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Potato Leek Soup

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A French classic, this creamy potato leek soup is quick, easy, and comforting.

Potato Leek Soup

Potato leek soup, or potage parmentier, is a French classic. It’s one of the first dishes I learned to make in culinary school, right after a proper omelette and basic vinaigrette, because it’s an essential base soup in French cuisine. Add watercress to make potage au cresson, serve it chilled to make Vichyssoise, or top it with oven-fried bacon, fried leeks, fresh herbs, or diced vegetables. There are endless variations – just use your imagination (or whatever you have in the kitchen) to make it your own. Potato leek soup is simple to make and can be served as an appetizer, a side dish alongside a Reuben sandwich or wedge salad, or as a stand-alone lunch.

What You’ll Need To Make Potato Leek Soup

how to make potato leek soup

How To Make Potato Leek Soup

Potato leek soup is simple to make, but first you have to deal with the leeks. They’re notoriously sandy and dirty, and very good at hiding it, so be sure to wash them well. Start by cutting off and discarding the root ends and thick dark green parts. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse each half under cold water, pulling apart the layers to remove any grit that’s tucked inside.

how to make potato leek soup

Once the leeks are clean, roughly chop them — you should get about five cups of chopped leeks from four large leeks.

how to make potato leek soup

To make the soup, melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot, then add the chopped leeks and garlic.

how to make potato leek soup

Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and wilted.

how to make potato leek soup

Next, add the potatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper.

how to make potato leek soup

Bring to a boil.

how to make potato leek soup

Then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

how to make potato leek soup

Fish out the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

how to make potato leek soup

Then purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender (or in a regular blender) until smooth. (If using a standard blender, be sure not to fill the jar more than halfway; leave the hole in the lid open and cover loosely with a dishtowel to allow the heat to escape.)

how to make potato leek soup

Finally, add the heavy cream. You can reduce the amount if you’d like but I wouldn’t leave it out completely. Cream makes the soup deliciously silky, rich, and smooth — just add it little by little until the soup tastes good to you.

how to make potato leek soup

Bring to a simmer, then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with fresh thyme, chives, or anything you like.

Video Tutorial

potato leek soup

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Potato Leek Soup

A French classic, this creamy potato leek soup is quick, easy, and comforting.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Chives, finely chopped, for serving

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until soft and wilted, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary so as not to brown.
  2. Add the potatoes, broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper to pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.
  3. Fish out the thyme sprig and bay leaves, then purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth. (Alternatively, use a standard blender to purée the soup in batches; see note.) Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If soup is too thin, simmer until thickened. If it's too thick, add water or stock to thin it out. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.
  4. Note: If using a standard blender to purée the soup: be sure not to fill the jar more than halfway; leave the hole in the lid open and cover loosely with a dishtowel to allow the heat to escape; and pour blended soup into a clean pot.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be frozen, without the cream, for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Once heated through, add the cream and bring to a simmer before serving.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Serving size: about 1-1/2 cups
  • Calories: 454
  • Fat: 24 g
  • Saturated fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Sodium: 828 mg
  • Cholesterol: 78 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • I have made this soup eight times since I discovered the recipe. Against stiff competition from some worthy adversaries, this recipe continues to rise above the crowd. I have added shallots, and that’s good. I like to sprinkle crisp bacon on top, but I like bacon on everything.

    • — Abbott on February 25, 2024
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  • So very delicious!! I used vegetable stock and russet potatoes instead. What a perfectly comforting and yummy soup!!

    • — Gina Ballman on February 16, 2024
    • Reply
  • Would like to make this for a few friends, one of whom is vegetarian. Do you think vegetable broth would work well?

    • — Sue on February 16, 2024
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    • Definitely! Hope everyone enjoys 😊

      • — Jenn on February 16, 2024
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    • I just made this too and I used vegetable stock and it was amazing!!

      • — Gina Ballman on February 16, 2024
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  • Made it today for Ash Wednesday. A smaller batch for two of us – 2 large Leeks and 2 pounds Gold potatoes. 3 bay leaves 3 cloves garlic and 3 large sprigs of Thyme. About 2.5-3 cups homemade chicken stock to cover in my Le Crueset 27 crockpot. Blended then added about 1/4 pint heavy cream. Terrific – Thanks! Note – using 1/2 butter and 1/2 bacon grease to sauté the leeks adds a wonderful smoky taste.

    • — John A on February 14, 2024
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  • Delicious! I assumed the recipe used table rather than Kosher salt. I also chop my leeks, wash in waters, strain them through a collander, and pat them dry. I find this does a better job of removing grit.

