Rustic Potato Leek Soup

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This Rustic Potato Leek Soup recipe is left nice and chunky (not puréed), it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan (no cream), and made with a simple, light, garlic-herb broth.  So cozy and delicious!

Rustic Potato Leek Soup

Meet my favorite kind of leek and potato soup. ♡

By contrast to traditional potato leek soup recipes — which are usually puréed and loaded up with tons of heavy cream — this more “rustic” version is left deliciously nice and chunky, which I love.  It’s also made with a light, herby, garlicky broth that tastes wonderfully flavorful on its own, without any need for cream.  And when served with zesty homemade croutons or a good loaf of crusty bread, I’m telling you, this soup is the most wonderful wintertime comfort food.

I’ve been making various versions of this soup ever since we moved to Europe, since leeks absolutely abound here.  (Truly, they’re so popular that even the tiniest little convenience stores always carry them!)  But it always seemed like such a basic simple recipe that I never really considered posting it here until my husband insisted this winter that our friends and family back home would love it just as much as we do.

As you’ll see, the ingredient list is short and simple and can be customized with whatever fresh or dried herbs you happen to have on hand.  It’s also naturally gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan.  (Although if you happen to eat dairy, we always love topping our bowls with some coarsely-grated Parmesan cheese.)  And best of all, it can be ready to go in just a half hour or so, making it a great recipe for busy weeknights.  We usually serve ours with a simple side salad and some crusty bread (or croutons) and the combo always feels perfectly light and cozy.

So if you’d like to join our little family in our simple soup tradition, pick up some leeks and potatoes the next time you’re at the market and let’s make some rustic potato leek soup together!

Chopped Leeks On Cutting Board

Rustic Potato Leek Soup Ingredients:

Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few notes about the ingredients you will need to make this rustic potato leek soup recipe:

  • Leeks: If you are new to working with leeks, check out my short guide (including a video tutorial) for how to select, clean and cut leeks.  We will only use the white and light green parts in this soup, so be sure to discard the dark green parts.  And as always, don’t forget to clean your leeks since dirt often gets trapped between those layers.
  • Potatoes: I prefer to use unpeeled buttery Yukon Gold potatoes for this soup, but feel free to use any type of potato that you prefer.
  • Onions, celery and garlic: These will serve as the other base veggies for our soup, sautéed in olive oil (or butter).  I love adding in lots of garlic, but you can use less if you prefer.
  • Dry white wine: To deglaze the pan and add some depth of flavor to the broth.  (That said, if you prefer not to cook with alcohol, you can just add in a bit of extra veggie stock.)
  • Vegetable stock: To serve as the base for our broth.  (Or chicken stock would work too.)
  • Fresh thyme: I recommend adding in lots of fresh thyme and/or any other fresh French-inspired herbs that you love (such as rosemary, sage, tarragon, oregano, etc).  If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, you could add in a teaspoon or two of dried thyme (add it slowly, to taste) or, even better, a few teaspoons of Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning.
  • Bay leaves: I also recommend adding a few bay leaves to the broth.
  • Cayenne, salt and black pepper: And as mentioned above, I really love adding some cayenne to the broth to give it a noticeable but subtle backing of heat.  I usually add 1/4 teaspoon, which you can definitely notice.  But if you’re wary of heat, I recommend starting with just a pinch and you can then add more if you’d like.
  • Optional toppings: We love serving this soup with homemade croutons (we’re partial to sourdough croutons made with a sprinkling of Herbs de Provence) and a sprinkle of coarsely-grated Parmesan cheese.  But feel free to also add some chopped fresh chives or other herbs on top if you’d like too.

Rustic Potato Leek Soup in Stockpot

How To Make Potato Leek Soup:

Detailed instructions are included in the recipe below.  But here is a quick overview of how to make potato leek soup:

  1. Sauté the veggies. First, we’ll sauté the onion, leeks, celery and garlic in a large pot until softened, and then deglaze the pan with some dry white wine.
  2. Add the potatoes and broth. Next come the potatoes, vegetable stock, thyme, bay leaves, and cayenne.
  3. Simmer. Let the soup all simmer together until the potatoes have softened. (The amount of time will depend on how chunky your potatoes are).
  4. Season. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems.  Give the soup a taste and season with however much salt and black pepper you think it needs.  (This will also depend on how salty your veggie stock happens to be.)
  5. Serve. Serve warm, garnished with whatever toppings sound good, and enjoy!

Ladle Full of Leek and Potato Soup

Possible Recipe Variations:

As I mentioned above, this potato leek soup recipe is incredibly flexible.  So please feel free to experiment and customize it however you’d like!  For example, you could…

  • Add extra veggies/greens: Feel free to also add in any other simple soup veggies or greens that you love, such as carrots, parsnips, spinach or kale.
  • Add a protein: This soup would also be delicious with some ham, chicken, or sausage added in.  Or of course, crispy bacon would also be delicious sprinkled on top.
  • Add pepperoncini: We’ve also made this soup with sliced pepperoncini peppers in place of the cayenne and they add a delicious, briny hint of heat.  Highly recommend.
  • Add cream: If you would like a creamier soup, feel free to add in your desired amount of heavy cream.
  • Purée the soup: If you prefer the texture of puréed potato leek soup, just use an immersion blender to purée the soup (once the potatoes are completely tender and you have discarded the bay leaves and thyme) until smooth.  Or alternately, you could transfer it in batches to a traditional blender and pulse until smooth.  (Just use caution, as always, when puréeing hot liquids.  I recommend only filling the blender halfway, and always tenting open the cap on the blender lid so that hot air can escape.)

Bowls of Rustic Potato Leek Soup with Homemade Croutons and Parmesan

More Favorite Potato Soup Recipes:

Looking for more cozy potato soup recipes to try?  Here are a few of my faves!

