Potato Leek Soup

Posted on Jan 18, 2017

Classic potato leek soup ~ simple and delicious with potatoes, leeks and chicken stock, inspired by Julia Child.

Potato Leek Soup, overhead in serving bowl with linen towel and spoon.

Potato Leek Soup

A few weeks ago, out to lunch with Meathead, I had a cup of potato leek soup that was so good in it’s simplicity.  I’ve never really thought about making it at home, but I’ve been craving it ever since.  So, out came my Julia Child’s cookbook for inspiration and to see how to make Potage Parmentier, and along with a little research, I made the most delicious Potato Leek Soup at home. It’s now part of my winter soup rotation, along with Sweet-and-Sour Beef Cabbage Soup and Turkey Noodle Soup.

Potato Leek Soup, in pot with chives on top, with large spoon on linen towel

It’s potatoes and leeks, guys.  That’s pretty much it.  Some recipes say simmer in water, some say chicken stock.  Some add cream, some do not.  I chose to make mine with homemade chicken stock.  I almost always have some in my freezer and I really, really like it in soups ~ it just adds depth of flavor.  That said, many soups can be made with just water for the liquid, I get that and have done that.  But for this soup, the chicken stock adds needed something-something to the otherwise rather bland potatoes, producing a nice flavor profile with the leeks.

Potato Leek Soup, ingredients and food mill on board

As far as cream, a little goes a long way in this soup.  I whisked in a few tablespoons to finish it off.  I really don’t think you need a lot of cream, but certainly some to gild the lily.  I’ve also read about adding some buttermilk to the finished soup for added brightness and tang, I may try next time and see if I like that.  But for now, just a little cream will suffice.

Potato Leek Soup, in bowl with spoon and snipped chives

The key to this soup’s light texture is the use of a food mill, instead of a blender or food processor.  Running the potatoes through a food mill or ricer will keep the soup from having a gluey consistency that often happens when starchy vegetables are puréed in a processor, blender or in a mixer.  I love my food mill for cooked vegetables and making purées, and don’t forget to scrape the bottom of the disk when you’re done!

Serve this soup with a sprinkling of snipped chives on top and, for me, a little hot sauce, too.  This Potato Leek Soup is so good on a cold winter day ~ and so easy.  Try it, you’ll like it.  Promise.  Best ~ Kelly

Potato Leek Soup, in bowl with snipped chives and spoonful held above

Potato Leek Soup

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Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

Classic Potato Leek Soup.  Simple and delicious with potatoes, leeks and chicken stock.  Run cooked potatoes through a food mill for the best, most ideal texture.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 183kcal
Author: Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird


  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 large leeks, white and pale green parts, thoroughly rinsed, roughly chopped
  • 1 quart (4 cups) homemade chicken stock or use low-sodium, good tasting, store-bought
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled, cut into quarters ~ about 3/4 - 1 pound
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 4 tbsp heavy cream
  • Snipped chives, for serving
  • Optional: hot sauce, for serving


  • Melt butter in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add leeks and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock, potatoes and bay leaf to pot.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, cover, turn down heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about another 15 minutes.
  • Remove potatoes to bowl and set aside.  Discard bay leaf and transfer soup mixture to blender (or food processor, in batches) and carefully blend until mixture is completely smooth.  Return soup mixture to clean soup pot.
  • Run potatoes through food mill directly into the pot of soup (or into a bowl and then transfer to soup pot) and combine well.  Over medium heat, whisk in heavy cream and bring soup to a simmer, whisking frequently.  Taste for salt and pepper and serve, sprinkled with snipped chives and hot sauce.


This soup is really more of a vegetable purée, and is on the thicker side.  If it's too thick for your liking, add a little more chicken stock to thin the consistency a little bit.
Keyword: best potato leek soup, French potato leek soup Julia Child, potato leek soup with food mill
Did you make this recipe? Rate it below and share on Instagram so I can see!Mention @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird !

*Inspired by and adapted from Julia Child and Serious Eats


8 thoughts

  1. Avatar

    We had some leeks kicking around the house, and I’d bought potatoes for another recipe. On an evening when I didn’t have much in the way of time, made this soup. What a winner! So delicate, but filling. I made a few adjustments. I don’t have a food mill, so I mashed the potatoes using my husband’s mother’s potato masher (might have been her mother’s too). I know that gluey texture you can get with food processors. Put the mashed potatoes back in the hot broth and served it up. A perfect winter soup.


    1. Kelly

      It’s delicious in it’s simplicity, I just love the flavor ~ just potatoes and leeks, really. I think the potato masher was a good call. I got my food mill years ago at a hardware store for very little money, I use it quite a bit, especially for vegetable purees. Yes, a good soup for the winter months.


  2. Avatar

    Hi Kelly, I found your recipe on Pinterest. My husband and I loved it. We will definitely be cooking this again and I agree about the cream you don’t need much at all. Absolutely delicious.


    1. Kelly

      A little goes a long way ~ so happy to hear you liked this soup 😊


  3. Avatar

    Easy and delicious soup. I made it as it was posted with the addition of 1/4 tsp of Nutmeg which I added at the end. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe.


  4. Avatar

    A great soup for a cold evening when the temp is in the low -10 l like to try new recipes


  5. Avatar

    Changed it up a bit. Used vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. Followed the recipe except did not take out the potatoes (I am lazy!) I mashed them in the stock. The soup was a little chunky of course and tasted divine! Will definitely make it again! (chunks and all!)


  6. Avatar


    June 26, 2019

    Made this yesterday, loved it, so yummy.