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 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 1/2-inch pieces
  • 7 cups 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: 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

  • Hi Jenn! Ok so I made this soup with Fairlife Skim milk (that is all I had on this snowy day in Valparaiso, IN. I also scaled it way down in volume. Also and all my neighbors and I enjoyed it. I look forward to trying more of your recipes!👩‍🍳🙋‍♀️ Susie Y.

    • — Susan on January 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’m a brand new neon-green cook-what size pot do I need for this?
    Thank you!

    • — Michelle on January 19, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Michelle, I’d go with something that’s at least 5.5 quarts. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 20, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made this great soup this afternoon. It tastes better than I could have imagined. Very creamy, very flavourful.. it wasn’t hard or time-consuming. It’s going to be great with a baguette and some cheese.

    I’m thinking of adding some bacon. Maybe even shredded cheese.

    Lots of good ideas to use this soup!

    • — Darren K on January 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Everyone on my family loves this soup. It’s the first time I add garlic to this soup. It’s flavour blends well with the potatoes and the leeks. I mixed butter with olive oil and sautéed the leek in them. We usually eat it with baguette and Brie. It’s a complete meal, more tasty with the bite added by the Brie, more filling, and sooo good in winter.

    • — Gaëlle on January 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Never used garlic in potato leek soup before so I used only 1 clove. It was awful. Ruined the delicate flavors of leek.

    A beautiful soup can be made with just leeks, potatoes, water and salt.

    • — Doug Greenlee on January 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • I was so excited to make this recipe and finally made it tonight. I cut down the recipe in half and used vegetable stock and I have to say I feel like I was eating gravy. This is my first time trying potato leek soup so not sure what it is supposed to taste like. The texture was nice and creamy though.

    • — Yas on January 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can this be made with russet potatoes?

    • — Meredith on January 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • You can — it will just be a bit less creamy. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 13, 2022
      • Reply
  • Let sit overnight. Will make thicker which we like! Fantastic recipe!

    • — Kathy Helfrich on January 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Divine!!!

    • — Dayna on January 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this soup last week for the for time with this recipe , it was a hit in my house . My 5 year old loved it so to me thats a winner !

    • — Gigi on January 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this soup today exactly as written. It is wonderfully savory with a perfect amount of richness. I wouldn’t change a thing. I paired it with a simple arugula & spinach salad. But I could easily have skipped the salad & just enjoyed a second bowl of this soup. The body of the soup is such that you can eat it without the cream. But the cream definitely adds the extra element of silkiness. I thought I would probably wind up freezing half of the soup. But I think it will all be eaten before it ever makes it to the freezer. Thank you for a delicious & easy to make soup recipe!

    • — Mags on January 8, 2022
    • Reply

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