Potato Leek Soup
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A French classic, this creamy potato leek soup is quick, easy, and comforting.
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 omelet 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 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 sandwich or salad, or as a stand-alone lunch.
What You’ll Need 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.
Once the leeks are clean, roughly chop them — you should get about five cups of chopped leeks from four large leeks.
To make the soup, melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot, then add the chopped leeks and garlic.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and wilted.
Next, add the potatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil.
Then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Fish out the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
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.)
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.
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.
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Potato Leek Soup
A French classic, this creamy potato leek soup is quick, easy, and comforting.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
I’ve loved potato leek soup since I was a young child and every attempt I’ve made as an adult to recreate the flavors of my dad’s have been subpar until now. This recipe keeps a simple soup simple in all of the right ways, there is copious flavor to be had without muddling in a lot of extra to make it seem fancier. This recipe is perfect, my entire family loved it.
This turned out to be our favorite soup. My 19 mo loved it to bits, he finished his whole bowl. We have never tasted it before- this was our first time. Thank you so much Jenn! This is a permanent addition to our menus going forward.
I have made this soup a few times now. It’s super simple to make and oh so comforting. Tastes absolutely delicious with bacon too.
I just made this. I happened to have a beet/goat cheese salad in the fridge left over from last night so I already had the perfect side. Yay!
I followed the recipe to a tee. Before blending everything, I extracted some of the broth because it seemed a bit too liquidy. I used an immersion blender and before adding a bit of the broth I took out I tasted it and WOW! It was delicious. I hesitated adding the cream because the broth “as is” was so tasty. I did add the cream and the soup was delicious but…
Next time? I think I’ll omit the cream and just eat the blended soup ingredients and save the calories. I should add that I have very fresh, fragrant thyme and laurel so that helped. Definitely a keeper recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it.
Simple and sensational! Has immediately become a go-to for our Aussie Winters (we live in a sub-Alpine town). Our potato crop this year was 120lbs and there’s only the two of us. Pity we had to buy in the leeks… but planning for next year. Thank you so much!!
Just made this for dinner and it tastes AMAZING! I used three large leeks rather than four, because they were only being sold in packs of three. I also used dried thyme instead of fresh as I didn’t have any. Wasn’t able to get it very thick, even after simmering, so my next go around I think I’ll put one less cup of broth, or add more potatoes to make up for the lost leek. I’ve been looking for good recipes to take to college, and this is going to be perfect!
I am planning on making this tomorrow due to the RAVE reviews! I am most excited because I made my own chicken stock and wanted that flavor to shine as well. However, I only have 4 cups of the stock – what amount of leeks and potatoes would you suggest in order to keep the consistency correct? I was thinking 2 leeks and maybe 3-4 larger golden potatoes.
Hi Anthony, 2 large leeks sound about right and I’d use about 1 1/4 pounds of potatoes. Hope you enjoy!
Such a beautiful soup. I peeled the potatoes and put them on to boil while I readied the other ingredients. I added a brown onion, an extra cup of stock and I only had dried thyme. I drained the potatoes and then cooked as per the recipe but cooked it down over a couple of hours before blending. AMAZING
Absolutely fabulous recipe and would be easy for any cooking level. While an experienced cook, the added value was, assuming you have the ingredients, prep time is so easy and quick (~30 min) for those times when you don’t have the time to prep/cook, but want, a delicious meal.
Really doesn’r required salt or pepper, as had plenty of flavor without. Find a good rule with homemade soups, let the diner add their own salt/pepper to taste. After stove cook cooking, the mixture was blended in a Vitamix, on the hot soup option, in two batches. While the bay leaf and thyme stems (5-6 not 3 as called for in recipe) were removed before blending, the thyme leave were scraped off their stem, added back into cooked ingredients and totally incorpated without being in pieces after blending.
Topping with a good dusting of finely chopped chives completed the recipe with perfection, from both visual and taste perspectives!
Amazing soup, if you wanted a more flavour full soup replace one of the leaks with half a brown onion and for a thicker soup remove a cup of stock. Over all this soup was really good!
Amazing! I love potato leek so I’ve had it many times In restaurants and made different versions at home. This is the best I’ve had. My husband loved it and he’s not a soup guy
Just made this. I’ve never eaten this soup before but it was delicious and my husband (who isn’t a soup guy) loved it too! We don’t use heavy cream so I added a little extra butter and finished with 2% and it was still very tasty. I can imagine cream would have made it that much better!
My husband and I just had this soup for lunch. Delicious! We’ve had leek and potato soup many many times over the years but this is by far the most luxurious and tasty. Very easy to prepare and it makes a lot.
Thank you so much for this fabulous recipe.
This soup came out so good. It was actually better the second day, it got thicker. I will definately make this again. I never had this soup before but I love it!
Delicious soup! My gran used to make leek and potatoe soup and I couldn’t imagine my first try turning out as good as hers. I used chicken broth and only a touch of cream and it was perfect. Very easy instructions to follow.
Love it!!! I’ve made this several times.
I absolutely love this soup. Have made it several times and always perfect. Your recipes are the best and always turn out perfect. Thank you for sharing.
My son and I made the potato and leek soup last night and WOW! It was phenomenal!! Another plus is that it’s simple to make. We will definitely be adding this one to our family recipe book!!!
