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

  • This was seriously sooooo good. Using a Vitamix to blend the veggies made the final soup silky-soft. I added some leftover ham from Easter and I think I’ll just be dreaming about this until the next time I make it!

    • — Elizabeth on April 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is fantastic. I’ve made it twice in a week. Perfectly reliable recipe and unbelievably delicious. Thank you.

    • — Diane on March 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this soup several times for my family and for guests. This is so delicious and always comes out perfect. I always get rave reviews. I love soups and this is one of my favoites. Thank you, Jen

    • — Carolyn Rassias on March 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • First time trying leek soup, was very tasty. I did add a little crispy bacon on top. Will absolutely make this again.

    • — Elaine on March 24, 2021
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  • fantastic recipe. i made enough to last me two days but it was so delicious that i ate it all at the first sitting! thank you!

    • — peter g on March 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • My wife and youngest daughter love soups, And have made squash soup in the past.
    Today I have made your leek and potato soup, and it looks and smells yummy.
    So now I am going to make some soda bread to go with it.
    Thank you
    Shane.

    • — Shane on March 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • If I only have dried Thyme, how much should I add? This looks great and I can’t wait to try!

    • — Mary on March 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I’d guesstimate, you’d need about 1/2 teaspoon. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • So good! I love all the recipes I make here, thank you!

    • — Rachael on March 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • Had company for St. Patrick’s day and made this for the first time. Easy and delicious! To clean the leeks I chopped first and rinsed twice in cold water and drained well. Thanks for a great recipe, Jenn.

    • — Cathy Marone on March 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m not typically the type to comment on these recipe pages – but this recipe is perfect! I made the soup in the morning to avoid dinner time stress and now I’m eating soup for breakfast too!

    • — Rachel on March 18, 2021
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    • LOL — glad you enjoyed it enough to have for breakfast!

      • — Jenn on March 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • Superb recipe and results Makes me look like a gourmet cook. Thank you!

    • — Alamin on March 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • Fantastic recipe! Super easy But sweet Jesus, the pop up ads on this site are relentless. Printing the recipe next time.

    • — Chris on March 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • Just made this soup and it is delicious, one of the best potato leek soups I’ve ever had. Thanks a very much for this recipe. It was easy to make and didn’t take a long time from the beginning till it was on the table. I served it with grilled cheese French bread and it was a prefect match for me.
    Ricky in Victoria.

    • — Ricky in Victoria on March 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thank you Jenn for an easy recipe and delicious tasting soup. I shared it with my extended family and it was a huge hit. It made the house smell delicious too!!

    • — Deborah on March 5, 2021
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  • Fantastic! A huge upgrade to the potato and leek soup I used to make. Unless I’ve missed it in the instructions, how much water is advisable to add after the softening potato and leek stage?

    • — Zayd on March 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked it! You only need to add water right before serving if you find the soup is thicker than you’d like. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on March 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • Amazing! I made homemade rosemary garlic parm bread with this and I felt like I was dining in a French cottage. The layers of flavor were beautiful! Only used 1.5 T of butter. Thank you!!!

    • — Sadie Mercedes on February 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this but I suspect that the nutritional information for this is incorrect. When I imported this ingredients to check the nutritional info the calculator assumed that the chicken broth was actually a store bought chicken soup. Once I corrected this the nutritional info was much lighter overall. In any case, the soup was a hit with my family, but I am cooking for certain family members with special dietary needs, so I thought I’d put it out there for anyone else who has to pay attention to these things.

    • — Mary G. on February 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • My family devoured this soup. Every recipe from Once Upon a Chef is great. We’ve never had a bad meal. Thank you 🙏

    • — Marla on February 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this today, never having ever used leeks before. I have never been a fan of potato soup – they are usually the things I eat around and leave! But decided to give this a try… so glad I did! I shared it with my neighbors, who also loved it! I am sold!

    The soup is smooth, flavorful and will be a go-to recipe I will make again and again. Thank you for this great recipe!

    • — Linda K on February 20, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wow, super delicious, and ridiculously easy!!! Thank you!!!

    • — Susanne on February 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • This potato leek soup recipe is excellent and easy. Good instructions, a small number of ingredients. And when I tell my guests they are eating “potage parmentier”, we all feel extra fancy. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

    • — Rob on February 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious!!!

    • — Keith Foust on February 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious recipe!

