Potato Leek Soup

Potatoes, Leeks and Onion

I turned on the news this morning and found out that Spring is about to officially begin! But rather than jump into the spring recipes, I’m going to help you savor these last couple days of winter by providing the the ultimate comforting soup recipe: a thick and hearty potato leek soup.

Over the years, I have made and shared this particular recipe more than any other. So, of course, friends and family have been asking why I’ve never posted it on Pinch My Salt. That’s a very good question. The answer is simple: this is my mom’s soup.

What does that mean? Well, it’s just hard to write about a recipe that is so intertwined with memories of the person who meant the most to me and who isn’t here to make it anymore. I can make the soup, eat the soup, share the soup, but just haven’t quite been able to write about it without the waterworks starting up.

But hearty soup season is almost over so I got out the box of tissue, pulled out the 15-year-old recipe card, and I’m here to share the easy but wonderful potato leek soup recipe that has the power to transport me back to my childhood with just one bite.

Potato Leek Soup Crop

K’s Potato Leek Soup

3 tablespoons butter
3 leeks, thinly sliced*
1 medium or large onion, chopped
6 – 8 russet potatoes, thinly sliced**
3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or enough to barely cover potatoes)
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

1) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat then add onions and leeks. Cook, stirring, until onions are limp and just slightly brown.

2) Add sliced potatoes to saucepan then pour in enough chicken broth to just barely cover the potatoes. Continue cooking over medium heat until potatoes are tender. Using a potato masher, mash and stir potatoes until desired consistency is reached. As you mash the potatoes and the soup thickens, turn down heat and stir frequently with a large spoon to prevent scorching on the bottom.

3) Add one cup of heavy cream (or more if you desire) and salt and black pepper to taste. Cook 15 minutes more over low heat, stirring frequently, then remove from heat and serve.

Notes: *Make sure to clean leeks thoroughly and slice only the white and light green part of the leeks. **You don’t need to peel the potatoes as the peels add to the rustic texture of the soup. But make sure to scrub them thoroughly and remove any obvious blemishes before slicing. Although we always make it with chicken broth, this can easily become a vegetarian soup by simply using vegetable broth instead.

And here’s a quick photo tutorial to show you how easy it is to make!

Potatoes in Food Processor

First of all, I’ll let you in on a little secret. For years I always sliced my potatoes by hand until I realized that my new food processor has a large enough feed tube to fit one or two whole potatoes at a time! Now I always slice my potatoes in my Cuisinart food processor using the slicing blade. If you have one that will work, great! If not, just slice them by hand using a sharp knife to about 1/4 inch thick. It really doesn’t take as long as you think!

Browning onions and leeks

Start the soup by sauteeing the leeks and onions in butter until they are limp and just starting to brown.

Add the sliced potatoes

Next, add all of the potatoes that you worked so hard to slice (unless you’re a cheater like me).

Adding Chicken Broth

After adding potatoes, pour in enough chicken broth to just barely cover them. The amount you use depends on the size and amount of potatoes you sliced. Two 14 oz. cans of broth is average but use more if you need it.

Cover Potatoes with Chicken Broth

As you can see the level of liquid is just even with the potatoes. If I push down on the potatoes with the masher, they will be completely submerged. This amount of liquid results in a very thick soup. The soup can always be thinned at the end with some extra broth if desired.

Mashing Potatoes

It doesn’t take long for the potatoes to cook and you can probably start mashing within 10 minutes or so. The amount of mashing you do is entirely up to you. If you like chunkier soups, leave the potatoes a bit chunky. If you want a smooth soup, mash for a longer time. If you prefer a completely smooth soup, peel the potatoes before slicing and puree soup with a hand blender. I’ve never done this but I’m sure it would work.

Adding Heavy Cream

When the soup has reached your desired consistency, add some heavy cream. The original recipe says 1 – 2 cup of cream but I never use more than one cup. I think you lose a lot of flavor by adding more cream. But, again, it’s up to you. Make sure to season well with salt and pepper after stirring in the cream.

Soup is Ready

This is what my soup looks like when it’s ready to eat. As you can see, I like a slightly chunky consistency but no large pieces of potato.