    • — LFK on February 6, 2024
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  • My first time making potato and leek soup. This recipe did not disappoint! A delicious and creamy soup that is both elegant and easy! Its another rainy day here and I paired it with parmesan-crusted grilled gruyere cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread. Yummy!

    • — Elaine on February 6, 2024
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  • This is an absolute winner. Delicate flavours and so satisfying. I topped it with sour cream and chives and it was sensational.

    • — susan on February 5, 2024
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  • We are getting pummeled in California right now with a big rain storm. Perfect night for soup. I had all the ingredients on hand and made this soup. So good and easy to make. One of my 8 yr old twin sons just happens to be sick as well and he said this soup made him feel better. I will definitely make this again and again. Delicious

    • — Shawn on February 4, 2024
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  • 1st time making this soup. We loved it! Super easy to make, and not too time consuming. I like to make a different soup every week, and this recipe will be added to the rotation!

    • — Emily on February 3, 2024
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  • Wow! This is the best potato and leek soup Ive ever made! Froze some too and 3 months later it was just as delicious.

    • — Steph on February 1, 2024
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  • I made this recipe and it was absolutely delicious. I used chicken bone broth instead of regular chicken stock which added more depth. I didn’t add any cream because I was serving a non-dairy person. To be honest, I don’t think it needed the cream although I would add it next time even just a little.

    • — Vlynn on January 26, 2024
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  • Tried this recipe for dinner tonight and it was spectacular! No substitutions or modifications necessary; it was perfect as is. Will definitely be making this again.

    • — Emily on January 18, 2024
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  • Hi Jen! Just want to say that I have made a lot of your recipes over the last several years and they have all been fabulous! Your blog has taught me so much and this coming from a chef’s daughter! I have both your cook books and between those and your blog, I never need to worry about what to cook. Everything always turns out perfectly. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes and cooking tips!

    • — Toni on January 17, 2024
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  • Holy smoke….I have never made leek and potatoes soup from scratch….this recipe is easy and so delicious! My husband loves it and I will serve this as a starter for my family dinner next weekend….doubling the recipe to make sure everyone gets some. Thank you Jen💗

    • — Evelyn on January 16, 2024
    • Reply
  • This soup was perfect to make on a snowy day. It is delicious served it with garlic bread for lunch

    • — Alice on January 16, 2024
    • Reply
  • This is the BEST soup ever, and I think I’m a bit picky. I have made so many soup recipes, and this one is so good that I will print the recipe and keep a hard copy so I can easily find the recipe again. Thanks!

    • — Angela on January 15, 2024
    • Reply
  • OH MY GOODNESS! Grateful to have all items on hand! Just whipped this up, so easy AND SO DARN GOOD! Made exactly as written and in my opinion, NO Changes needed at all! I’m sure some would love crispy crumbled bacon on top, but for me, it’s just not needed. WOW, this is truly incredible soup! Make it!

    • — Dawn Finnegan on January 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this tonight! So fabulously good!!! I made a small amount of whipped cream with some chili in adobo topping off the soup and it was even better!!! 🤤 YUM!
    Thank you for sharing!

    • — Angie on January 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • Made this today on a grey rainy cold day – excellent instructions made prep easy – it turned out fantastic. My non soup loving son ate several bowls. I did not modify the recipe in any way and I don’t think any modifications are needed!

    • — PhillipA on January 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I just made this and it was great. I did have some questions about the leeks. I was able to easily get 5 full cups of leeks from just two leeks using only the light green and white parts. I ended up using the 10 cups of leeks from the 4 leeks and followed the recipe. Not sure why I ended up with 10 cups 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • — Kathy on January 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • Craving potato soup and found this recipe. Outstanding flavor. My 13 and 7 year old both loved it. Very easy. A definite keeper.

    • — Troy on December 31, 2023
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  • Made this without the cream and its fabulous. Don’t think I will add any going forward.

    • — Sinead on December 29, 2023
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  • Simple and great

    • — Giulia on December 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Could I make this and then keep it warm in a crockpot?

    • — Mary Ann on December 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is a wonderful recipe! Even got rave reviews by the menfolk! Will be sharing this recipe with my FB family and friends.

    • — Sharon McRoy on December 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious. Simple. Picky kids had seconds!!
    Thank you!

    • — Yvonne on December 16, 2023
    • Reply
    • Very flavorful! However, mine was too salty, but I used better than bullion with water rather than premade vegetable broth. This was likely my issue. Great recipe.

