My thick and creamy Potato Leek Soup is one of the most delicious soups, yet incredibly easy to make using a handful of ingredients. The flavor simply comes from the leeks and potatoes. Preparation is key to flavor.
No heavy cream is used to make this soup. Neither is chicken stock. For me, the flavor of the leeks and potatoes are lost by the overpowering taste of chicken stock. I simply use water. Here me out. I know some may be disagreeing with me and feel stock should be used. If you prepare this soup correctly, you will have the flavor and texture solely from the leeks and potatoes.
You’ll also be surprised that the only seasonings required for this soup are salt and pepper. Ok, fresh garlic is also used. When I tell you this is a Potato Leek Soup, I’m not kidding. Save the chicken stock for chicken soup.
It’s important that you use thick firm leeks – both the white and light green parts – to get the best flavor. Don’t throw away those dark green parts of the leeks! Those are perfect for stock. Wash them, discard any wilted or discolored leaves, then place in a zip top freezer bag and freeze for later use.
The leeks need to be rinsed thoroughly and sliced thin. When slicing, first slice lengthwise one or two times to get smaller pieces when slicing across. Since this soup isn’t pureed, the leeks need to be nice and small. I used to do this by hand then realized I have a food processor (affiliate link) for a reason. After rinsing the leeks, chop in chunks and pulse in the processor until you have a nice dice. When prep is easy, it encourages you to cook.
Process the garlic cloves too. After adding the garlic to the leeks, I use some of the water used for the soup to rinse out the food processor bowl grabbing every bit of minced garlic, and add that to the soup.
Russet potatoes are used because they break down beautifully leaving little work to get that hearty texture. This is the time when overboiling your potatoes is desired. For all those other times, read how to fix overboiled potatoes – especially when making mashed potatoes.
Another important ingredient is butter. Cooking the leeks in butter for about 10 minutes brings out the sweet onion flavor. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. The house will smell amazing.
Next, water, potatoes, and salt are added. The salt is very important because salt brings all that wonderful flavor from the leeks and potatoes. I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt and you may cringe that I use 4 teaspoons. Remember, kosher salt isn’t as salty as fine salt. Of course, you can salt to your taste, but you do need to add some salt here.
After 20 minutes, the potatoes break down into smaller chunks. After 30 minutes, they will be soft enough to mash until it’s thick and chunky. Many potato leek soups are puréed, but I feel pureeing the soup results in a gluey texture which happens when potatoes are over blended. This soup is hearty and meant to be eaten with a spoon and not sipped from a cup.
When I serve this potato leek soup, people actually moan with a smile. What soup can do that? This recipe is a secret I’ve kept for far too long. I’ve finally shared my secret with you.
Enjoy, my friends…Be happy, eat well…
My thick and creamy Potato Leek Soup is one of the most delicious soups, yet incredibly easy to make using a handful of ingredients. Perfect as a first course, lunch, or dinner, this soup will be one of your favorites.
Prep time is shortened if using a food processor to dice leeks.
This makes 6 - 8 servings.
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 3 large leeks white and light green parts, rinsed and finely chopped*
- 4 medium cloves garlic minced*
- 4 cups water
- 4 russet potatoes (2 pounds), peeled, and chopped
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste (recommended: Diamond Crystal)
- ½ teaspoon pepper freshly ground is best
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- Additional pepper for serving
Heat butter in a large stockpot over medium heat until melted.
Add leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned - about 7 to 10 minutes.
Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 -2 minutes.
Add water, potatoes, and salt.
Simmer partially covered for 30 minutes.
Mash soup until desired consistency. I like it with some texture leaving small chunks of potato.
Stir in evaporated milk. Continue cooking until heated through. Taste and adjust salt, if needed.
Serve topped with additional freshly ground pepper.
*If using the food processor, pulse to finely chop leeks. Remove leeks and finely mince garlic.