop.

Helpful Tips

  • Keep it chunky: This soup can also be served chunky without any blending at all. It really just comes down to personal preference.
  • Using a countertop blender: If you want a smooth soup and don’t have an immersion blender it can instead be blended in batches in a countertop blender. If doing so don’t fill blender jar more than halfway full. Also remove lids insert and cover with a folded kitchen cloth when blending to prevent heat build up and bursting.
  • Substitutes: In a pinch Yukon gold or red potatoes can be substituted for russet potatoes.
  • If you prefer not to cook with alcohol you can use more chicken broth in place of white wine.
  • Buttermilk will work for sour cream. Just include 1 extra tablespoon of heavy cream for more richness.

Possible Variations

  • Serve with toasted baguette slices for dipping: Brush baguette slices lightly with olive oil then rub with a halved garlic clove. From there toast in a countertop toaster oven or on a baking sheet set underneath the broiler of an oven until golden brown and crisp.
  • Add meat: If you’d like the soup can be finished with some cooked bacon, ham or pancetta.
  • Make it vegan: For a vegan option use olive oil in place of butter. Replace heavy cream and sour cream with coconut cream and a few teaspoons lemon juice to imitate the same tang.

Two serving of potato leek soup in wooden bowls.

More Comforting Soup Recipes to Try

Close up photo of potato leek soup in a wooden bowl garnished with chives and olive oil.
5 from 1 vote

Potato Leek Soup

It's a smooth and creamy pureed soup made with a handful of basic ingredients, but the two main highlights of the soup are the fresh leeks and russet potatoes. It's a perfectly sip-able, deliciously tasty, and completely cozy and comforting soup!
Servings: 5
Prep20 minutes
Cook40 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs leeks (about 3 large)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp minced garlic (1 large clove)
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 lbs. Russet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks about 1-inch thick
  • 1 large thyme sprig
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Optional toppings/sides

  • 2 Tbsp minced chives
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Toasted baguette slices

Instructions

  • Cut the leeks between the white and light green portion and the dark green portion. Slice in half through the length of every portion (creating 6 portions).
  • Rinse to remove dirt and debris, shake away excess water. Layer together the darker green portions into 2 snug portions then wrap and tie with kitchen twine (can refer to photos).
  • Cut remaining white and light green portion into 1/4-inch slices (you should have about 6 cups).
  • Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add chopped leeks, season lightly with salt and saute until starting to soften, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and saute 2 more minutes.
  • Pour in white wine and chicken broth, add tied greens (upper leaves) of the leeks, russet potatoes, thyme, bay leaves and season with salt to taste. Press down with a wooden spoon to submerge potatoes and leeks as much as possible.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about 17 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove soup from heat. Remove leek greens (leaves) using tongs then press agains side of pan with a wooden spoon to extract juices, discard. Remove thyme sprig and bay leaves, discard.
  • Process with an immersion blender until smooth (be mindful not to scratch pot).
  • Add sour cream and heavy cream and whisk until smooth. Can rewarm over low heat if needed (don't simmer or the sour cream can curdle).
  • Garnish servings with chives, olive oil if desired, and a little black pepper.

Notes

  • Olive oil and baguette not included in nutrition estimate.
  • For the toasted baguette slices I like to brush lightly with olive oil then rub with a halved garlic clove. From there toast in a countertop toaster oven or on a baking sheet set underneath the broiler of an oven.
  • Recipe makes about 8 cups.
Nutrition Facts
Potato Leek Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 354 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 42mg14%
Sodium 686mg30%
Potassium 1028mg29%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 2250IU45%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Calcium 126mg13%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.