Rustic Potato Leek Soup with Croutons

I thought that our leftovers of this soup looked even prettier the next day. Homemade croutons, a sprinkle of microgreens, and grated fresh Parmesan on top FTW. :)

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Rustic Potato Leek Soup

Rustic Potato Leek Soup

  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x

Description

This Rustic Potato Leek Soup recipe is kept nice and chunky, it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan (no cream), and it’s full of the coziest, comforting, simple flavors.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 leeks, sliced into 1/2-inch half moons (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or less, if you prefer)
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • optional toppings: homemade croutons, grated Parmesan, chopped fresh chives

Instructions

  1. Sauté the veggies. Heat olive oil (or butter) in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the leeks, celery and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the potatoes and broth. Add the white wine and use a wooden spoon to lift off any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the stockpot.  Add the potatoes, vegetable stock, thyme, bay leaves, cayenne and stir to combine.
  3. Simmer. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Season. Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems.  Give the soup a taste and season with however much salt and black pepper you think it needs.
  5. Serve. Serve warm, garnished with whatever toppings sound good, and enjoy!


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25 comments on “Rustic Potato Leek Soup”

  1. Ali! This was amazing, I just had it for lunch and am so happy for leftovers! Thanks for sharing. =)

    • This was great. Love the options. I made mine with ham, chicken stock and cream. I will be saving this recipe to make again!

  2. I saw your recipe post and had a bunch of russet potatoes that needed to be used, so I made this soup last night! Very easy and tasty. A great winter soup and the croutons and parmesan were great toppings. We really enjoyed it.

  3. I will be making this in the next day or so and will “rate” it. A question, can this be frozen and then thawed and re-heated?

  4. Enjoyed making this soup. Love how it’s laid out, with different options along the way, as well as explanations such as how to wash the leeks. An easy recipe, especially considering the alternative options. I think I would possibly try pureeing another time to see how that effects the flavors coming together. Both my husband and I felt it needed hot sauce, but then again, we put hot sauce on a lot of dishes. 4 stars versus 5 is mainly just because it was a little bland? But truly enjoyed how this is presented from start to finish. Will definitely use this recipe again. Thank you.

    • My husband was very disappointed with this recipe.
      The 1X version simply didn’t make enough for him to have leftovers for lunch!

      This comes together so quickly that I had dinner on the table ahead of time. Will be making this again…a double batch!

  5. I just made this and it’s brilliant. I made the basic recipe without any of the variations and I’m so impressed with the taste and the texture. Perfect for a cold winter night.

  6. I was very impressed how tasty this soup was. When I make this again I will leave out the cayenne for the kid’s. Delicious! I have made several of your recipes (first time commenting). Nothing fails to impress us. Thank you.

  7. Simple and easy. I puréed about 1/2 of it and mixed it together, which made the soup taste more creamy and cozy on a cold winter night.

  8. I made this soup this morning and added some diced chicken breast for added protein and homemade croutons. Absolutely delicious! Thanks for this great, easy to follow recipe.

  9. I usually love the recipes on this site but this soup was a big disappointment. It was incredibly bland, so I puréed it thinking that would help the flavors blend. I ended up with bland baby food.

  10. Simply put…Delicious

  11. Talk about comfort food for rainy days! This one got put into my hard copy cookbook :) Thanks for the great recipe!

  12. Delicious soup. I puréed half and added a splash of half n half. Used dried thyme and added fresh parsley at the end.

  13. Divine! Made just as the recipe called for and then added a few handfuls of spinach at the end. Loved the level of garlic. The homemade croutons were the perfect addition.

  14. This was so easy and delicious!

  15. This is soo good! I didnt have any fresh herbs, so I followed your suggestion to use Herbs de Provence. I also didnt have any wine, so I used more broth like you said. Delicious! Will definitely make this again. (It was also super easy and fast to put together)

  16. We came home after a snowy funeral and needed to be warmed to the bone. I had planned for this soup later in the week but it was perfect for our lunch today: quick, simple, and delicious!

  17. This was delicious. So quick and easy. Added the cayenne pepper and andouille sausage. Hearty enough for dinner and leftovers for lunch. Thank you for a simple yet delicious recipe.

  18. Aw hell yeah! Great recipe. Can’t wait to try some variations, but loved the recipe so much the way it is that I think I’ll probably make it as is again this weekend.

  19. Wow! This really hit the spot! It’s exactly what I was craving today. Thank you so much for sharing. I added little ground chicken meatballs so it became a complete meal!

  20. Beautiful recipe, thanks! Added some smoked sausage and served with dark sour dough bread, it was delicious.

  21. I made this tonight for my family (three teenagers included) and we all really liked it. The recipe was easy to follow and simple enough for a weeknight dinner option. The most time spent was chopping the vegetables! It’s nice to have a potato soup option without dairy. It is lighter, but the flavors are all there. Thank you for sharing!

  22. I have never cooked with leeks before, or even eaten them that I can remember. Bought some on a whim, as my bf has recently started cutting out meats/animal products and I’m trying to bring in some variety to our meals.

    This recipe was excellent! I did up the garlic and used 2 stalks of celery vs 1 (they seemed small), and probably used more potatoes than needed because I’m too lazy to weigh. Added extra vegetable broth to compensate for the increased bulk.

    Made the homemade croutons (from this site), and devoured two large bowls. It was hearty and rustic and just really delicious. The croutons melt into the soup and add that awesome extra richness like you get in onion soup. Bf really enjoyed it too, and I will be making it again for sure. Page has been bookmarked! Thank you for the great recipe, one of the only potato and leek soup recipes I was able to find without a bunch of animal products (most called for chicken broth, or cream, or both).

  23. Delicious and so easy to make! I threw this together while my son napped. Thank you!