My cozy potato leek soup is easy and oh so flavorful! It takes just 10 minutes to prep in one pot and finishes in less than an hour. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Why You’ll Love My Potato Leek Soup
- Cozy and satisfying but not all too heavy or rich. This was intentional! If you want an indulgent potato soup, try my creamy potato soup.
- Freezes well! Unlike many of my creamier soups, this one does well in the freezer since we aren’t adding too much cream.
- Naturally gluten-free. There’s no flour needed to thicken this soup; the potatoes do all the work.
- Can easily be made vegetarian with vegetable stock.
- Can even be served cold (it’s called “vichyssoise” when served this way). Personally, this isn’t my thing, but if you like it, go for it!
Gosh, I think you’re going to fall in love with this one. It’s lighter, but still cozy, satisfying, traditional, and just so purely, simply, good. It’s also straightforward to make too, which means you’ll have time to whip up a batch of garlic cheese drop biscuits for serving on the side 😏
I intentionally kept this recipe simple so the potato and leek flavors could shine through. It’s not heavy or too rich. We add just a splash of cream for a velvety smooth texture, but it’s not at all cloying or overbearing on the taste buds.
With so few ingredients, quality matters. Use a good quality butter, broth, etc. (you can go cheap with the wine though!).
- Leeks. We’ll be using the white and light green parts of the leeks only (save the dark green parts for making a stock or broth!). It’s important that you rinse your leeks really well–they tend to collect sand and dirt in between their leaves. It’s a good idea to rinse them before and after chopping, just to make sure they’re super clean.
- Potatoes. I recommend using gold potatoes for this recipe. I prefer their texture and flavor, which is less earthy and more buttery (in both texture and flavor). Plus, they make the soup a more golden color. Russets can work, but since this soup already runs the risk of becoming too thick or gluey if over-pureed, using russet potatoes heightens this risk.
- Chicken broth. I like to use my homemade chicken stock. You could use vegetable broth instead for a vegetarian soup.
- White wine. A bit of acidity from the wine balances the flavor of this soup nicely. If you don’t have it or use alcohol in your house, I include tips in the recipe to sub some vinegar (it’s not an even substitution–do not add ⅓ cup of vinegar or your soup will NOT taste good!). Wine is honestly best though.
- Herbs. Including fresh thyme and bay leaves. If you can’t find fresh bay leaves, dried is fine!
SAM’S TIP: I don’t personally drink much wine, so I buy small 4 packs to keep in my pantry for cooking, that way I never feel like I’m wasting a whole bottle.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Potato Leek Soup
How to Prepare Leeks
- Trim the dark green leaves and the rooted end off your leaks; discard or save for making stock. You should be left with the white and light green middle section.
- Slice your leeks into thin rings, then rinse them if you haven’t already (even if you have, it’s a good idea to rinse them again just to make sure they’re clean as they hold onto dirt and grit really well!).
Make the Soup
- Saute the leeks and garlic in butter until softened. Make sure you just let them soften but not brown, as browning changes their flavor.
- Drizzle in the wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan as you do. Cook until the wine reduces by half.
- Pour in the chicken broth/stock, then add the potatoes, herbs, salt, and pepper.
- Boil gently until the potatoes are tender, then reduce the heat to low and remove the herbs. Over-boiling the potatoes can make them break down too much, so don’t do a hard boil; a softer simmer takes longer, but works better.
- Puree the soup until smooth, making sure to not go too far (this can make your soup gluey!).
- Drizzle in the cream and stir to incorporate, then serve!
SAM’S TIP: If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can puree this soup in batches in a blender. Note that this method is messier and can make your potato leek soup gluey, so be careful (I talk more about this below!).
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve ever tried potato leek soup and found it to have a gluey texture, it’s because the potatoes released too much starch from being over handled. This is unfortunately easy to do with a food processor or blender (heck, it can even happen when making mashed potatoes, which is why I avoid using an electric mixer). I’ve never run into this issue when pureeing with an immersion blender, though.
If you do have to use a blender or food processor, puree the soup in brief bursts and check it frequently. You can alternatively just mash the potatoes or push them through a ricer, but I feel that doesn’t get me the consistency I want (it’s not thin enough).
Yes, this recipe surprisingly well, actually. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container and enjoy within 3 months.
When you are ready to reheat, cook over medium-low until warmed through. You may need to add a splash or two of broth, as the soup might be thicker after freezing.
If your soup tastes anything but super flavorful, you likely just need to add more salt! Toppings like fresh herbs (I like chives and thyme), croutons, bacon, or cheese help, but this soup should be flavorful on its own and salt should be the first thing you add if your soup tastes bland.
What to serve with potato leek soup
- Bread. The classic soup side, I’ve paired this soup with everything from crusty artisan bread or a slice of sourdough to garlic bread, biscuits, gougeres, or dinner rolls, you can’t go wrong with some fresh bread.
- Add toppings. We like chopped chives, fresh thyme leaves, a drizzle of olive oil or garlic infused olive oil, or croutons.
- Grilled cheese. This pairs with potato leek soup just as well as it does with tomato soup and makes for a filling meal.
- Green salad. Salad adds a nice balance, top yours with a light vinaigrette.
I seriously can’t wait to hear how you like this one! 🍲
Potato Leek Soup
- 3 Tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
- 5 cups (400 g) thinly sliced leeks see note
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) dry white wine see note
- 6 cups (1.4 L) chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
- 2 lbs (907 g) gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1” cubes
- 1 bay leaf fresh or dried
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon table salt plus more to taste if needed
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste if needed
- ½ cup (118 ml) heavy cream
- Favorite toppings (we like fresh chives, croutons, garlic infused olive oil or thyme leaves (optional)
- Melt butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.3 Tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
- Add leeks and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until leeks are very soft (about 5-8 minutes), do not let leeks brown.5 cups (400 g) thinly sliced leeks, 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- Add wine and cook, stirring, until it is reduced by about half.⅓ cup (80 ml) dry white wine
- Slowly pour in the chicken stock, stirring to combine.6 cups (1.4 L) chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
- Add potatoes, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, and cook until potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced all the way through with a fork.2 lbs (907 g) gold potatoes, 1 bay leaf, 5 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon table salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Reduce heat to low and remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is just pureed. Don’t overdo it or the soup could become gluey. I’d personally rather have a few stray pieces of potato rather than an over-blended soup.
- Slowly drizzle in cream, stirring to combine.½ cup (118 ml) heavy cream
- Serve, topped with your favorite toppings, if desired.Favorite toppings
LeeksI typically need 4 large leeks for this recipe. Clean your leeks well! They can be gritty, rinse well, and I’ll often rinse them again in a colander after slicing them.
How to cut leeksWhen cutting the leeks, cut off the very end/root then thinly slice through the white and light green part. Discard the tough, dark green stem (or save it for making stock, it feels wasteful to throw out so much of the leek but it is not useful for this soup). To make the leeks cook faster, you can cut them in half lengthwise before slicing.
PotatoesGold potatoes work best for this recipe but russet may be substituted in a pinch.
WineI use pinot grigio. I recommend using wine for best flavor, but if you don’t have any on hand or don’t use alcohol you can instead use a splash (about a Tablespoon) of white wine vinegar instead and cook until this is reduced or just substitute with an equal amount of chicken broth (won’t have the same depth of flavor).
StoringStore in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This soup freezes fine and may be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Reheat in a pot over medium-low heat until thawed. If soup is thick, add a bit more broth.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.