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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, 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

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

  • Jenn, my husband and I just made this soup and we can’t stop talking about it. So delicious and creamy. He’s actually laughing while he’s washing the dishes, thinking about how good it was. We have more than half left over for tomorrow as well. We were thinking that the next time we could pack some soup in 2-serving sizes and seal them in our vacuum chamber sealer. Would we have to leave out the cream? Thanks so much, love your recipes.

    • — Valerie on September 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Valerie, I’m glad this was such a hit! It would be fine for you to freeze it (and I’d wait until you reheat the soup to add the cream).

      • — Jenn on September 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’m excited to make this tonight and will come back with a review of how it turns out. But I was wondering, do you have advice for cooking this slower allowing time for the flavors to really come out? Maybe even a slow cooker version? I don’t want to ruin it by attempting, just curious about your thoughts! Thanks!

    • — Alex on September 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Alex, I’m obviously weighing in too late to help but I don’t think that cooking the soup for longer would really change the flavor. I do find that this is even better the second day so if you make it again, you may want to try making it a day ahead of time.

      • — Jenn on September 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is the best ever leek and potato soup I have ever had. I made it today, and the only tiny adjustment I made was to add double the quantity of thyme because it is one of my favourite “French” herbs and added 1 litre of chicken stock instead of 1 litre and 750ml – otherwise the soup would have been too watery, but otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. I garnished with crispy fried bacon bits together with the chives. It was absolutely delicious!! A winner for sure!

    • — Monique on September 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • I am a clean eater so used EVOO instead of butter and 2 cups of cashew cream subbed for the real stuff. In the pot now, looks good and should taste good also. I can not help myself – I used salt, basil, and parsley as my spices and will hit it with parm when served. Thanks for the no bacon version.

    • — John on September 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • This article is interesting. It is ridiculous though because nowhere are the exact ingredients and volumes listed. This is an embarrassing post.

    • — Joe on September 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Joe, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on September 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • So delicious!

    • — Maggie on September 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Best recipe ever!!! My daughter and I both choose this recipe not knowing it. We are both WOWED!!! I grow leeks and this soup is amazing!

    • — Susie on August 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is so delicious! And SO easy! (You can use powdered thyme too) I make grilled cheese with bacon and jalapeno cheese bread to go along with it it’s so good.

    • — Gee on August 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • I was wondering if I can add borage to the soup.

    • — Jazmine on August 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jazmine, I wasn’t familiar at all with borage so I looked it up. I would suggest using it as a garnish to start and if you like the combination, next time you make the soup, you could incorporate the dried version into the soup. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Perfect recipe. I make it all the time as it’s now my favorite soup.

    • — Rahel Kent on August 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve just made this and it’s up there with some of the nicer restaurants we’ve been to. It’s on the “have again” list.

    • — Julie on August 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. Will definitely make this again

    • — Terri on August 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was my first time making the soup. Easy to make, simple recipe, and tastes seriously delicious 🙂

    I really enjoy a chilled soup from my local grocery store with a similar flavour (potato and leek but has sour cream + chives instead of cream)

    I didn’t have any thyme or chives so I made this with one extra bay leaf and used vegetable stock cubes instead of chicken broth. I also didn’t peel the potatoes. I love the way it turned out.

    • — Satvika on August 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • This taste’s like a 5-Star Michelin soup. It’s like having the best at home. Just follow the recipe. I’ll be honest, it also tastes amazing without the cream if you’re looking to save some calories.

    • — Kristina Nagel on July 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • I left the cream out too and ditto your review.

      • — Chris on September 26, 2022
      • Reply
  • Great recipe! Easy to follow and yummy 🙂

    • — Zoe on July 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just wondering if there is any harm to using the dark green parts of the leeks, especially if the soup is going to get put through a high powered blender and then strained. Will they affect the flavor of the soup?

    • — Steven on July 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Steven, I really don’t recommend it. That said, one reader commented that she sautéed the dark green parts slowly in 1/4 cup butter to tenderize and then added them to the soup. If you try it, I’d love to hear what you think!

      • — Jenn on July 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • super easy and delicious – could elaborate but ads cover most of comment area.

    • — sandy on July 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is my go to soup! So delicious! I also leave some cooked leeks aside to add to the soup at the end.

    • — Pia on July 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • One of the best versions of this soup I’ve ever found, and so easy to make!! My daughter requests this all the time with crusty French bread. Perfect for a cold winter day, or re-heated on a summer evening.

    • — Michela on June 30, 2022
    • Reply
    • Just made this, very tasty all the flavors come together nicely without overpowering each other.

      • — Giuliana Gavilano on August 1, 2022
      • Reply
    • 4 leeks is like 25 cups. Pretty sure none of the commenter actually made this and it’s fake reviews.

      • — Paulina on September 12, 2022
      • Reply
  • DO we peel the yellow potatoes or leave the skin on?

    • — Cory on June 24, 2022
    • Reply
    • You peel them. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 24, 2022
      • Reply
  • Easy and wonderful soup.
    I couldn’t find cartons of chicken broth so replaced with a carton of “New Covent Garden Soup Classic Chicken” and also a half pint of chicken stock made from a stock cube.
    I avoided adding cream.
    Wizzed it up and really delicious.

