Potato Leek Soup

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A French classic, this creamy potato leek soup is quick, easy, and delicious!

It rained, sleeted, and snowed all day last Saturday, and I loved it every minute of it. The kids stayed in their pajamas and watched movies all day, my husband made a roaring fire (and filled our house with smoke, but that’s another story), and I made a big pot of 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 omelet, because it’s an essential base soup in French cuisine. Add watercress for potage au cresson, serve it chilled for Vichyssoise — or top it with bacon, fried leeks, fresh herbs, or diced vegetables. There are endless variations; just use your imagination to make it your own.

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 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.

potato leek soup

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Potato Leek Soup

A French classic, this creamy potato leek soup is quick, easy, and delicious!

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 1/2-inch pieces
  • 7 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 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: 420
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Saturated fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Sodium: 512 mg
  • Cholesterol: 70 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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Reviews & Comments

  • I Just make this potato and leek soup for the 1st time…AND eating leeks for the 1st time…This was so delicious! this had my house smelling so good…I will definitely keep making this!! Thank you for the yummy recipe!

    • — Nakia Roberson on September 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • It’s perfect every time. Thank you for a wonderfully reliable recipe.

    • — Debbie on September 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • I loved this soup its perfect for me as i prefer something a bit more bland but it was great!!

    • — Jo on September 14, 2021
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  • Very disappointed. Thin and absolutely flavorless until I added a half tub of very potent boursin style cheese, additional salt and pepper and reduced to a better consistency. Garnished with bacon and home made garlic croutons. First recipe from this site that is not a keeper.

    • — charrington on September 8, 2021
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  • I haven’t gone through all the comments, but has anyone left this chunky (NOT puréed)?

    • — L on September 7, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes, L, some people have and that’s perfectly fine if you’d prefer it that way. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 7, 2021
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  • Delicious recipe.
    I used purple potatoes, the color is different, but it’s delicious and less starchy.

    • — Terry on September 6, 2021
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  • Fantastic, I had never made leek soup before, leeks confused me, not sure what to do with them. But they are expensive at the grocery store, so I knew there was something to them. So I planted a whole bunch of them in my garden and I needed to use them. This recipe is a forever keeper. Loved it, I felt like a gourmand chef. I even had a chive sprig sticking up in it. Give this girl a Michelin star. Lol. Thanks.

    • — Quin on September 3, 2021
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    • 🙂 So glad you liked it!

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • Thank you so much for all that you share ! It’s wonderful because your recipes are easy to follow & your descriptions are so inspiring ! Ive come back to this recipe time after time & this time I said that I needed to write to say how easy & how so delicious this leek-potato soup recipe is. Thanks once again & I hope you had a wonderful Summer & we need to enjoy what good weather comes each of our way !
    Susie
    Montreal, Canada

    • — Susie C on September 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thankyou Jenn for this outstanding recipe. I am sipping a cup of this divine elixir as I write this review. I subbed the fresh thyme for a teaspoon of dried thyme leaves. After puréeing and adjusting for seasoning, I decided to leave out the cream because it was so rich and silky as is. My only changes…. Ten stars!

    • — Karen on August 29, 2021
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  • This recipe worked out great. Thanks for sharing!

    • — Suzie on August 20, 2021
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  • Soooo delish! Thank you!

    • — Erin michael on August 18, 2021
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  • Very bland to my taste. Somewhat better with added garlic, salt, pepper….and much better when I added a ham bone !

    • — Don on August 15, 2021
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  • I made it vegan. Superb! I didn’t have enough potatoes, so I dug up whatever was growing in the garden; it resulted in a mixture of potato varieties. Also picked the bay leaves right off the tree. I didn’t have thyme, so I used Herbs of Provence, which contains thyme. And instead of butter, olive oil; and instead of cream, I used almond milk. Since this was going to be a meal with salad, the protein factor was missing. So I added red dal lentils for protein and a tiny shake of cayenne, and Voila! a delicious and nutritious meal!

    • — Robin Sunbeam on August 7, 2021
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  • Absolutely fantastic and versatile. I had white potatoes instead of Yukon gold but that is the only thing I changed. I even have chives in my garden. This will be my go-to recipe for potato leek soup from now on.

    • — meldrape on August 3, 2021
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    • I’ve made this soup several times and it gets better every time. My son absolutely loves this soup and he’s very picky with foods.
      Thanks for this lovely recipe.

      • — Sarah on August 20, 2021
      • Reply
  • This. Is. Perfection!!

    There is not 1 recipe that I’ve tried that was not great. NOT ONE I SAID!! OUAC is my goto food bible.

    • — Kai Bee on July 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 31, 2021
      • Reply
  • very nice! out of heavy cream so i added milk, butter, & a little creme fraiche. no bay leaves so i increased thyme & added a little oregano.
    waiting for it to thicken more but looking forward to having it cold and hot, maybe w fried lardons and a little more creme fraiche

    • — chris on July 30, 2021
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    • finished a small bowl down to the last drop

      • — chris on July 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • This soup tastes so good and feels like a hug

    • — Nunudzai masunda on July 29, 2021
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  • Recipe was easy to understand and follow and I enjoyed the step by step pics on how to prep the leeks and potatoes. I did find it a little bland, even after adding the chives, crispy bacon, and green onions as garnish.

