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 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

  • Delicious and creamy! It yields quite a bit, so be prepared for leftovers.

    • — crystal on April 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • A bacon crumble for garnish would have taken it Over The Top!

      • — crystal on April 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • Amazing and simple recipe. I added nearly all the cream it called for but next time we’ll only use 2-3 tablespoons so as not to overpower the leek flavor. Blending makes this soup smooth and creamy even without the cream.

    • — Sarah T on March 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe, and it was really good! I will most likely make this one again, and I will try using it as a base recipe, like it is said in the description. Thank you!

    • — Trevor Christiansen on March 27, 2022
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  • Agreed, its Bland!

    • — Pete Scott on March 26, 2022
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  • Bland!

    • — Morgan Iannone on March 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Is easy and delicious 😋 good for a first timer like me.

    • — Glory on March 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this potato leek soup and was extremely pleased with the outcome. The recipe was very simple and easy to make. The soup flavor was excellent immediately after preparation, but as often happens, it was even more flavorful on day 2. The aromatics of bay and thyme were definitely present, yet were subtle and did not overpower. They enhanced the flavor intensity in a significant, but almost understated way. This soup was simple in form and composition yet complex enough in flavor to please any palette. Thanks for this recipe and it’s in my “keeper” box.

    • — Ken on March 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • I found your recipe about 3 weeks ago. I have since made it 3 times. It is delicous. Thank you .

    • — Julie Duford on March 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • I am working my way through your soup file. I started with this Potato and Leek Soup. Moved on to Asparagus Soup, Broccoli and Cheddar soup,Tomato Pesto Soup, and Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup…still going on as I haven’t had one yet that I haven’t enjoyed both making and eating. I have a printmaking group that works out of my studio one a week and they are loving your soups for lunch. They are easy and quick to make and not expensive. They have all wanted recipes so I share the recipe and send them to your site.
    Thank you so much.

    • — Channing on March 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wow!! Big payoff for few ingredients and not too intensive prep. Will absolutely be returning to this one (and exploring more recipes on the blog too!) How did it take me so long to get here?

    • — K on March 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed the soup!

      • — Jenn on March 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • Super! It’s a keeper. I added a few mushrooms just because.

    • — Nate M on March 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Had this on a cold, damp and foggy winter evening in Alberta. Delicious and comforting.

    • — Harrison John on March 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this tonight and it was a big hit. Simple to make. I used light cream instead of heavy cream. Garnished with crispy crumbles bacon and chives . Wonderful recipe, thank you.

    • — Celeste Wisniewski on March 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • I really enjoyed this recipe. The only tweaks I made were using one less cup of broth and subbing thinned greek yogurt for the heavy cream to reduce the calories. Delicious!

    • — Amanda on March 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • We love this recipe. Our go to soup recipe this winter. My husband and I like to add crisp, crumbled bacon on top. Delicious!!

    • — Angela on February 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Best recipe ever! So delicious, our go to soup recipe this winter. We sprinkle crumbled bacon on top. Amazing!

    • — Angela on February 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this today in my 7 in 1 farbareware. It was delicious. However, it was on the sweeter side because I followed your guideline and. Used golden potatoes. I will definitely make this many many more times but I will use regular baking potatoes. Tweak it a little by adding a touch of cayenne and purple onion.

    • — Silvia Simon on February 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is the best soup ever, though i do not have an immersion blender I just put it in my stand up blender and than put it in a separate pot than u r good to go.

    • — Olivia Frazier on February 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this a few times and I like to add about 1/2 cup of chopped bacon that I cook down in the beginning and only use like 1 tablespoon of butter if I think I need it. It comes out with soooo much flavor!

    • — Julia on February 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have made this soup countless times. It’s easy and delicious. In fact my husband likes it so much every couple of months or so he’ll come home from the farmers market with fresh leeks. That’s when I know he wants me to make it.

    • — Naomi on February 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • LOVE this recipe. I skipped the cream so I could feed it to my 5 month old daughter. She couldn’t get enough of it! I also didn’t have fresh thyme on hand so I used dried thyme and it still turned out amazingly well.

    • — Breanna on February 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • The whole family loved this soup! I had only two (large) leeks so added some shallots I had on hand. I used red potatoes and didn’t peel them. I also had some leftover bacon that I crumbled and sprinkled on top. I didn’t have thyme so used a teaspoon of herbes de Provence.

