The Cozy Cook

Potato Leek Soup (Crock Pot & Instant Pot Friendly!)

Learn how EASY it is to make Potato Leek Soup from scratch on the Stove Top, Crock Pot, or Instant Pot! You can add bacon, white wine, cheese, or even make it without potatoes with healthy alternatives such as butternut squash or cauliflower.

Be sure to serve this with homemade croutons, buttermilk biscuits, cheddar bay biscuits, or cheesy garlic bread.

A white bowl with creamy potato leek soup in it with oyster crackers, green onions, and parsley on top.

Potato Leek Soup

I always have fun with this potato leek soup recipe because it’s so versatile. You can make it simple, light, and healthy….OR creamy, cheesy, and indulgent. That’s why leeks are so fun to cook with. They add so much flavor on their own, but pair well with anything from bacon and cheese to white wine and soy sauce!

Let’s go over everything you need to know, don’t miss my PRO tips below including how to cut leeks, substitution options, ingredient additions, the Crock Pot & Instant Pot Method, and more.

How to Cut Leeks

Cut away the dark green, leafy section of the leeks along with the bulbs. We will be using the light green section of the stem and the white part at the bottom.

Cutting leeks to make Potato Leek soup.

Wash the leek stems and pat them dry. Dice them and set aside.

Dicing up the stems of leeks to make potato leek soup.

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Crock Pot and Instant Pot instructions are outlined further in sections below and in the notes section of the recipe card.

Saute diced leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic in butter + olive oil until softened.  Add chicken broth, bay leaf, sage, soy sauce, and cubed potatoes.

A soup pot with sauteed vegetables and broth being added to make Potato Leek Soup.

Submerge the potatoes in the broth and partially cover. Gently boil until very fork tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth and creamy. (Alternatively, you can transfer to a blender in batches.)

An immersion blender blending vegetables, potatoes, and broth for Potato Leek Soup.

Add up to 1 additional cup of chicken broth if a thinner consistency is preferred. Swirl in cream and sour cream and serve. Taste and season with salt/pepper if desired. Serve!

See section below for wonderful soup additions including white wine, cheddar/Parmesan cheese, bacon, thyme, and lemon juice!

A soup pot with cream being added to Potato Leek Soup.

What Goes with Leeks

White Wine, Cheddar Cheese, Parmesan/Romano Cheese, Bacon and Thyme are all excellent pairings to accompany the flavor of leeks. This soup is delicious without these additions, but it never hurts to have some extra fun in the kitchen:

White Wine

  • Add 1/4 cup in the pot along with the butter, olive oil, leeks, carrots, and celery. Allow it to reduce down to almost nothing while the vegetables soften. Proceed with adding the garlic and preparing the soup. Use a dry variety such as Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc as those pair nicely with leek dishes that have a creamy texture.

Cheddar Cheese:

  • Shred cheddar cheese from a block so that it melts well, I like Cracker Barrel Sharp Yellow Cheddar. Remove the finished soup from the heat and gradually incorporate the cheese prior to serving.

Parmesan Cheese or Romano:

  • Option 1: Add the rind from a block of Parmesan or Romano and let it dissolve into the soup as the potatoes cook. Remove if any of it remains, prior to blending. (The rind is the outer part of the block that feels extra firm. Don’t add any wax rinds to soup. See here for more info about cheese rinds.)
  • Option 2: Sprinkle freshly shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese over the soup just before serving.

Thyme

  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme may be added when the sage is added.

Bacon:

  • Fry 4-5 strips of thick-cut bacon in the soup pot. Remove and set aside. Reserve 2 Tablespoons of drippings and sauté the vegetables in them + 1 Tablespoon butter. Proceed with making the soup and garnish it with chopped bacon prior to serving.

Lemon Juice:

  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice can be added when the potatoes are added.

Lighter Alternatives & Potato Substitutes

  • Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, or Sweet Potatoes can be used with or instead of potatoes.
  • Coconut Cream can be used instead of regular cream.

Substitute for Leeks

  • An equal amount of green onions or white/yellow onions can be used instead of leeks.

A bowl of Potato Leek Soup with a spoon and oyster crackers and parsley on the side.

Crock Pot Method

  • Heat up the butter and olive oil in the Crock Pot until melted. Add diced leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic. Toss to coat. Add 5 cups of chicken broth and all additional ingredients except for the cream and sour cream. Ensure the potatoes are fully submerged in the broth.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4.
  • When the potatoes are very fork tender, remove the bay leaf and use your immersion blender to blend until smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer the soup to a blender in batches)
  • Reduce heat to warm and mix in the cream and sour cream.
  • Taste, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Add up to 1 cup of additional chicken broth if a thinner consistency is desired.