    • — Em on July 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • I absolutely love this recipe! This was my first time ever using leek (and certainly not the last one), and I wasn’t sure at all how it would taste but it turned out great! At the end, just before making the puree, I added a piece of cream cheese so the savor could be even softer and creamier. Would definitely recommend it, and a good addition to the meal would be a crusty slice of bread. Thank you for the recipe!

    • — Camilla on July 14, 2021
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  • Awesome recipe – even my 8 year old liked it. Easy to make and silky smooth.

    • — Owen on July 13, 2021
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  • Just made this soup yesterday… had to share it with friends – amazingly wonderful and will be a repeat… Thank you Jenn. Your recipes never disappoint!

    • — Diane on July 9, 2021
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  • I just made this soup for my niece as it is her favorite, it was a big hit and is now one of my favorites too

    • — Colleen on July 4, 2021
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    • Can you substitute Russets for the Yukon Golds?

      • — Amy on July 29, 2021
      • Reply
      • Sure, it will just be a bit less creamy. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on July 30, 2021
        • Reply
  • So easy to make and delicious. I loved the detailed instructions, very clear.

    • — Linda Levin on June 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious and so so simple. Always a hit in my household

    • — Fazlin on June 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this today and love it! I didn’t have cream but milk worked well. Topped the soup with sour cream, bacon and chives. I will definitely make it again!!

    • — Paula on June 22, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe so much. Potato leek soup is my favorite and I can never find it near me, but this recipe changed my life. The only extra thing I add is a bit of nature’s seasoning with the rest of the herbs, and I serve it with croutons. Thank you so much for bringing this delicious recipe into my life!

    • — Michelle on June 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this soup about 20X. It is excellent with fantastic instructions. Thank you!

    • — Kim T. on June 16, 2021
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  • I made this and the Classic Tomato soup the other day. Both are delicious, easy to follow recipes!

    • — Rosie on June 15, 2021
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  • This soup is so incredibly yummy! I didn’t even blend it – just left it chunky and delicious. I will DEFINITELY be making this recipe again!!

    • — Kate on June 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • Oh, I did do a few things different.
      1. Used the leafy dark green part of the leeks, sautéed them slowly in 1/4 cup butter to tenderize them before adding to the soup.
      2. I put everything in a crockpot and cooked on high for six hours, adding the cream at the end.
      3. Used miso broth.
      4. Left the peel on the potatoes for a “rustic” quality, since I wasn’t planning to blend at the end.

      • — Kate on June 14, 2021
      • Reply
  • Very bland….no taste idk what to add to give it taste

    • — Murielle on June 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this several times now. Some things I do a little differently: I’ll use vegetable or chicken stock or both; whatever I happen to have on hand. I add carrots when adding the potatoes. I don’t blend everything up completely, leaving some chunks. I add crushed red pepper and smoked paprika. I top with a little bit of cheese to the bowls (and the suggested chives). Serve with toasted bread that I rub with garlic and it’s delicious! I’m not even much of a potato person!
    Oh, and I tried tying the herbs up with twine last time to save on playing hide-and-seek. It worked out somewhat. The bay leaves stayed in but the thyme ended up working itself loose since the leaves come off.

    • — Kellie on June 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious, easy,with excellent instructions

    • — Lisa on May 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • This soup is wonderfully easy to make and deliciously creamy.

    • — Britty on May 29, 2021
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  • This soup is so good. I only found this recipe two weeks ago and it’s 90 degrees here but I’ve already made it twice.

    • — Madeline on May 28, 2021
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  • this came out really tasty. tysm for sharing the recipie :))

    • — Ruby on May 17, 2021
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  • BLENDER WARNING NEEDED
    like an inexperienced cook, I over blended the soup & MADE GLUE! Please remind people to Pulse their Blender not turn it all the way on. Soup ruined. 😢

    • — Corey on May 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this for our Mother’s Day brunch, along with your spinach and Gruyère quiche, and your Baby Spinach Salad with Berries, Pecans & Goat Cheese in Raspberry Vinaigrette. What a perfect trio. I am not sure if I’ve ever made another soup that received more “oohs and ahhs” than this. It is both hearty and delicate, elegant and interesting, with the toppings of chopped chives, thyme leaves, and a little crumbled bacon. Thank you Jenn.

    • — Colleen on May 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • The first time I made it as written except used salted butter and dried thyme. Very good. Subsequently for the vegans I used avocado or olive oil and vegetable stock. I couldn’t tell the difference. For the meat lovers just throw in a little cubed ham.
    Scorchy

    • — Gerald Schwartz on May 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this wonderful soup yesterday and it is delicious! I made only one change and it was mechanical…rather than using either blender method, I lightly mashed the potatoes as I wanted more texture. Served with Cheddar Jalepeno Cornbread. Raves from the entire family!

    • — Cindie P. on May 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • I just throw in chunks of cooked potato for texture. Today’s batch I added some chopped cooked baby bella mushrooms and served it with roasted garlic bread and whole grain seed bread.

      • — Gerald Schwartz on May 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • Delicious and comforting!

    • — Kelly on April 30, 2021
    • Reply

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