Potato Leek Soup


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  1. Spicy Korean Chicken Stew (Dak Bokkumtang) | Easiest Way To Learn Korean

    […] Potato Leek Soup from Pinch My Salt. […]

    1:20 pm  Mar 19th, 2012
  2. Mrs May

    I made this recipe last night and it was DELICIOUS!!!! Wow. I had fresh leeks and potatoes from T&D Willey Farms and didn’t know what to do with them. I’m so glad I found this recipe, and what makes me MORE excited is that you’re in Fresno too!!! What a small world, thank you for this fun blog! I am also a returner to the area, I was raised here, then lived in northern and southern Ca, and now am back. Blessings!

    12:14 pm  Apr 7th, 2012
  3. Venus

    Also several years after you posted this recipe, I found it and delighted in the meal. My mom just recently had minor oral surgery and I was looking for something liquidy and easy to eat that wouldn’t be bland (she hates bland!) but that would be filling. I was astonished by how much my family enjoyed this recipe – me too. We each literally had three bowls of it, and whatever we have left over is being finished today for lunch.

    We paired this with lightly toasted kaiser rolls, a summer salad and Indian samosas.

    I shared your story about sharing your mom’s recipe, and my parents requested that I write to thank you. These three strangers were touched by your blog – and enjoying your mom’s food! -last night.


    11:58 am  Apr 8th, 2012
  4. Nancy K

    Love it!

    9:37 am  Apr 19th, 2012
  5. Lily M

    I love this potato and leek soup it tastes great. It is the best soup I have ever had! :

    11:48 pm  May 26th, 2012
  6. Ashlea M

    I just wanted to say how amazing this recipe is. I have been trying different potato leek soup recipes for years and have always found something I didn’t like about them. Either they were too complicated, used unsalted butter (which I don’t believe in) and always pureed. I wanted a potato leek soup that was chunky, flavorful and easy; this recipe gave me exactly that. I used two cups of cream instead of one and it tastes heavenly. I took the time to review over all your other recipes and you can be sure I will be trying as many of them as I can. Thank you for posting such delicious recipes!

    3:02 pm  Aug 27th, 2012
  7. Lori

    I look forward to having this soup this weekend (on Sunday). I love that the directions are pretty much on top, so I can get right to it as opposed to having to scroll down a mile on the page and find it. I also LOVE that I do not have to put this in the processor after it’s done cooking.

    4:22 pm  Sep 7th, 2012
  8. Cindy

    Bountiful baskets had a 2 large leeks in our basket this week. I had never cooked with leeks, so I ended up here at your recipe. Youtube had a nice video to show me how to clean and chop the leeks too. I added ham and used half and half but WOW, we really liked your soup. Thank you for a definite keeper of a recipe. 🙂

    8:11 pm  Sep 8th, 2012
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    […] K’s Potato Leek Soup […]

    6:48 am  Sep 25th, 2012
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    […] favorite potato soup recipe: A Hearty Potato Leek Soup Recipe for the Last Days of Winter – Pinch My Salt Similar […]

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  11. Maggie

    This was the first soup I ever tried to make…it was a HUGE success!! Thanks!

    9:15 am  Sep 30th, 2012
  12. Katrina

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! My grandpa use to make the best potato soup, unfortunately he never wrote down his recipes and now that he has passed I really miss his soup. Hopefully this is close to his!

    4:46 pm  Oct 23rd, 2012
  13. Karen

    So easy…. really simple recipe…. VERY yummy….. PERFECT soup for a fall evening with crusty bread and salad! LOVE IT!! Thank you!

    1:29 pm  Oct 27th, 2012
  14. Vicki

    Made this soup for lunch today with leeks and potatoes from our last CSA box of the season. I used half & half instead of cream and it was delicious! Thank you for the easy recipe, I will definitely use it again and again!

    11:54 am  Nov 3rd, 2012
  15. SwashB

    Needs bacon – render it down, pour off all but a couple of teaspoons fat, follow the recipe – mmmmmm – everything goes better with bacon (and beer).

    10:15 am  Nov 13th, 2012
  16. Soups For The Soul | The Big Organic Box

    […] Stew Crush                                                         3. Pinch My Salt: Potato & Leek Soup                                                   […]

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    2:46 pm  Mar 4th, 2013
  19. Anonymous

    Your photo in use elsewhere.


    7:10 am  Mar 7th, 2013
  20. Laury Miller

    I have made this soup twice now and each time I love it more. Very easy, very satisfying and very delicious.
    I added about 1/3 c of cream at the end, and that was sufficient for me. I also used an immersion blender to smooth it and it was just right with an occasional chunk of potato for interest.
    Nice recipe glad I stumbled on it.

