Indulge in the satisfying comfort of easy creamy potato leek soup for big bowls of deliciousness with this no peel, 9-ingredient, gluten-free recipe. If you love hearty soups and want something you can easily make on the stovetop or the Instant Pot, you can't go wrong with a big pot of this simple, plant-based delight.
Few foods exude comfort more than potatoes. If you love mashed potatoes and creamy soup and want a fuss-free, one-pot recipe, then potato leek soup might be first on your list.
There are so many variations of potato soup that there are books dedicated to the subject. Today’s recipe is intentionally uncomplicated. It’s made for lazy days when you crave a creamy soup, not standing in the kitchen for hours. You want one-pot easy and perhaps a little less precision with the security that this soup will hit the mark on all fronts for the whole family.
Don’t be fooled by the simple ingredients for this potato soup recipe. We won’t be relying on heavy cream or cashew cream healthy soup with the creamiest consistency. Just let the potatoes do their work – you’ll be amazed at what happens.
Leeks – Leeks, part of the onion family (alliums), look like a giant green onion. You can use more leeks in recipes than onions because they have a mellower and sweeter flavor. I used 3 large leeks. This wasn't as much as you might think. Once they are trimmed and cooked, they will reduce. Chopped leeks can be deceptive like that. If you decide to use onions, use 1 large yellow onion. You won't get all the fiber and volume of leeks, but you can still pull off a great soup without stepping into the supermarket.
Potatoes – For skin-on soup, use thin-skinned potatoes such as Yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes, baby potatoes, or other golden potatoes. A creamy texture (with added fiber) is easily achievable. If you use russet potatoes or kinds with or those with thicker skins, peel them before dicing them.
Garlic – Use 3 plump cloves of garlic to help bring out the flavor of the leeks. Mice them, press them, or use a heaping tablespoon of prepared garlic from a jar. That's kind of a new obsession of mine, and I like it! The lazier, the better.
Nutritional yeast – Cheesy, savory, and umami flavor along with essential B vitamins, it's all in a quarter of a cup of "Nooch." If you don’t like nutritional yeast, you can add 2 teaspoons of mustard powder or even a teaspoon of dijon mustard for flavor.
Thyme – Fresh thyme sprigs tossed in and simmered add earthy flavor without the fuss. After the soup cooks, and before pureeing, just remove the stems. The leaves will have magically shed. If you use dry thyme, add 2 teaspoons. The flavor of dry herbs is more intense than fresh, so you'll want to make an adjustment down. You can always add more at the end of cooking.
Bay leaves – I add 1 dry bay leaf. If you have small leaves, add a few more. This is another item to remove before pureeing.
Vegetable broth – Use good quality vegetable broth or vegetable stock cubes. I used 6 cups, but you may end up adding more if you find the soup is too thick. You can also use vegan chicken broth or chicken stock cubes. You can find them at larger supermarkets or health food stores. Check the labels of your veggie broth or stock to ensure they are vegan and gluten-free if a free potato leek soup is what you are after.
Fresh chives – Grab a bunch of fresh chives and chop them for adding after you puree the soup. I chopped extra to serve in a small bowl at the table as a garnish. Super simple. You can also use fresh parsley if you don't have chives. The flavor is slightly different, but parsley adds a snap of green.
- It's essential to start with clean leeks. This means cutting off the root ends and dark green part at the tops. Peel off the outer layer, and then cut the leeks lengthwise. Now, wash them, separating the layers if there is grit hiding inside. Then, just line them up and slice them horizontally.
- You don’t need vegan butter or even a drizzle of olive oil for scorch-free, stick-free sautéing. The technique relies on heating a large pot or Dutch oven to medium-high heat before adding any ingredients. Because the leeks are plentiful, we added ¼ a cup of vegetable broth or water to keep things moving. This keeps the leeks from browning as the aim is to soften the leeks, not to brown them.
- The key to the creamy texture of this creamy potato leek soup recipe is thoroughly cooking the potatoes. You want them nearly falling apart when pierced with a fork. Think mashed potato done.
- If you cut or peel the potatoes early, keep them in a large bowl of cold water to keep them from browning.
This is intentionally a simple recipe. Start here for a great soup experience. But perhaps you’re thinking, next time? Here are a few ideas to shake up this easy recipe.
- Add a different herb mix. Consider fresh dill or fennel for a flavor changer.
- Want more protein? Add a can of cannellini beans or other white beans. You’ll need more broth, but this is an easy way to turn this recipe into a complete protein meal.
- For a zestier flavor (and a boost of vitamin c), add lemon juice or spice it up with red pepper flakes.
- If you are keen on super creamy soup, cut back on the broth by half a cup and add non-dairy milk. You can also use a little coconut milk (stick to lite if possible), a tablespoon of coconut cream, or your own blend made with raw cashews. Heck, you can even drop in a spoonful of vegan sour cream if you are so inclined.
Potato leek soup freezes well. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, then place it in a tightly covered container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Creamy potato soup is a satisfying meal for lunch or a light dinner. Serve it with crusty bread or add a flavorful grain or bean salads for satisfying and complete meatless meals.
To make this recipe in the Instant Pot, set the Instant Pot to Sauté and follow the instructions as written. Once you add the potatoes, turn off the Instant Pot. Be sure to clear the bottom of the Instant Pot once you add the broth. Then cook the soup on High Pressure for 10 minutes and allow another 10 minutes of natural release. Then puree and finish the soup per the instructions.
More Soups to Love
Easy Creamy Potato Leek Soup
Dive into the best of comfort with hearty, creamy potato leek soup that's 9-ingredient easy, vegan, gluten-free, and made without nuts, dairy, or oil.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Soups
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 3 leeks, white and light green parts chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 ½ pounds of thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and diced (see notes)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dry)
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Sauté the leeks. Heat a medium to large soup pot to medium-high heat. Add the leeks along with ¼ of a cup of water or vegetable broth. Cook the leeks at a low simmer until the liquid is evaporated and the leeks are soft and translucent. About 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and pepper. Mix in the garlic and pepper. Stir for about 30 seconds.
- Coat the potatoes. Mix in the potatoes, garlic, and pepper. Stir for a minute to coat the potatoes and heat them a little.
- Add broth, nutritional yeast, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the broth and gently use a wooden spoon to clean the bottom of the soup pot for any stuck-on ingredients.
- Cook the potatoes. Adjust the heat so that the soup is slowly simmering. Cover the pot and simmer until the potatoes are tender about 15-20 minutes.
- Puree the soup. When the potatoes are tender, remove the soup from the heat. Remove the bay leave and the thyme stems. Use a hand-held immersion blender or transfer portions to a regular blender (use a large blender if you have one) to puree the soup to a creamy consistency.
- Finish the soup. After blending, mix in the chopped chives. Taste and season with salt or black pepper. Heat the soup for a few minutes if desired. Serve hot.
- To avoid peeling, use thin-skinned potatoes such as Yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes, baby potatoes, or other golden potatoes. Peel thicker-skinned potatoes such as russets.
- If the soup is too thick after blending, add more vegetable broth. To thicken the soup, simmer it over medium heat. If you want a creamier consistency, add a few drops of plant milk. This will help it to thicken.
- To make this recipe in the Instant Pot, set the Instant Pot to Sauté and follow the instructions as written. Once you add the potatoes, turn off the Instant Pot. Be sure to clear the bottom of the Instant Pot once you add the broth. Then cook the soup on High Pressure for 10 minutes and allow another 10 minutes of natural release. Then puree and finish the soup per the instructions.
Keywords: potato leek soup, vegan,