A fantastic soup that is flavorful, thick, and comes together quickly. Potatoes might sound bland in a soup, but with a handful of simple ingredients, it can be hearty, delicious, and comforting without much fuss. It keeps well and can be frozen.
This soup is in my top three favorites of all time, together with gazpacho and the easiest red lentil soup ever.
The smell and aroma in your kitchen will be absolutely amazing. You can thank me later.
No need for fancy techniques or gourmet skills here. Potato, leek and mushroom soup is a straightforward recipe where chopping, simmering, and blending come together effortlessly.
It has a mild oniony flavor from the leeks and smooth creaminess from the potatoes. The mushrooms add texture and some umami flavor.
Why make this recipe
- Comfort in a bowl: this classic dish offers warmth for chilly days, combining the hearty goodness of potatoes with the mild, sweet flavor of leeks. Add a piece of ham, and you got yourself a hearty family meal.
- Simplicity: it's a no-frills recipe, making it perfect for novice and seasoned cooks. You get a straightforward, no-fuss, satisfying meal that requires little effort.
- Make ahead: this is one of those recipes that is even better reheated the next day. You might need to add more stock as it can sometimes thicken too much. It can be frozen for those weeknights when you don't know what to make for dinner.
- Potatoes: choose starchy potatoes like russets for a creamier texture.
- Garlic clove.
- Chicken or vegetable stock: or a mixture of both.
- Thyme: fresh is recommended, but dried can be used. Both options are in the recipe card.
- Cream: we used heavy, but heavy whipping or whipping cream work just fine.
- Lemon juice: freshly squeezed
- Salt and black pepper.
- Olive oil.
- Mushrooms: the best are Portobello, Paris or Cremini. Or a mix.
- Fresh chives.
- Sour cream.
See the recipe card towards the end of this post for quantities. You can check the Ingredients page for more details and the brands we use.
Variations & substitutions
- Cheese: add shredded cheddar, Gruyère, or Parmesan cheese to the soup before serving. The melted cheese enhances the creaminess and brings a delightful depth of flavor.
- Bacon: crisp up bacon bits separately and sprinkle them on top as a garnish, or cook the leeks in the rendered bacon fat for an extra layer of smokiness.
- Lighter option: substitute part of the potatoes with cauliflower and use light cream or milk. This reduces the overall carb content while maintaining a creamy consistency.
- Root vegetable medley: expand the soup's texture and taste by including other earthy vegetables like carrots, parsnips, or celery root.
How to make potato leek soup
- Stock or broth: always have extra in case you want to thin the soup, especially if reheating it.
- Mushrooms: they are not friends with water, so use a damp kitchen towel to clean them, and do so just before using them.
- Leeks: if you've never cooked with this vegetable before, this how to clean leeks tutorial will help show you how to prepare them. You only want the tender white and light green parts of the stem.
The key to sautéed mushrooms is to add them to a hot skillet, spread them in a single layer, and leave them untouched until they begin to brown and the liquid evaporates almost completely.
Chopping the leeks makes them easier to process later. A bit of chunkiness from the potatoes is welcomed, but to bite into leeks is not something I'm fond of. But you might not care, so chop accordingly.
If you like thick soups, don't add all the broth at once and adjust after processing it and when you're about to eat it.
You can process the soup until completely smooth or have a little chunkiness and not blend everything completely.
What's the best potato variety for the soup?
Starchy potatoes, like russets, are ideal for potato leek soup. They break down more during cooking, contributing to a smoother texture. Yukon Gold potatoes also work well, offering a good balance of creaminess and structure.
How do I thicken potato soup?
Let the soup simmer uncovered for a bit longer to allow some of the liquid to evaporate and naturally thicken the mixture.
Can I make it in advance?
Absolutely! Potato leek soup often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When reheating, you might need to add a splash of broth or water to adjust the consistency.
Can I freeze potato leek soup?
Yes, you can. However, it's best to do so before adding the mushrooms. Let the soup cool completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, leaving some space for expansion, and seal it well. When reheating, you may need to adjust the consistency with some extra broth or water. Add the mushroom before serving.
Can I make this soup without a blender?
While a blender or immersion blender is convenient for achieving a smooth texture, you can still make it without one. Simply mash the cooked potatoes with a fork or potato masher for a chunkier consistency.
What are substitutes for leeks?
If leeks are unavailable, you can substitute them with scallions or green onions. While the flavor profile will be slightly different, it will still yield a tasty soup. Adjust the quantity based on the strength of the onion flavor you prefer.
Related recipes you might like:
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This recipe is slightly adapted from my very dear blogging friend Alice, from Hip Foodie Mom, from back in the day when I started with this blog, almost 12 years ago.Print
For the leek potato soup:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound potatoes
- 3 large leeks
- 1 small garlic clove
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or a mixture of both; use whatever you have)
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
For the mushrooms:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup mushrooms (Portobello, Paris or Cremini)
- ⅓ cup minced fresh chives
- ½ cup sour cream
For the potato leek soup:
- Peel and roughly chop the potatoes. Mince the garlic clove.
- Wash and thinly slice leeks; you only need the tender white and light green parts of the stem.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot or Dutch oven.
- Add the sliced leeks and chopped potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Add garlic and cook 5 more minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften and brown slightly. Be careful the garlic doesn't burn.
- Add the chicken or vegetable stock with the thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender and soft, 30 -35 minutes.
- Blend until somewhat smooth using an immersion or hand blender; I like a little chunkiness in my soup so I didn’t blend it all I left a few potatoes chunks. But you can make it super smooth by blending it more and straining it before serving.
- Add the heavy cream and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with the mushrooms, sour cream and minced chives.
For the mushrooms:
- You can add some chopped mushrooms (⅓ of the amount) to the leek and garlic mixture in addition to the ones on top. The color of the soup will be grayish and the flavor will be earthier.
- Wash and immediately dry the mushrooms very well. Slice or coarsely chop them.
- Heat the olive oil and add the mushroom pieces. Separate them so they fill the whole pan and cook over medium-high heat until beginning to brown.
- Let the water evaporate as you move them once or twice, but no more than that. Use immediately or refrigerate in a covered container or bowl for 3 days.
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, the needed equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- In case you need it: how to clean leeks.
- Potatoes: starchy potatoes, like russets, are ideal for potato leek soup. They break down more during cooking, contributing to a smoother texture. Yukon Gold potatoes also work well.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Soups
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: International
Keywords: potato leek soup