    11:56 am  Mar 7th, 2013
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    […] Potato Leek Soup […]

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    […] Source: http://pinchmysalt.com/a-hearty-potato-leek-soup-recipe-for-the-last-days-of-winter/ […]

    7:13 am  Jun 4th, 2013
  23. Mary-lin Crawford

    I couldn’t find a leek & potato soup recipe in any of my books & a friend suggested internet. thanks to google, I found your recipe & it’s delicious.

    7:20 pm  Jul 3rd, 2013
  24. To market, To market | The Simple Adventure

    […] “squirrels” are beginning to appear, I am thinking of cold weather foods and the lovely potato & leek soup I’ve added to our regular dinner rotation (Thanks, Pinch My Salt).  That means a trip to […]

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    […] First up: Potato and Leek Soup, from Pinch My Salt Blog […]

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  27. Gayle

    I am very creative in the kitchen, have a food blog, and make great soup but never tried potato leek. I saw some beautiful looking leeks in the supermarket and couldn’t resist buying. I started looking for ideas and stumbled upon your recipe.

    It was perfect! Simple, homey-just what the doctor ordered on a rainy, cool fall day. I added a little more seasoning (we like a little spice and heat) and it was delicious!

    Thank you for sharing. It was probably a great step forward for you in the healing process too.

    6:04 pm  Oct 19th, 2013
  28. Marie

    Im gathering up a list of things i need and heading to the store now 🙂 I cant wait to try this. I had my first Potato and Leek soup about 7 years ago and i remember falling in love with it 🙂 haven’t had it since but since i love cooking i think its about time i added a similar soup to my recipes 😀 I’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂 i cant wait 😀

    5:54 am  Dec 3rd, 2013
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    […] A staple in our winter home – Potato Leek Soup from Pinch My Salt – http://pinchmysalt.com/a-hearty-potato-leek-soup-recipe-for-the-last-days-of-winter/ […]

    12:09 am  Nov 14th, 2014
  33. Kristina

    I came across this recipe a couple of years ago. My family LOVES this – even my husband who hates anything onion related. I just made it last night for the first this season, my kids were looking forward to it all week! Thanks for sharing!

    6:33 am  Nov 14th, 2014
  34. Carmen

    I love this soup. Every time I make it, I plan on taking some to my neighbors, so they can taste the great flavor, but instead just end up eating it all with my hubs. I did change it a little, I use 1 & 3/4 packages of cream cheese instead of whole cream and added sauteed mushrooms. I also use most of the dark green part of the leek. SOOOOOO good!!!!

    3:17 pm  Nov 21st, 2014
  35. My Recipes Soup | We Get Healthy

    […] Potato Leek Soup Recipe – Pinch My Salt – A thick and hearty potato leek soup recipe that is simple to prepare and loved by everyone…. […]

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    […] Potato Leek Soup Recipe – Pinch My Salt – Food, Recipes … – A thick and hearty potato leek soup recipe that is simple to prepare and loved by everyone…. […]

    4:14 pm  Dec 7th, 2014
  37. Rachel

    I will be trying the soup, it looks so good. Lots of good information here.

    12:43 am  Feb 25th, 2015
  38. Mrs. Hill

    This was lovely. I just made it to the recipe (1/2 cup cream) and really am very happy I found it! I think the slicing of the potatoes vs. chunks/chopped really made a difference. I will be enjoying this for many days to come. Thank you very much for sharing a personal favorite with us, that has now become a favorite of mine.

    9:16 pm  Mar 1st, 2015
  39. plasterers bristol

    Great recipe. Top marks. Thanks for posting this.


    10:50 pm  Aug 23rd, 2015
  40. Melanie

    I found this recipe on Pinterest last Fall and it has quickly become my favourite cold weather soup! It’s delicious! I’ve even done a few variations–no cream (forgot I didn’t have any when I started making it and didn’t have time to run to the store that time lol), sprinkled cheese on after, added in bacon. And I’m happy to say today is the perfect, chilly, potato leek soup kind of day 🙂

    11:45 am  Oct 14th, 2015
  41. Soup for you and a sandwich too - ErinNudi.com

    […] potato and leek soup is from PinchMySalt.com. The key to this recipe is to not peel the potatoes, because it actually gives the soup a little […]

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  42. Claire

    “Killer.” This from my husband, pickiest of all eaters. Thank you for a terrific recipe.

    2:28 am  Jan 5th, 2016
  43. Roxana

    Interesting recipe! Here is my way of making it!


    4:40 am  Apr 14th, 2016
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