Leek and Potato Soup; a delicious and hearty soup, made from leeks, potatoes, stock and cream. This versatile soup can be prepared chunky or smooth and served either hot or cold.
Why Leek and Potato Soup is Great for Families
- Make-Ahead Dish: This soup can be made ahead of time making it perfect for busy parents who have to feed hungry children quickly. Store it in the fridge and then heat it up in minutes before serving.
- Suitable for Adults and Young Children: Individual portions can be removed before seasoning making it suitable for babies and younger children.
- Great for those with dietary requirements: This soup is gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians. It is also easy to adapt to make dairy-free / vegan-friendly by substituting the butter for oil and omitting the cream (the soup is actually deliciously creamy even without the addition of cream.)
- Nutrient-Rich: Leeks are considered to be nutrient-dense; that is, they are low in calorie but high in vitamins and minerals. They are considered to be sources of Vitamins, A, C and K as well as Maganese. Because of this, leeks, among other things are thought to help with eyesight and immune system function. Leek and Potato Soup is an excellent way to consume leeks.
- Butter: Can be replaced with olive oil or vegetable oil.
- Leeks: Leeks are often very dirty and it important to take some time and care to ensure your leeks are clean. Start by removing both the root and the thick dark green part (see image below). Cut the leeks in half, lengthwise, and rinse under cold water, making sure you pull apart each layer to remove all the dirt.
- Potatoes: It is best to use floury rather than waxy potatoes. All-rounders work well too. Peel and slice your potatoes. You want the slices to be around 1-1.5cm (1/2 inch) thick. This is especially important if you want a chunkier soup and don’t plan to blend it.
- Stock: I used homemade stock and if you are making for a baby you should use homemade chicken or vegetable stock to keep sodium levels lower. If using ready-made stock I recommend you use a carton of stock rather than a stock cube. I find that stock cubes can make the potato go gluey in texture.
- Cream: If adding cream to your soup you can use single or double cream, full-fat milk or creme fraiche. Avoid low-fat varieties or yoghurt as these can split on heating.
How to Make Leek and Potato Soup
- Soften Leeks: Slice the cleaned leeks and sweat them gently, over low heat, in melted butter until soft. This will take around 5-10 mins. Make sure to keep an eye on the leeks and stir occasionally. You do not want them to burn.
- Simmer: Add the potatoes and stock to the pan and then bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for around 15 mins, until the potatoes and soft.
- Blend: (optional) Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables and stock until creamy and lump-free. Stir through the cream (if using).
Cooking Tips / Tricks
- Add more or less of the stock, depending on if you prefer a thicker or thinner soup. If making for a baby, I recommend adding less stock to make a thicker soup which will be easier for both spoon-fed and self-feeding babies. A thicker soup is also more nutrient-dense which is important for babies.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender (stick blender) allow the soup to cool slightly, before transferring to a blender or food processor. Make sure not to overfill the jar/bowl. You will probably have to blend in stages.
- If seasoning, do it at the end. Many stocks have high levels of sodium, for this reason, save most of your seasoning until the end. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper as needed. Do not season for babies or young children.
Recipe Variations / Serving Suggestions
- Smooth or Chunky: This recipe can be served either as a chunky or smooth and creamy soup. Both are delicious!
- Hot or Cold: Coming from Scotland, I think of soup as being served hot, but the creamy version of this soup served chilled becomes the classic French dish Vichyssoise. Perfect for an alfresco lunch on a warm sunny day.
- Toppings: Kids love toppings! Try adding some croutons or some grated cheese to finish off the soup. Both work great.
- Serve: with oatcakes or some fresh crusty bread.
- Refrigeration: Leek and Potato Soup can be made up to three days in advance of consumption and refrigerated in an airtight container. Leftovers can be stored this way too.
- Freezing: Freeze for up to three months. Because potatoes can become grainy when frozen, it is better to freeze this soup in its blended form. Even if the potato is grainy, the soup will still be safe to eat. Cool soup quickly, using shallow containers is best for this. When cool cover with a lid and freeze.
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Leek and Potato Soup
- Large Soup Pan
- Immersion Blender (if pureeing for a smooth soup)
- 35g (2.5 tbsp) Butter
- 2 Large Leeks, root and top removed, thoroughly cleaned and roughly chopped (SEE NOTE 1)
- 730g (1.6lb) Potatoes, peeled and sliced (1-1.5cm / 1/2 inch thick) (SEE NOTE 2)
- 1.25l (5 cups) Vegetable or Chicken Stock (SEE NOTE 3)
- 60ml (1/4 cup) Cream (SEE NOTE 4)
- Add the butter to a large soup pan and melt over medium heat.
- Add the leeks to the pan and stir to coat with the butter. Reduce to low heat and cook until soft (around 10 mins). Stir occasionally and observe to ensure the leeks do not burn.
- Add the potatoes and stock to the pan and bring to a gentle boil, cover and simmer for around 15 mins or until the potatoes are soft.
- Purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth. Add the cream and bring to a simmer.
- Taste and season. (do not season for babies and young children)
- LEEKS: Remove both the root and the thick dark green part of the leek. Cut the leeks in half, lengthwise, and rinse under cold water, making sure you pull apart each layer to remove all the dirt. (See recipe images / post for more detail)
- POTATOES: It is best to use floury rather than waxy potatoes. All-rounders work well too.
- STOCK: I used homemade stock, if using ready-made stock I recommend you use a carton of stock rather than a stock cube. (The monosodium glutamate in stock cubes can make the potato go gluey in texture. Please note
- CREAM:If adding cream to your soup you can use single or double cream, full-fat milk or creme fraiche. Avoid low-fat varieties or yoghurt as these can split on heating.
- BABIES: If you are making for a baby you should use homemade chicken or vegetable stock to keep sodium levels lower. I recommend using less stock to make the soup thicker and easier to spoon feed. It also makes the soup more nutrient dense.
- CONSISTENCY: The soup can be served before blending if you / your children prefer a chunky soup. If the soup is too thin, simmer until thickened. If too thick, add a little more stock to thin it out.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Dec 15, 2013. It was republished with new photos, a revised recipe and detailed cooking tips in January 2020.