Instant Pot Method

  • Heat up the butter and olive oil in the Instant Pot on saute mode until melted. Add diced leeks, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add 5 cups chicken broth and all additional ingredients except for the cream and sour cream. Ensure the potatoes are fully submerged in the broth.
  • Secure the lid and close the pressure seal valve. Pressure cook for 8 minutes.
  • Flip the quick release valve and remove the bay leaf. Use your immersion blender to blend until smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer the soup to a blender in batches)
  • Stir in the cream and sour cream.
  • Taste, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Add up to 1 cup of additional chicken broth if a thinner consistency is desired.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)– Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • Immersion Blender: This makes the soup super creamy and is much easier than transferring to a blender.
  • Kitchen Scale: I use this to measure out 2 lbs. of potatoes for this recipe.
  • 4 quart Soup Pot: The perfect size for this recipe.
  • The Flavor Bible: I love using this when I come up with new recipes. It helped me come up with all of the perfect pairings for leeks and has pairing options for just about any ingredient that you can think of!

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A white bowl full of Potato Leek Soup with a spoon in it and croutons on top.

Potato Leek Soup

5 from 1 vote
Learn how to make Potato Leek Soup from scratch on the Stove Top, Crock Pot, or Instant Pot! You can add bacon, cheese, and even make it without potatoes!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced leeks, about 4 leeks
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 stick celery
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 4 large Russet potatoes, equal to 2 lbs.
  • 6 cups chicken broth, separated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup cream, or ½ cup half and half
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste
  • Optional additions: White Wine, Cheddar, Parmesan, Bacon, Thyme. See notes on how to incorporate.

Instructions

  • Cut away the dark green, leafy section of the leeks along with the bulbs. We will be using the light green section of the stem and the white part at the bottom. (See post for images.)
  • Wash the leek stems and pat them dry. Dice them and set aside.
  • Heat 2 TBS Butter and 1 TBS olive oil in a 3 ½ or 4-quart soup pot over medium heat.
  • Add the diced leeks, carrots, and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • While the vegetables cook, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes.
  • Add 5 cups of chicken broth to the pot. Reserve the 6th cup for the end if you want to thin out the consistency of the soup.
  • Add the bay leaf, ¼ tsp ground sage, and 1 tsp soy sauce.
  • Submerge the potatoes into the broth and bring to a gentle boil. Cook, partially covered, for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very fork tender.
  • Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to mix until smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer the soup to a blender in batches)
  • Reduce heat to low. Stir in half and half and sour cream.
  • Add up to 1 additional cup of chicken broth if a thinner consistency is preferred.
  • Taste, and season with ¼ teaspoon of black pepper and ½ teaspoon of salt if desired. Simmer until ready to serve.
  • Optional: Remove from heat and stir in up to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or sprinkle with Parmesan prior to serving. Don’t add shredded cheese to a super-hot base or the dairy will separate and the consistency will be grainy.
  • PRO TIP: Add the rind from a block of Parmesan or Romano and let it dissolve into the soup as the potatoes cook. Remove if any of it remains, prior to blending. (The rind is the outer part of the block that feels extra firm. Don’t add wax rinds to soup. See more info about cheese rinds here.)

Notes

Optional Additions:
  • White Wine: Add 1/4 cup in the pot along with the butter, olive oil, leeks, carrots, and celery. Allow it to reduce down to almost nothing while the vegetables soften. Proceed with adding the garlic and preparing the soup. Use a dry variety such as Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc.
  • Lemon Juice: 1 teaspoon of lemon juice can be added when the potatoes are added.
  • Bacon: Fry 4-5 strips of thick-cut bacon in the soup pot. Remove and set aside. Reserve 2 Tablespoons of drippings and sauté the vegetables in them + 1 Tablespoon butter. Proceed with making the soup and garnish it with chopped bacon prior to serving.
  • Thyme: ¼ teaspoon can be added when the sage is added. A sprig of fresh thyme may also be used.

Lighter Options and Potato Substitutes:
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes can be used instead of Russet.
  • Butternut squash, cauliflower, or Sweet Potatoes can be used with or instead of potatoes.
  • Coconut Cream can be used instead of regular cream.

Crock Pot Method:
  • Heat up the butter and olive oil in the Crock Pot until melted. Add diced leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic. Toss to coat. Add 5 cups of chicken broth and all additional ingredients except for the cream and sour cream. Ensure the potatoes are fully submerged in the broth.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4.
  • When the potatoes are very fork tender, remove the bay leaf and use your immersion blender to blend until smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer the soup to a blender in batches)
  • Reduce heat to warm and mix in the cream and sour cream.
  • Taste, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Add up to 1 cup of additional chicken broth if a thinner consistency is desired.

Instant Pot Method:
  • Heat but the butter and olive oil in the Instant Pot on saute mode until melted. Add diced leeks, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add 5 cups chicken broth and all additional ingredients except for the cream and sour cream. Ensure the potatoes are fully submerged in the broth.
  • Secure the lid and close the pressure seal valve. Pressure cook for 8 minutes.
  • Flip the quick release valve and remove the bay leaf. Use your immersion blender to blend until smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer the soup to a blender in batches)
  • Stir in the cream and sour cream.
  • Taste, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Add up to 1 cup of additional chicken broth if a thinner consistency is desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 489mg, Potassium: 447mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 1311IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1mg

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2 comments on “Potato Leek Soup (Crock Pot & Instant Pot Friendly!)”

  1. This was delicious, the whole family loved it! I pretty much never cook with leeks so I appreciate the instructions on how to cut them. Now I’m thinking about doing leeks in the vegetable garden this year! Thanks for the recipe!

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