    • — Aleksandra on February 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious and so easy to make! This is a WINNER! I substituted olive oil for the
    Butter, half and half for the heavy cream; and dried thyme for the fresh.

    • — Shelley on February 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • I did some substitutions to make this soup FODMAP friendly as well as vegan and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I’m positive this recipe tastes incredible as is, but it was also AMAZING as a low-FODMAP vegan soup! Instead of butter and garlic, I used 3 Tbsp of garlic infused olive oil, instead of chicken broth I used my own low-FODMAP veggie broth, and instead of heavy cream I used full-fat canned coconut milk. Soooo delicious! Thank you, this is finally something hearty and comforting I can make that pleases my entire family.

    • — Christine on February 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi! Did the coconut milk give a coconut flavor or was it hidden? I’m out of cream. Thanks!

      • — Lisa on February 10, 2021
      • Reply
      • I used coconut cream and I don’t think it tasted different.

        • — Katy on February 15, 2021
        • Reply
  • This is my family’s favorite soup recipe. I memorized it and make about 2 times a month no matter how hot it is outside. I also serve it with every holiday meal. I started to play with some extra ingredients by adding lemon thyme from my garden and lemon zest and lemon juice. That extra acidity gave it a nice zing! Potatoes + Leeks + Lemons= food bbfs =)

    • — QBaker on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • I found this recipe randomly, and it did not disappoint. I kind of went with following the process, but used random amount of vegetables. In addition to potatoes, I diced a bit of celeriac and one parsnip root, added them a few minutes before the potatoes and stock.

    This site will be my go-to from now on. At least I don’t have to scroll forever to actually see the recipe.

    Thank you! <3

    • — Iva on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes! The scrolling to get the recipe makes me go crazy.

      • — Sarah on February 13, 2021
      • Reply
  • This recipe is amazing! My husband wanted meat so I cut up and added some sauteed kielbasa to it. WONDERFUL! Definitely a repeat in our house!

    • — Lori Parker on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Mmmmm! So my only mistake with this recipe was to share the batch I made, meaning not enough for me. Sigh. So silky. So flavorful. So “I’m not stuck at home, I’m in Paris.” YUM and thanks!

    • — Julie Coburn on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m making this & I need to freeze some of this. Should I freeze the extra without the cream & add cream once thawed? Or did anyone freeze it with cream? I am not clear based on reviews.

    • — Teri on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Teri, if you plan to freeze it and haven’t added the cream yet, I’d wait until you reheat the soup to add it. If the cream is already added, it should be fine. If it separates just a little when you’re thawing it, just give it a few stirs when reheating to re-combine. 🙂

      • — Jenn on February 3, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thx very much

        • — Teri on February 3, 2021
        • Reply
  • For those cooks that froze leftovers. Did the cream separate? (Not that I’m anticipating leftovers based on reviews.

    • — Teri on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • This soup was so delicious and easy to prepare. I used non-fat Greek Yogurt instead of cream to cut back on calories! You need to try this one!!

    • — Carol P on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • This soup is delicious and so easy to make. I thought it was creamy enough after processing it in my food processor so I did not add the cream. It was still smooth and delicious.

    • — Carol Murdock on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have made this soup at least ten times over the past year! My husband absolutely loves it, and during the chillier weather lately it is truly a comfort food. It surprised me at how quickly it cooks, and the depth of flavor that comes from the leeks. This recipe inspired me to buy an immersion blender, and I highly recommend one if you don’t have it. So yummy- thanks so much, Jenn, for another delicious (& easy) recipe. 😊

    • — Lynne Best on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made the Potato Leek soup a couple weeks ago, oh my goodness! The flavors, texture, consistency all were spot on!! Thanks for another hit recipe, my hubby says it goes on the menu!

    • — Becki Roberts on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • This soup is absolutely divine! I added an extra cup of chicken broth because I didn’t want it to go to waste. I’ve tried this recipe twice now. The first time I used half & half and the second time I tried it with whipping cream. The results are delicious either way. I also paired this with a crusty French baguette; I didn’t want any of it to go to waste! 🙂

    • — Daniela Z on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made the soup! Wow – it came out soooo good and it was soooo simple! The family loved it! 🙂

    • — Kristine M on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • This soup was so creamy and delicious. A wonderful addition to our winter soups.

    • — Marilou Denney on January 30, 2021
    • Reply

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