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, 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, so go ahead and use your imagination (or what have in the kitchen) 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 Dutch oven (affiliate link) 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.

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

  • 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
  • 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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