Last weekend, we harvested a boatload of big beautiful leeks and pretty potatoes from the garden. Making potato leek soup was a no-brainer! This potato leek soup recipe is one of our all-time favorites. It is creamy, hearty, absolutely delicious, and happens to be vegan too. The soup is also freezer-friendly – meaning it is the perfect way to preserve some of our homegrown harvest, while simultaneously stocking the freezer with nourishing pre-made meals for seasons to come. I hope you love our creamy potato leek soup recipe just as much as we do!
- 3 large Leeks – the bulb portion only (white and light green part)
- 2 to 2.5 pounds yellow or white potatoes (about 5-7 medium large potatoes). If possible, snag some Yukon Gold, German Butterball, or other extra-flavorful creamy potatoes. We even threw in some of our petite fingerling spuds from the garden. In a pinch, basic white Russet potatoes will do the trick too!
- 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 to 4 stalks)
- 1 medium yellow sweet onion, diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth (1 quart container, low sodium). Learn how to easily make homemade veggie broth here! Or, use concentrated “better than bouillon” paste mixed with water to achieve the same volume.
- 1 cup water
- 1 can (12-14 ounces) of unsweetened coconut cream, coconut milk, or heavy cream. I highly recommend using full-fat coconut cream (not coconut milk you’d add to coffee). You will not taste the coconut, I promise!
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 Tbsp olive oil and/or butter
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, or 1.5 to 2 tsp dry thyme
- 2 Tbsp fresh sage
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
- black paper, to taste
- Optional: 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Optional: fresh chives or chopped parsley as topping
Makes: approximately 3 quarts of soup. We doubled the recipe to get nearly 6 quarts of soup, so keep that in mind when you’re looking at the photos!
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Step 1: Wash & Prepare the Leeks
In this potato leek soup recipe, we used the white and light green part of the leek only (the bulb). But that doesn’t mean the leafy green parts went to waste! We dried those into homemade leek powder – an awesomely sweet and herbaceous onion-like powder. You can use some of the darker green portions in your soup if you wish, but keep in mind it may throw off the ratios for the rest of the recipe.
To prepare the leeks, cut off the dark green tops along with the firm butt end and any remaining roots. Feel free to peel away and discard any extra loose or battered outer leaves. Then, slice the leeks into thin rounds.
Since they’re grown partially underground, leeks are notoriously dirty or sandy. Dirt especially likes to hide in the leaf creases at the top of the bulb where it transitions to leaves. Give that area extra attention as you wash and break down the leeks.
To clean especially dirty leeks, try this trick: fill a large mixing bowl with cool water, and toss the cut leek bits into the bowl as you go. Swish them around; the sand and dirt will settle to the bottom of the bowl. Then, scoop out the leeks with your hands (leaving the dirty water in the bottom undisturbed) and transfer them into a colander for a final rinse. We don’t usually find the need to do this with homegrown leeks however.
Step 2: Sauté Leeks, Onion, Garlic & Celery
Heat a large stock pot on the stovetop with 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or butter). Then add the sliced leeks and called-for diced onion, celery, and crushed cloves of garlic. Keep in mind everything will be blended later, so the size and shape of your cuts doesn’t matter too much! Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally – until the onions and leeks soften and become semi-translucent.
In the meantime, prep your potatoes. Wash them, but we don’t bother peeling them. Potato skins contain a ton of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients! Remove any dings, scabs, or other especially tough areas. Otherwise, simply chop the potatoes into approximately 1 to 2 inch pieces.
Step 3: Combine Remaining Ingredients
Once the leeks, onions, and garlic have softened, toss in the potatoes, fresh chopped herbs, whole bay leaves, salt and a black pepper. Stir to combine. Let these new friends co-mingle and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next, pour in the vegetable broth, water and coconut cream (or heavy dairy cream). Do not use regular dairy milk, as it is prone to curdling. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the potatoes are soft and falling apart, about 20 minutes to 30 minutes (varies per size of soup batch and potato pieces). Add the optional nutritional yeast at this time.
Step 4: Blend
The final step is to turn this chunky, wonderful-smelling concoction you’ve created into a smooth creamy potato leek soup. But wait! Don’t forget to fish out and remove the bay leaves first. Then you’re ready to blend.
