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Potato Leek Soup

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A French classic, this creamy potato leek soup is quick, easy, and comforting.

Two white crocks 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 omelette 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 oven-fried 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 Reuben sandwich or wedge salad, or as a stand-alone lunch.

What You’ll Need To Make Potato Leek Soup

Soup ingredients including chicken broth, leeks, and bay leaves.

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.

Person washing leeks under running water.

Once the leeks are clean, roughly chop them — you should get about five cups of chopped leeks from four large leeks.

Sliced leeks on a cutting board.

To make the soup, melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot, then add the chopped leeks and garlic.

Sliced leeks in a Dutch oven.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and wilted.

Dutch oven of cooked leeks.

Next, add the potatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper.

Broth pouring into a Dutch oven with leeks and potatoes.

Bring to a boil.

Broth boiling in a Dutch oven.

Then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Blue Le Creuset Dutch oven with the lid on.

Fish out the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Spoon removing bay leaves from 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.)

Immersion blender in a pot of 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.

Heavy cream pouring into 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


  • 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


  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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  • I usually make Julia Child’s recipe for potato leek soup, but decided to make Jenn’s this time. All I can say is “wow”! I had to hold myself back from licking the pot. I used fingerling potatoes instead of Yukon gold and did not peel them as the skins are thin and I like the rustic look, but otherwise, followed the recipe exactly. This is a winner. Thank you, Jenn.

    • — Barbara B on November 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe a few times, it’s a huge hit with my husband and kids. I use homemade chicken stock and leave the peels on the potatoes. I also add a splash of white wine vinegar. My husband doesn’t believe it’s a meal without meat so I fry up some bacon bits or sausage bits for garnish along with chives/green onions.

    • — RJ on November 15, 2023
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  • Hi Jenn,
    I often need to add to the “serves amount” number, but although I’m pretty good at math, I wonder if I’m messing something up when I add 1/2 more or double up the recipe. Is it possible for you to give a small section with amounts when you need to add 1/2 more or double or triple the recipe?

    • — Helene on November 13, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Helene, I will add that to my list of potential features to add to the site. In the meantime, a reader shared a website that will scale your recipes. It’s called AnyList if you want to check it out. I took a peek at it, and it appears that there are a lot of free options but if you want to scale recipes, that’s an option you need to pay for. (Keep in mind that I haven’t tried it myself.)

      • — Jenn on November 14, 2023
      • Reply
      • Thanks.

        • — Helene on November 15, 2023
        • Reply
  • This is a fabulous soup. I’m not a fan of potato and leek, the texture etc …just wasn’t for me. However, this is a game changer, I didn’t add cream as had none and I dint really think it needs it.

    • — Sinead on November 12, 2023
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  • I love this soup so much, it’s become a weekly lunch or dinner recipe. We made it vegan using Belsoy cream alternative and it’s still 12/10!

    • — Laurie on November 8, 2023
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  • Best soup recipe ever! I froze the leftovers with the cream. It turned out perfectly the second time around. I was leery of doing that, but a few stirs in the pot and it was as good as new. I defrosted it in the fridge.

    • — Joy Bourgeois on November 8, 2023
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  • Delicious. I didn’t have fresh thyme, so had to use dried, but lovely. Serving tonight garnished with shredded cheese, bacon and scallions! Your Caesar salad dressing is my 100% go to – I use nothing else. You do a great job, when I see “Once Upon a Chef,” I know it will be a winner!!


    • — Kati H on November 1, 2023
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  • Used your recipe, very simple and turned out really nice. Used home grow Bay leaves but no Thyme… still tasted great, going to try some Cornish Clotted Cream to finish it off.. Thanks for posting.

    • — Peter on October 30, 2023
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    • A spoonful of clotted cream is ingenious Peter!

