Chunky Potato Leek Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Cook: 25 min.
Even though our potato leek soup is a lighter version of the French classic, the recipe packs tons of flavor.

Updated: Jul. 03, 2024

I grew up thinking of potato leek soup as a specialty to order in a French restaurant. Then I discovered how easy it was to make at home! This version keeps the potatoes chunky, which reduces the prep time to only 20 minutes.

Leek and potato soup is wonderful for a weeknight family meal, though it’s also perfectly appropriate for a dinner party.

Potato Leek Soup Ingredients

  • Leeks: Leeks are more delicate in flavor than onions. Combining leek with potato is common in French cuisine, as in Julia Child’s favorite vichyssoise.
  • Onion: Since leeks are mild in flavor, use an onion to bring a bit of bite.
  • Flour: In this recipe, the flour adds body to the soup. Cooking flour in fat for use as a thickening agent is called making a roux, and it’s an excellent technique.
  • Garlic powder: Another member of the allium family, garlic brings more flavor to the soup. Granulated garlic and garlic flakes are fine to use. You could even use fresh or roasted garlic.
  • Olive oil: Some healthy fat makes this potato leek soup recipe even better. Extra virgin olive oil is an excellent choice, but regular olive oil is fine too.
  • Chicken broth: If you have a stash of homemade chicken stock, use it! If not, choose a brand of chicken broth known for its rich flavor.
  • Bay leaves: Leaves from the bay laurel tree give a woody, herbaceous quality to everything they touch.
  • Hot sauce: A dash of hot sauce will enliven your potato and leek soup without adding heat. In this case, choose a simple hot sauce made from chiles and vinegar rather than a funky hot sauce with lots of ingredients.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Ask most people what’s actually in Worcestershire sauce, and they’ll probably respond with a shrug. The condiment includes fermented anchovies, molasses, onions and tamarind, and it packs a powerful punch.
  • Nutmeg: A bracing aromatic spice, nutmeg is wonderful in soups and pairs particularly well with potatoes. It’s closely related to another spice called mace, which can be used in its stead.
  • Potatoes: This recipe doesn’t specify which kind of potato to use, but Yukons or red potatoes would make a lovely soup.
  • Milk: The potato leek soup recipe calls for fat-free milk, but use any milk you have on hand. The same goes for the fat-free evaporated milk, which can be replaced with full-fat evaporated milk or cream.


Step 1: Saute the aromatics

In a lightly greased skillet, cook the leeks and onion for five minutes or until they’re tender and just beginning to brown. Set aside.

Step 2: Whisk together a roux

In a large saucepan, cook the flour and garlic powder in oil until lightly browned, about two minutes. Gradually whisk the broth into your roux.

Step 3: Season the broth

Stir in the bay leaves, salt, pepper, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, for one to two minutes or until thickened.

Step 4: Stir in the potatoes and leeks

Stir the potatoes and the leek mixture into the soup and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the milk and evaporated milk, and heat through.

Fish out the bay leaves and discard them before serving.

Recipe Variations

  • Add pork: Rounds of sausage, hunks of ham or pieces of bacon would be welcome additions to leek potato soup.
  • Freshen the seasonings: For a different vibe, replace the Worcestershire, hot pepper sauce and garlic powder with a bundle of minced fresh herbs, such as parsley, sage, thyme and oregano.
  • Stir in more vegetables: For a heartier version of leek potato soup, add chopped green cabbage and carrots to the pan when you add the potatoes.

How to Store Potato Leek Soup

Store leftover leek and potato soup in tightly closed containers in the fridge, and use it within four days.

Can you freeze potato leek soup?

Cream soups don’t freeze well because dairy products tend to separate or curdle when they thaw; however, you can freeze the base of this soup and add both milks upon reheating. For more details, visit our comprehensive guide to freezing soup.

How do you reheat potato leek soup?

If you’re reheating leftover potato and leek soup, warm it gently until it reaches a simmer but don’t let it boil. Creamy soups can break or curdle if the heat gets too high.

If you froze the leek potato soup base and want to heat it up, first let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, bring it to a simmer, add the milk and evaporated milk, and remove it from the heat.

Potato Leek Soup Tips

How can you puree this potato leek soup?

If you want a creamy potato leek soup recipe rather than a chunky one, when the soup is finished cooking, remove it from the heat briefly so that it’s no longer simmering. Pour a portion of the soup into a blender (a safe rule of thumb is never to fill a blender more than half-full with hot liquid). Blend that soup portion until smooth and creamy, pour it into a medium saucepan, then puree the remaining soup.

If you’d like to serve the soup very hot, reheat it gently until it reaches a simmer and then serve it immediately.

What can you serve with potato leek soup?

Leek and potato soup is a great match for other French fare, such as a Gruyere spinach quiche, coq au vin or braised short ribs. It also goes well with hearty vegetable sides, such as a bacon and broccoli salad.

Chunky Potato Leek Soup

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 25 min
Yield 8 servings


  • 2 medium leeks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • 5 cups diced potatoes
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk


  1. In a lightly greased skillet, cook leeks and onion for 5 minutes or until tender and just beginning to brown; set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, cook flour and garlic powder in oil until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in broth. Stir in the bay leaves, salt, pepper, pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce and nutmeg. Bring to a boil; cook for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Stir in potatoes and leek mixture; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in milk and evaporated milk; heat through. Discard bay leaves.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 193 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 593mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 3g fiber), 9g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fat.

My family and I crave a steaming bowl of potato leek soup on a cold winter evening, but we don't want the butter and fat content of regular soup recipes. So I created this lighter version. I have shared it with many folks, and everyone who has tried it loves it for the robust, satisfying flavor. —Christine Frye, Odessa, Missouri
Recipe Creator