A hand-held immersion blender makes this task incredibly easy! Simply blend it up, right in the pot. If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully transfer the hot soup into a blender (in batches as needed). Blend the soup until you reach your desired consistency. Some folks like to leave their potato leek soup slightly on the chunky side; some like it as smooth as… well, maybe I shouldn’t talk about babies bottoms in a food blog. Crap. I just did. (and, crap.) Moving right along…
After blending, allow the soup to cook a bit longer – about 10 to 15 minutes. The flavors will meld and develop significantly now that everything is combined. Give it a taste-test, and add a dash more salt and/or pepper if desired. The longer it simmers, the thicker it will become.
Step 5: Serve or Preserve
Finally, it is time to dig in! Serve your potato leek soup nice and warm, preferably alongside a slice of crusty homemade sourdough bread or fluffy focaccia. It is awesome with a pinch of fresh chives or parsley on top too. Homemade potato leek soup is good for up to a week stored in the refrigerator in an enclosed container, or a year in the freezer!
We intentionally make enough to enjoy now and freeze plenty as well. On those busy, short days of winter, few things beat pulling out a hearty and delicious container of soup for a quick and easy meal. These BPA-free quart containers are perfect for two servings. (Allow the soup to cool before transferring it into containers and then the freezer. We do so overnight in the fridge first). Defrost frozen soup in the fridge, and then re-heat on the stove.
We love to enjoy this potato leek soup recipe as-is, but also change it up sometimes too! For instance, you can add cooked black beans or white beans to increase the protein content of potato leek soup. More often than not, we incorporate other veggies too! For example, before we reheat a quart from the freezer, we usually start by sautéing some fresh garden vegetables in the bottom of a pot first. Chopped kale, bok choy, mustard greens, green beans, or bell pepper are especially tasty – use whatever is in season! Then we add the leftover potato leek soup to reheat and finish it off.
It is so thick and flavorful, it can easily be spread out to make even more meals by thinning it out with some water and extra seasonings or veggie broth – though we store it nice and thick to take up less space in the freezer.
Is potato leek soup good for you?
It absolutely is! Even more so by leaving those potato skins on. Potatoes are naturally free of fat and cholesterol, and are an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium. They even have a bit of protein and fiber too! Leeks are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory plant compounds, as well as vitamin A, C, and K plus iron and manganese. Not to mention all the additional vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients we get from the other ingredients in this potato leek soup.
Thanks so much for following along and trying our creamy potato leek soup recipe! Please stop back by for a review to let us know how you liked it. Also feel free to ask questions or just say hi in the comments below, and spread the love by sharing this post. Enjoy!
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Creamy Potato Leek Soup (Vegan)
- Stock pot (soup pot)
- Immersion blender (or blender)
- If freezing extras, freezer-safe storage containers
- 3 large leeks (white and light green bulb portion only)
- 2-2.5 pounds yellow or white potatoes
- 1 cup celery, chopped (about 3-4 stalks)
- 1/2 medium sweet yellow or white onion, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium, 1 quart container)
- 1 cup water
- 1 can coconut cream or coconut milk (approximately 12-14 ounces, sub heavy cream if desired)
- 3 gloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 Tbsp olive oil or butter
- 2 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme (1.2 to 2 tsp dry)
- 2 leaves bay
- 1 tsp sea salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- fresh chives or parsley chopped at serving time (optional)
- Wash leeks well to remove any hidden dirt. Thinly slice leeks, light green and white bulb portion only. (Save the green tops to dehydrate into powder! or, compost)
- Add olive oil to large stock pot, and then add leeks along with chopped onion, garlic and celery.
- Saute for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions and leeks soften and become semi-translucent.
- Wash and cut potatoes into approximately 1 to 2 inch pieces. We don't bother peeling them, but suggest removing any scabs, blemishes, or especially tough skin portions.
- Add the potatoes, fresh herbs, salt and pepper into the pot with the cooked leeks, garlic, onion and celery. Stir and let cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Next, pour in the vegetable broth, water and coconut cream (or heavy dairy cream). Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the potatoes are soft and falling apart, about 20 to 30 minutes. (Add optional nutritional yeast now too)
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until your desired consistency is reached. Or, carefully transfer the soup into a blender and blend in batches as needed.
- After blending, you could add a handful of chopped greens such as kale or bok choy and allow to continue to cook/soften, or add cooked beans. (We often add greens or other veggies but later, at the time of re-heating saved soup from the freezer.)
- Serve your potato leek soup nice and warm, preferably alongside a slice of crusty homemade sourdough bread or fluffy focaccia. Top with optional chopped fresh chives or parsley.
- Potato leek soup is good for up to a week stored in the refrigerator in an enclosed container, or a year in the freezer. We freeze in BPA-free quart containers. Allow it to cool before freezing. Defrost in the fridge and reheat on the stove.