      • — Sheena on December 9, 2023
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  • This is a most delicious and comforting soup.! I have been wanting to make this for a very long time and as I have never really had leeks- I wasn’t sure about it. However it is the most yummy soup and we are enjoying it as we recover from bad colds. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes! We all appreciate you very much! Also, I liked the soup before I added the cream as I did after. Either way it is wonderful

    • — Cheryl on October 30, 2023
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  • My partner had asked me to make potato leek soup on this chilly fall day. I found your recipe and made it exactly as written. Absolutely wonderful Jenn! Thank you for sharing…

    • — Sheena on October 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, the soup is fabulous!!! Bought the immersion blender by Braun you recommended. Worked well.
    Could I add sautéed ham steak for substance?

    Thank you, Rose

    • — Rose Kidd on October 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked both the soup and the blender! Sure, feel free to add the diced ham steak. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2023
      • Reply
    • I love this soup as written, but todays modification is the addition of Dungeness crab, fresh corn, some crispy bacon and topped with fried shallots-super delightful!

      • — Christy on November 10, 2023
      • Reply
  • I can not follow a recipe to the letter despite my best efforts – the good news is that more often than not, is that I nail it. Today I NAILED it!

    I fried up bacon pieces, and reserved a tablespoon of the drippings to add to the butter for the leeks and garlic.

    I also chopped a few carrots and celery stalks and did not blend the soup and added the cooked bacon back in to the pot.

    This is probably my favorite soup!

    • — Cookie on October 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • So easy and delicious! My housemate said it is the best he has ever had. I will definitely be making this again.

    • — Rainbow on October 26, 2023
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  • 10-24-2023: This soup is awesome! Consistency was excellent! I used broth I had (32 oz low-sodium vegetable and 32 oz low-sodium chicken). I added 2 T of Better Than Boullion low-sodium Chicken. I used russet potatoes. I used 1/2 tsp of pepper, 1 shake of red pepper flakes. followed the recipe all the way with few tweaks above. I emulsified, leaving slight tiny chunks of potato. I never made leeks before. Got them picked fresh day before (24″long and 2″ diameter white end.) So damn good! My family loved it! Will make again for sure!

    • — Karen Morris on October 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. I added 3 chcicken stock cubes as didn’t have broth.

    • — Jane on October 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • I can’t even get over how good this is! Can’t wait to make it again!

    • — Janet on October 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this soup recently because I mistakenly bought two bundles of leeks and it was easy to make and delicious. The only thing I would do differently (if you want a thicker texture), only add 6 cups of broth instead of 7.

    • — Diane Pucila on October 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can you recommend an imersion blender?
    Your soups look amazing!!!!!
    Never worked with leeks before.

    Thank you,

    • — Rosemary Kidd on October 17, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Rose, I really like this one. Hope you enjoy the soup if you make it!

      • — Jenn on October 18, 2023
      • Reply
  • Made as directed, although I did leave peels on my potatoes. Turned out incredible! I enjoyed this a lot, especially with bacon added as a garnish. Will be making again!

    • — Allison on October 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’ve been making Potato Leek Soup for more than 50 years. This recipe is not only a keeper, it inspired me to go through my recipe collection and toss all the rest. Pure perfection doesn’t come along very often, but when it does, oh my! Also, your suggestion of fried leeks and bacon as soup toppings added mouthwatering levels of flavor. From here on out, the bacon will be cooked in the oven. Who knew…. Thank you!

    • — Kate from Eugene, Oregon on October 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • Tastes great! I have to restrict my sodium intake and am trying to eat fewer meat products, so I made this with salt-free vegetable stock and only added 1/4 tsp. salt. Also used only 2/3 cup of cream – it was perfect with that amount. Hubby really liked it (with additional salt).

    • — Barbara on October 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • What adjustments would you do to turn this into a casserole or gratin?

    • — Sara on October 13, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Sara, I think you need to make too many adjustments to the recipe. I have an au gratin potato recipe if you’d like to give it a try.

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2023
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. One question though – I use 2% milk instead of cream for health reasons. Would it be ok to freeze it with the milk already added?

