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When you enjoy your first spoonful of this Potato Leek Soup, you'll wonder how it can taste so delectable and be so velvety rich when it's made in minutes with just a few simple ingredients (and has just 180 calories per bowl!). The quick sauté of leeks and onion in butter create the flavor foundation of this soup, waxy potatoes add body, and a splash of milk or cream to finish make it silky smooth.
One of our favorite pastimes when we visited Paris, was to wander the daily farmer's markets and gawk at the vegetables. We were staying in a small apartment in the 14th arrondissement that had a little kitchen where we cooked a meal or two every day. Simple things: baked eggs and toast, roast chicken, gratin dauphinois (sounds fancy, but is really easy), and soups.
Paris Farmers Market
Ambling along the rows of vegetables, the lanky, light green leeks and shiny, firm potatoes beckoned to us. And this potato leek soup required little else.
Onion and Leeks soften in sizzling butter, then welcome flavorful broth and cubes of waxy potatoes with delicate skin that requires no peeling. Together they simmer until the potatoes are tender. Then all are blended and finished with a dribble of milk or cream and a scatter of fresh chives.
A couple of times we didn't have broth on hand and made this potato leek soup recipe with a water base (you can also use vegetable broth). It was equally delicious to the broth based version. I've found this to be true with other soups as well, like Albondigas Soup and Caldo Verde. Though I love broth based soups, water doesn't compete with the other flavors and can allow them to shine.
How to Cut Leeks for Soup
When you cut leeks for soup, start by cutting each leek in half lengthwise. Carefully peel back the outer layers and run under cool water to rinse away the grit that likes to hide there. Then place the leek half, cut side down, on a cutting board and slice into thin half moons. When making soup with leeks, it's important to soften them in oil or butter before you add the broth or water so they take on their best, buttery soft consistency in the soup.
Serve this soup with fresh bread and a simple green salad, or Crab Salad if you're feeling fancy, for an entirely comforting meal.
How to Make Potato Leek Soup
Step 1: Melt butter in a medium pot; add onions. Cook and stir until softened, about 3 minutes. Add leeks; cook and stir 5 minutes more.
Step 2: Add potatoes and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Blend in batches using a traditional blender (cover with a towel instead of the lid when blending hot liquids) or with an immersion blender to your desired consistency.
Step 3: Return soup to pot; stir in milk or cream and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reheat if necessary. Serve topped with fresh chives.
Potato Leek Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 large leeks rinsed and cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes or other waxy potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 4 cups chicken broth or water or vegetable broth
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup milk or cream
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives for garnish
- Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until softened, about 3 minutes. Add leeks; cook and stir another 5 minutes. Add potatoes and broth. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Blend in batches using a traditional blender (see recipe note #1) or use an immersion blender to reach your desired consistency (from slightly chunky to silky smooth).
- Return soup to pot. Stir in milk or cream and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reheat if necessary.
- Serve topped with chopped chives.
- If you use a traditional blender (not an immersion blender), cover the top with a clean towel instead of the lid when blending anything hot - otherwise it will splatter out and could burn you and make a terrible mess.
- Half and Half is a nice compromise between milk and cream if you happen to always have it on hand like I do (coffee!).
Great recipe. We are on a low carb vegetarian diet. This was great. I used only 2 Tablespoons of half and half and still came out creamy and tasty.
Marissa Stevens says
I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Gaya!
Easy to cook n turned out delicious.
Thank you for sharing
So glad you enjoyed it, Pakkia!
Such a simple yet healthy soup recipe, Marissa!
I think it has got a perfect combination of carbs and proteins. Will definitely try it out soon.
Thanks so much, Harshad!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I just went to an event Marissa and they served potato leek soup and it was just delicious! I haven't made it at home in quite a while. I will need to give your recipe a try this soup season! It looks delish!
Thank you, Mary! I'm so excited for you to try it!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Love how creamy dreamy this is, but how low in calories it is (like, seriously, under 200 calories? Woo hoo!) And potato leek is such a yummy combo...and I just happen to have both on hand 😉 I think soup is in order right about now!
It's meant to be! I'm so excited for you to try it, Dawn! 🙂
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
Potato leek is my FAVORITE soup! Seriously, I can't get enough and I just realized it's been forever since the last time I made it. I'm trying this one as soon as I pick up some leeks!
Yay! I love to hear that, Kelsie. Hope you love it!!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
What a fabulous story about checking out the vegetable stands in Paris - it makes me want to go travel! I could go for a bowl of this silky smooth soup right about now!
Come on over, Katherine! 😉
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Potato leek soup is absolutely delicious and definitely one of my favorites! Yours is just perfection, Marissa! And you know I love that this is less than 200 calories a bowl, that means I can have at least 5 bowls at once! 😉 It's so cold here, wish I had this for dinner to warm me up! Pinned!
aww...thanks so much, Cheyanne!
Leanne | Crumb Top Baking says
I've never made a potato leek soup, but seeing how creamy it looks and how quickly it comes together, I definitely need to add it to my list!
Yay! I hope you love it, Leanne!
David @ Spiced says
You had me at just 180 calories a bowl, Marissa! I love potato leek soup, and this sounds delicious. Plus, it's the perfect way to balance out the heavier foods and desserts that show up around the holidays! I'm putting a batch of this soup on the list right now! 🙂
So true, David! We're the same way, trying to toss in some lighter meals this time of year. This one only tastes decadent. 😉
Yum, this looks tasty!
Thanks so much, Sabrina!
Mon Petit Four (@byMonPetitFour) says
Such a classic French soup, and I absolutely love it. Your soup looks gorgeous, love the garnish of chopped chives. You're creating lovely meals in your Paris apartment! <3
Thank you so much, Beeta. It's so nice having space to cook - I would be miserable if I couldn't, there is just too much good stuff at these farmer's markets!! And I've been so pleasantly surprised at how well the kitchen is equipped - even an immersion blender. 🙂
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
This is my husband's very favourite soup, Marissa. Love that it's so easy!
I love it! And me too...
Lorraine @Not Quite Nigella says
I'm a huge soup fiend and usually add lots of cream to potato and leek soup but next time I'm going to try your recipe to save some calories (more cake!).
Hooray for more cake! 🙂
Aww... my mom used to make potato and leek soup all the time when I was little! I love it - but I completely forgot about it! Thank you so much for this recipe so I can enjoy it again! 🙂
Don't you love recipes that remind you of childhood? Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Kathleen. xoxo
Mmm... comfort food 101 the French way. C'est magnifique!
Merci beaucoup! 🙂
This looks fabulous! Potato leek soup is such a classic and sounds delicious 🙂
Thank you, Medha!
Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says
You are so right, this soup is simple comfort food at its finest! The combination of flavors just works together so well. A lovely dish, my friend!
Thank you so much, sweet friend! xoxo
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Marissa! Simplicity at it's best! We grow leeks and I love their subtle flavor! I bought some at my local store recently and didn't realize until I got home that the girl rang them up as green onions! 🙂
Wow, I wonder if she knew the difference... We love leeks too - they're incredible in soup and I love them sautéed with greens like chard and kale, or even as a gratin on their own! I'd love to try them fresh from your garden, yum!
Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps says
I have a serious love for flavorful, pureed soups. There's just something about them, that's so comforting, yet refined about them.. Beautiful!
I agree! It's the perfect meal in autum...thank you, Nicole. xo