    • — Bunty Denyer on June 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • HELLO NICE RECIPE AND I ADDED WHITE WINE AND WILL PLACE IN THE CREAM WHEN IT IS COOLED OFF BEFORE BEING PLACED ON THE TABLE BECAUSE THE CREAM CAN CURDLE IF THE SOUP IS HOT….ALSO ALWAYS EAT THE SOUP AWAY FROM YOURSELF SAVES SPILLING IT ON YOUR CLOTHES………THANKS REV WENDI

    • — REV WENDY INGRAM on June 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • I forgot the 5 stars!!

    • — Maria on May 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this last night and it was a hit even though I didn’t use the cream in the end. I’m just wondering if you have another recipe for the tough, green parts of the leeks. I just hate to throw all that out!
    Thanks so much, Jenn, for another winner!

    • — Maria on May 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Maria, Glad you liked it! You could use the remainder of the leeks for homemade vegetable stock. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 26, 2022
      • Reply
      • Yes! I just read from Jamie Oliver:
        “A leek soup recipe typically calls for keeping the white ends and discarding the green tops, but add the tops to the mix and you’ll have an extra green layer of flavour. Cut the greens along the grain thinly, shred them if possible and add them to your soup before the other ingredients. They will take a little longer to cook than the rest. This soup works best when it is blitzed for a homogenised, creamy texture.”

        I will try this next time. Thanks, Jenn.

        • — Maria on May 27, 2022
        • Reply
        • 👍

          • — Jenn on May 30, 2022
          • Reply
      • Easy and very delicious! My husband’s favorite! Thank you 🤤💕

        • — Marzena on June 6, 2022
        • Reply
    • I make leek oil with the dark green ends which I drizzle on salads, beans, anything that could use a bit of jazzing up. There are a bunch of recipes out there. Hope this helps!

      • — Sally on September 24, 2022
      • Reply
  • Delicious, thank you

    • — Diane Thibert on May 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • Best potato and Leek soup I have made. Only a few small differences to my usual recipe but they made a big difference. Recipe upgraded. Thank you

    • — Diana on May 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • This soup needs to sit overnight for the flavors to develop. If you find it too bland, don’t be shy with salt, full fat cream, pepper, or perhaps cayenne pepper, and use broth that actually has some flavor to it. I have cooked potage parmentier for years, usually just eyeballing the ingredients. This time around I decided to follow Jenn’s recipe to see if it would be any different from mine. It wasn’t. I used 6 instead of 7 cups of broth just because the pot would have overflowed otherwise – the consistency was perfect. Potage parmentier is great comfort food, always welcome at a time of illness. PS I freeze it with cream already incorporated and it isn’t any worse for it.

    • — Mags on May 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • What would you recommend if I wanted to add ham hocks to this recipe. Boil separately how should I go about adding it?

    • — Terri on May 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Terri, I’d add them when you’re simmering the soup for 15 minutes. You can then remove any meat from the bones and stir them into the soup before serving. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on May 13, 2022
      • Reply
  • My first time having this soup. I have wanted to try it for years. It is delicious. I am looking forward to trying it chilled as well.

    • — Sam on April 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wowza!
    Made a make a couple of small subs just due to our personal tastes and this was one of the Best soups I’ve ever made (and I have to admit, soup is my specialty).
    I didn’t have fresh thyme so I used a quarter teaspoon of dried herbs de Provence, and I threw in a diced carrot before blending everything with my immersion blender. I then also also added some sauted smoked Portuguese back bacon when the soup was done and my goodness, this was restaurant quality!
    Thanks so much for this fab recipe, it’s a keeper for sure!

    • — Marlene on April 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Its been so long since I’ve had chilled potato leek soup. Making it tomorrow

    • — Tony B on April 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • Too much leek, not enough spices, too watery

    • — Ceen on April 18, 2022
    • Reply
    • I made this and it turned out great. Very tasty

      • — Carol on April 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made this tonight to take to a sick friend. It is absolutely delicious and so easy. I only had 2 big fat leeks, but that was enough to flavor the soup beautifully. I will definitely make this again.

    • — Jeanette on April 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’m 72 years old and have been making soups for years, just as my mom and grandma did. I’ve made Potato Leek soup before but this is the best recipe ever. My adult son came over tonight and said it was the best soup I’ve made which says a lot! We love potatoes so I added one extra leek and two extra potatoes. I used my immersion blender and left a few pieces of potato and it was perfect. Next time I’m going to leave a few more potato pieces in the soup. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I’m now going to try your other recipes!

    • — Kathy McConnell Smith on April 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • DAIRY FREE VERSION: I followed the recipe ratios exactly, but used mostly the dark green part of the leeks left over from a previous recipe. I cut the leeks into strips of 1/4” or less, then sliced them crossways as thin possible. I also substituted oat milk for cream.
    DELICIOUS!

    • — Melba McCollum on April 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Correction: When I printed the recipe to keep, I noticed the print version said one cup cream. For the oat milk amount, I followed the recipe picture description which said, “……just add it little by little until the soup tastes good to you”. I may have used close to 2 cups.

      • — Melba McCollum on April 7, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks for this, I’m also dairy free and plan to make using a can of coconut milk. Fingers crossed!

        • — Catherine Laing on May 21, 2022
        • Reply
  • Excellent soup!

    • — Paul on April 4, 2022
    • Reply

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