    • — Judy L on October 12, 2023
    • Reply
    • It may be okay, but just to be safe, I’d probably add it when you thaw/reheat. And glad you like it!

      • — Jenn on October 13, 2023
      • Reply
    • If you do freeze it with dairy already in it, adding some additional milk/cream when reheating (gently), helps to reconstitute it well.

      • — Christy on November 10, 2023
      • Reply
    • Just great and easy. Yummy for the family. Simply delicious!!!

      • — Rachel Foster on November 19, 2023
      • Reply
  • Delicious and super easy to make.

    • — Darlene on October 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • My daughter is vegetarian and I am always looking for new recipes to try. I have never cooked with leeks before and was unsure as to the taste. This soup is delicious and so easy to make! My daughter loves it. Will definitely make this again!

    • — Deborah Layton on October 8, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made it, we loved it. And hooray for recipes that are super forgiving! My wife reminded me that I had said this soup is such a good base to add in literally anything else, like some leftover frozen mixed vegetables. We accidentally added them too soon, before blending. And the peas in the mixed vegetables tinged the soup green. Lesson learned! And the soup was still wonderful and filling. Thank you for the recipe!

    • — Randy C on October 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • Looks delish! Can I freeze any leftovers after the cream has been added. That’s if there are leftovers!!!

    • — Elaine on October 6, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Elaine, Cream soups can separate or become grainy when frozen and then thawed, but you can probably get away with it. When reheating, thaw in the fridge overnight and gently reheat on the stove, stirring continuously to prevent separation or curdling. Adding a touch of fresh cream while reheating can help improve the soup’s texture. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 7, 2023
      • Reply
      • I have made the Potato Leek soup several times & we Love.Love. Love it!! Have shared the recipe with friends & they love it also. Enjoy all your recipes; I have both of your cookbooks, too💕

        • — Barb on October 12, 2023
        • Reply
  • Oh my goodness! This is the BEST soup ever! I’m having oral surgery tomorrow to extract 4 teeth that were broken in a fall, so thought I’d make it tonight in order to have something filling that didn’t need chewing for the next couple of days, but… I made the mistake of ‘tasting’ it & raved so much about it that one after another of my family ‘tasted’ it too & well, it’s GONE! The only change I made was dried thyme for the fresh twigs & bay leaves because I forgot to buy them, but it still turned out amazing! Can’t wait to make this again SOON!! We all absolutely LOVED it!

    • — Kelly on October 4, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelly! I’m also going in for tooth extraction soon (December)
      and am making this recipe. I hope your procedures went / will go well!!

      • — Kim on November 15, 2023
      • Reply
  • I just made this soup it was delicious! All I can say Jenn is that I am a fan. Thank you for all the great recipes.

    • — Sharon on October 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • Easy and so tasty! Next time, I might set aside some potatoes to crisp up in an air fryer to add additional texture.

    • — Ross D on October 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • Was delicious! I use half and half cream as a substitute for heavy cream and make this recipe often. I find it very easy to make.

    • — Carol D on September 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Yes, I made this recipe. Very easy. It came out perfect. Love, love this soup. Will be making it often.

    • — Sharon Silfies on September 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • Its funny how important a recipe can become. My mother, who is no longer with us, absolutely loved this soup. I never made it without giving her half, and my grand daughter, who is now 9, but was much younger when I started making it, loves it too. I would make it, and then we would call my mother, and Annika would say, ” Nana, Im eating ‘you’ soup. My mother would pretend to be outraged, and we would all laugh. My mother suffered with a neuromuscular disease, and at times she had a lot of difficulty swallowing or the act of chewing wore her out. I made this soup so much when I moved back , and my sisters and I cared for her. She always said, ” I tell my friends, that my daughter makes the best potato leek soup, and I would say, “Mama, its not me, its our Once Upon A Chef lady. I couldnt bring myself to make it for a long time, and made it the other day for a girls day out, and then back to my house for your soup, and your lemon pound cake. My grand daughter and I both cried, and talked about how Nana loved that soup. It made us feel so close to her that day. Funny, how a simple thing like a bowl of soup can be so much a part of wonderful memories. Just wanted to thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