So delicious! Creamy and tasty- even without the cream. I added 2 bunches of fresh asparagus with the potatoes as well as a stalk of rosemary and topped it with some asparagus tops, fresh chives and baked salmon for a couple meal. Yummy! Thanks for another home run Jenn!
I just made this for the first time & was quite pleased overall! Like some others, I added a shallot. After I blended all w/ immersion blender, I found the flavor a bit flat. I added more salt, but it still wasn’t flavorful — for whatever reason, it occurred to me to add lemon juice, & that really did the trick! Mine also came out too thin. As instructed, I simmered longer & it thickened up beautifully. I will definitely make this again, but will add carrots for another facet of flavor. THANK YOU, Ms. Segal!
I have returned to this recipe again and again- we love it! It is my son’s favorite dinner (served with garlic bread, a baguette, or fresh crusty rolls).
Great Recipe…my favorite go-to website
Best recipe for potato leek!
Making it right now. It smells so good!
Perfect for a cold day.
Thanks for sharing.
I just made this soup. I followed the recipe exactly as written. It is very good, but next time I will add a little more leeks and maybe try it with asparagus cooked and blended with it.
I made this last night as an opening dish for Friday night dinner guests. I have made potato soup before but this recipe adds more layers of flavor. So good! I pan fried some pancetta pieces for an optional topping, as well as corn, shredded cheddar and chopped chives. I used Better than Bouillon chicken base. Definitely will be making this again!
will this thicken in the frig overnight?
I have made this soup twice exactly by the recipe. Its so easy and so good! This will go in my recipe book as a “favorite”. Its absolutely delicious!
I just made this soup…but I used a small pinch of tarragon replacing the other herbs. Perfect! I also used 1/2 & 1/2. This is a keeper recipe! Oh, also added some crumbles of bacon.
What a lovely super easy and delicious recipe made it tonight having a crispy baguette with it absolutely yummy.
I’ve made this soup twice and it was delicious. The only “change” I made was using the entire leek, even the darker green. I don’t like to waste good food. I just cooked them a little longer in the butter before adding the white and lighter green parts. Very creamy, mellow flavor.
Wow I’m surprised at how easily and delicious this turned out! Thanks for a great recipe! I substituted the heavy cream for coconut cream and it was perfect. My husband ate sooo much of it. Will be making this again!!
Fabulous yet simple recipe!! I made it ahead, sans cream, and froze it and then pulled out the amount i needed, thawed in fridge, heated it up in a saucepan and added cream…..Perfection!
This was yummy and easy!!!! I added a little more garlic.
I haven’t even added the cream yet and it tastes outstanding!!! Made exactly as the recipe stated, but had FRESH Bay leaves on hand and utilized them – my secret new fabulous ingredient – fresh Bay leaves!
Has anyone tried adding cheese? What kind would you recommend?
I love potato leek soup with sharp cheddar and ciabatta 🙂
Followed the recipe, substituting 1 can of organic unsweetened coconut milk and adding some chopped carrots, cauliflower & a sprig of fresh rosemary. Absolutely delicious! It does not taste like coconut at all, the herbs took care of that. I used my immersion blender but also left some chunks the way I like it. This is such a hearty, filling soup that would be great for breakfast, lunch or dinner! I wasn’t sure how it would turn out so I didn’t plan to serve it with anything else, but next time, for dinner, I’ll serve it with a spinach, bacon w/ warm vinaigrette salad.
Absolutely delish! I recommend adding a handful of chopped carrots 🙂
Noor???? As in my favorite youtube gal?
Don’t worry if you don’t have any cream, this soup is delicious even without it. I have made it several times and it really hits the spot in this cold weather. Thank you for a yummy recipe.
This is on my regular meal rotation. I usually add more leeks, potatoes and stock so both my husband and I have enough for the week. I buy russet potatoes and I don’t peel them. Super easy and tastes amazing every time.
Amazing soup!! My fiancé and I devoured it. I added a sprig of rosemary to the pot. Garnished with parsley & a few crispy shallots & potato’s – (fried them up in a separate pan). I will be making this again for my entire family. Thank you!
Delicious!!!! My husband and I loved it and made exactly as written except for the salt. only added 1/4 teaspoon instead of 1 teaspoon. We generally like less salt and we were very pleased with your recipe and will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing your recipe and looking forward to checking out your website in the future.
I love this soup so much exactly as written. However, I recently developed a dairy sensitivity so would need to substitute the heavy cream… Do you have any suggestions? I have used coconut whipping cream in other recipes which is good texture wise, but not really the flavour I want for this soup. I can try oat milk, since that is what I have on hand.
Hi Carly, So glad you like the soup! You can use oat milk, but try the soup first as you may like the way it tastes already. 🙂
Blending silken tofu with water makes an excellent cream substitute. I use nori-mu silken tofu as it comes ina tetra pack so it is always on hand in the pantry and doesn’t go bad.
Amazing soup, and will be making it again! (I added a chilli which gave it a bit of a kick)
Made this last weekend exactly as written. Would have made more, as usually make a double batch when I’m making soup, but was unsure as never made potato leek soup before and did not want to waste time and ingredients in case it wasn’t a “keeper”. Turned out great. Everyone loved it… Making again this weekend, but this time a double batch! Thanks for the recipe!