    • — Jennifer on February 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • It was a first time for me and it was lovely. Tasted delicious, easy to prepare. It was like I was eating at my favorite French bistro. I added a dash, only a dash of cayenne Not for spice, but depth.

      • — Monica on February 22, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was absolutely DELICIOUS! I’ve never had the soup before but always wanted to try it. I only added some sherry before serving and that just put it over the top. The soup served with crusty bread and salad makes a great meal; even my 9yo ate it. This is a keeper!

    • — NorseArcher on February 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe and the outcome was delicious. I did forget to remove the bay leaf before using the immersion blender – oops. I used whey for the liquid with vegetable bullion for flavor. It’s a nice and easy soup and reminds me I should buy leeks more often.

    • — Lynn on February 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent and easy! I made enough for two days. It pairs beautifully with a small arugula salad and toasted sourdough bread.

    • — Jeffery Gainer on February 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • Lovely. But please, please show weights and volumes in metric measurements as well. Ta.

    • — Simon Clark, London. on February 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! The great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • TERRIFIC!!! Comfort food at its finest, simple ingredients that yield both hearty and delicate flavors. Will definitely put this one in the regular rotation!

    • — M on February 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious! I made the soup and then chilled overnight and did the blending, spice tweaking, and cream adding the next day. I’m serving with blackberry and spring greens salad for Imbolc!

    • — Rebecca on February 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this soup a few times now and it is always beautiful. Everyone I have given it too loves it and wants the recipe. I make it exactly as the recipe, no modifications.

    • — Mike Smith on January 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • Soooooo yummy. A new family favorite!

    • — Annie Callister on January 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • Yum! I made two small tweaks, otherwise made it exactly as written, plus more salt, maybe an additional 1 1/2 tsp, than the recipe called for. I grated a bit of nutmeg – maybe 1/8 tsp – into soup. And, what I love to add to cream soups, about a tablespoon of dry sherry. I let that cook out for a few minutes. My garnish was fried onions. I love soup, now going to try your french onion recipe.

    • — Nancy P on January 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. Adding this to my go to’s.

    • — Susan Winters on January 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve been making this recipe for a while now. At first I didn’t have an immersion blender so i just had it with chunks of potatoes and pieces of leeks. It was delicious just as it was. I did eventually get an immersion blender and it’s even better. It’s very easy to make and not time consuming at all. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I just made a batch today since we are having a cold snap here in Florida.

    • — Keith on January 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • Cette soupe avait beaucoup de goût et je vais certainement la refaire. J’ai fait plusieurs autres recettes et elles sont toujour sbonnes.
    Merci.

    • — Réginald on January 29, 2022
    • Reply
  • Cold font coming through so this is warranted! Felt like I could dabble with some good quality andouille sausage to add, so I did. Keep it separate from the soup, cut into pieces and just add a couple of pieces but did give it a nice taste. This was good, will make again. Plus, I felt pretty cool using my immersion!

    • — Melissa Showalter on January 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Spectacular! I had leftover ham stock so used a quart of that, along with the chicken stock. It added a little more depth. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. Thank you!!

    • — Chris Olson on January 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • I make the recipe almost exactly as it is and love it. The only thing I usually omit, because I don’t have it on hand, is the thyme. I also leave some potatoes unblended to give it more texture. I’ve made this recipe dairy-free and it comes out delicious too. This is a staple during the cold seasons.

    • — Alesha on January 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • I love the lion head soup bowls. Where can I find please!

    • — Oliviaksmith on January 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • This soup had great flavor and I will definitely be making it again. Both my kids loved it too.

    • — Scott on January 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • 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
    • followed the recipe to a T and it. is. incredible. i borrowed an immersion blender from a friend and it was worth the trouble. absolutely fantastic texture and flavor. i will definitely be making it again!

      • — liz on January 28, 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
    • Well….the garlic is only good in this soup if it’s a delicate hint. You shouldn’t identify it when eating the soup. It might be you browned the garlic which alters all flavors, all recipes. Not good, very harsh. Try it again, slice the garlic instead of chopping it. Use a bit of olive oil with the butter when sauteing the leeks. Wait until the leeks are going a bit before adding the garlic.

      I added celery and fresh fennel to that saute. I’m not sure that’s advisable. Not yet, I’ve only tasted it. And that red cayenne and nutmeg suggestion at the end prove to be a good additive, in my taste test, pre serving this soup. Use judiciously, taste every step of the way. Add more or back off.

      • — Karen on February 25, 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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