    • — Laura Migliore on September 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • What a sweet story — I totally agree that cooking (or a particular recipe) can take on a much deeper meaning. Thanks for sharing! ❤️

      • — Jenn on September 25, 2023
      • Reply
    • Food is the language of love and family. It brings people together and keeps us happy… have you ever seen an angry person who just ate something good and comforting? They’re as docile as a dog receiving belly rubs. Great recipe

      • — Eric Snider on October 2, 2023
      • Reply
  • Loved this easy, luscious soup! I made extra and delivered to friends…they loved it too, so I passed on your recipe👍
    Thank you!😋
    Linn M

    • — Linn Mihaylo on September 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • This soup was excellent.

    • — Kristina on September 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • Beautiful soup! And so simple to make. Love all your recipes…

    • — Maritza on September 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • Outstanding. This is the best soup I’ve ever made. Not exaggerating. It changed my life. I made a few adjustments. 1. 3/4 cup of heavy cream instead of a full cup 2. I used some of the darker leaves on the leeks and it was fine 2. I did not peel some of the potatoes and it was great 3. I used 3 bay leaves and 4 sprigs of thyme. In my opinion, this soup is amazing when paired with crusty multigrain bread. I used multigrain ciabatta for dipping. Also, I grated some pecorino cheese on top and sprinkled parsley instead of chives because I did not have them. Also, fresh thyme is a non-negotiable. It lends such a depth of flavour to this dish. I even sprinkled extra on top of each bowl. This is one I will return to over and over again.

    • — Jordan on September 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe with a couple alterations. I used olive oil and butter for sautéing. I used low sodium chicken broth for broth. It turned out well, I topped with a little shredded cheese, chives and bacon crumbles. Tasted like a liquid baked potato with everything, so yummy.

    • — Teresa on September 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • This soup was amazing. Well done on an absolutely perfect recipe.

    • — Robyn on September 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • Perfect, added a bit more chicken flavour but that was all.No leftovers

    • — Brenda Ramsay on September 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Loved it!

    • — Maureen on August 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • I tried the soup and instead of thyme I added in oregano and skipped the parsleys. It came out really well. Thank you .

    • — Tisha Mariat Thomas on August 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • First time I made Leek/Potato soup and it is unbelievable easy…..
    I purred it with milk as I had no cream and it was very good…..
    For sure I will make again…

    • — Georgina on August 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • Excellent recipe, I used filtered bacon grease rather than butter to saute the leeks, for a loaded baked potato flair. I also added tiny diced celery and carrots to increase veggies in recipe. It’s a family favorite…didn’t use bay leaves-allergic

    • — T Wease on August 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • I looked at a few recipes for potato leek soup and found yours to be the easiest to follow and make. It’s so good, and I like to add bacon to mine just for the little extra kick of flavour. It’s a big hit at home.

    • — Donna P. (Ontario, Canada) on July 31, 2023
    • Reply
  • I picked your recipe to make leek soup for the first time ever! It turned out to be fabulous!
    Thank you so much.
    Heather (from Canada 🤗)

    • — Heather on July 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is THE BEST EFFING recipe I’ve EVER used for potato leek soup. Thank you so much!!

    • — Melony on July 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • Lovely, thank you. Made it in a potjie rather than a Dutch Oven. Works very well.

    • — Hazel on July 3, 2023
    • Reply
  • Didn’t have cream on hand so used a blend of fat free 1/2&1/2 and buttermilk. Terrific substitution and a little less fat. Great recipe.

    • — Steve H on July 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • This soup was amazing!!! After getting the soup started on the stove, I had to leave for a baseball game. I poured all the ingredients into a crockpot and put it on high for about 2.5 hours. Then I used my immersion blender and then added the cream. Best soup ever! Thank you for this recipe. I’ll be making this many, many more times!

    • — Kimberly on June 28, 2023
    • Reply

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