      • — Molly Dobson on December 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • This soup is great. Simple recipe and delicious. Second time making this one. We throw everything in this soup as a topper depending on the mood. Cheese, bacon, chives, croutons, mushrooms, peas, corn, leftover pork slices, steak slices , sausage or chicken strips. It’s great plain as well.

    • — Richard Price on December 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • This soup is wonderfully creamy and delicious. Made it today for the first time and added some dried thyme and marjoram. My husband loved it. Classic and comforting in every spoonful.
    Thanks Jenn!

    • — Celia M. on December 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • I really like this soup. Easy and very flavorful. My husband said “It was good, but I think I might enjoy it more when I don’t have teeth.” LOL I disagreed, I liked the texture. I added croutons for a little crunch.

    • — Suzie on December 13, 2023
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  • Really excellent. Subtle flavor, perfect ratios.

    • — Melinda T on December 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    Absolutely delicious! This soup is so velvety and smooth. The fresh herbs are a must.
    It does not take much time to make the soup once you prep the vegetables. The chives really
    add a lovely flavor to the soup.
    Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

    • — Sara Dolan on December 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • Very impressed with this recipe, it’s such a good winter soup. I stuck to the recipe but just added some homemade croutons on top . Absolutely delicious!

    • — Tricia on December 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious! The perfect cozy winter meal

    • — Rachel on December 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can this soup be made with whole milk or half & half instead of heavy cream?

    • — Jan on December 6, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure — it won’t be quite as creamy, but will still be delicious.

      • — Jenn on December 6, 2023
      • Reply
    • I often substitute evaporated milk for cream (so my husband can’t claim I’m trying to kill him!) and I’ll probably try it with this soup!

      • — Beth H on January 28, 2024
      • Reply
  • I loved this recipe. I made leek potato soups before using other recipes . This one is the best . Garlic is a must . I grow herbs in the kitchen so I used my own thyme springs .
    It doesn’t even need cream
    It’s good as it is . Next time I make it I will add watercress

    • — Agnes kupry on December 3, 2023
    • Reply
    • I was wondering about the garlic! I’ve looked through several recipes and I def will make this one but I felt it was missing garlic! I think I will also add!

      • — Elizabeth Sparacino on December 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made this recipe as printed. It was delicious, and I will definitely make it again!

    • — Carolyn on December 2, 2023
    • Reply
    • Why do all leek recipes tell you to throw away half of the leek? I always use the dark green as well and my family has never complained. In fact, the dark part is delicious when cooked soft.

      • — Janie Marks on December 4, 2023
      • Reply
      • So right. Never understood this.

        • — peepee lee on December 27, 2023
        • Reply
  • Harvested our leeks before the freeze and made this soup with them – delicious! Thanks!

    • — Donna on December 1, 2023
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  • I had some leeks, potatoes, and cream left over from Thanksgiving, plus a half pound of Bob Evan’s sausage from the stuffing, so I sautéed the sausage, removed it from the pot and made the rest of the recipe as written. Well, with a little parsley thrown in both before and after pureeing. Then I put the sausage back in with some leftover boiled small potatoes and white beans. It was absolutely to die for, my family of three scarfed it up and licked the bowls! Thank you for this terrific recipe.

    • — Amy O on November 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • DELICIOUS!! Would definitely make again!!

    • — Jodi on November 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • This soup is absolutely delicious! My husband, who’s not a creamy-soup lover, really likes this, which I consider to be very unusual.

    • — Barb on November 19, 2023
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    • Okay, hear me out on this.
      After thanksgiving, I had a TON of mashed potatoes left. (Seasoned with butter, salt, little milk.)
      I also had a bunch of leeks, (one for the stuffing, but they come in a minimum of 4 at my grocery).
      So: I made this soup exactly as written, except adding the mashed potatoes at the last 7 minutes of the simmer instead of at the start of the boil, and I reduced the water by 1/2 cup.
      It was awesome. And I can freeze leftovers, something plain taters just don’t seem to survive.

      • — Karin on November 26, 2023
      • Reply
      • This is what I came here looking for – using up leftover mashed potatoes – so thank you very much for sharing!

        • — Cyndy on November 28, 2023
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        • This soup was absolutely fantastic. Followed the recipe exactly. My new favorite soup!!! Thank you Once Upon a Chef

          • — Heather on November 29, 2023
          • Reply
  • Oh my gosh. The smells in my kitchen during prep! And then as it was cooking! Fabulous! And the flavor of the soup is absolutely wonderful! This is a keeper. @onceuponachef Thank you for this recipe!

    • — Edie Ritterpusch on November 18, 2023
    • Reply

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