Potato Leek Soup

A bowl of potato leek soup

Granny’s Potato Leek Soup is a classic comfort food that's perfect for any meal. This hearty soup features a creamy blend of potatoes and leeks, seasoned with fresh herbs and a touch of cream. Whether you're looking for a warming lunch, a simple dinner, or a delicious starter, this Potato Leek Soup is sure to satisfy.

Granny's recipe book was always full of versatile and adaptable recipes. This Potato Leek Soup, for instance, can easily be tweaked to suit your taste. Feel free to add some crispy bacon bits or a sprinkle of cheese on top for extra flavor. Or, if you're in the mood for a bit of heat, a dash of chili flakes would do the trick.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped (about 5 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 7 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 14 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Chives, finely chopped, for serving
  • Method

    • 1. Begin by melting the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic, stirring regularly until they become soft and wilted. This should take around 10 minutes. Be sure to adjust the heat as needed to prevent browning.

    • 2. Next, add the potatoes, broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft.

    • 3. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves from the pot. Use a hand-held immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth. You can also use a standard blender to purée the soup in batches. After blending, add the heavy cream and bring the soup back to a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. If the soup is too thin, let it simmer until it thickens. If it's too thick, add water or stock to thin it out. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

    The Comforting Delights of Potato Leek Soup

    Few dishes epitomize the simple pleasures of homestyle cooking quite like a steaming bowl of Granny's potato and leek soup. This classic recipe, with its hearty potatoes and aromatic leeks, is a comforting dish that's perfect for any meal. Whether you're looking for a warming lunch on a chilly day, a simple yet satisfying dinner, or a delicious starter to whet the appetite, this soup is sure to hit the spot.

    Celebrating the Noble Leek

    While potato leek soup is enjoyed worldwide, it holds a special place in the culinary traditions of Wales. The leek is a national emblem of Wales, deeply rooted in the country's history and folklore. According to one legend, Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, advised Welsh soldiers to wear leeks on their helmets during a battle against the Saxons to easily distinguish friend from foe. Since then, the leek has been a symbol of Welsh pride and is worn on St. David's Day, the national day of Wales.

    Given the leek's significance, it's no surprise that it features prominently in Welsh cuisine, and potato leek soup, known locally as Cawl Cennin, is one of the most beloved dishes. This hearty soup, often enriched with local cheese and served with a thick slice of bread, is a staple in many Welsh homes, especially during the colder months. It's a dish that truly celebrates the humble leek, elevating it to something comforting and deeply satisfying.

    From Vichy to the Big Apple

    Potato leek soup is also known as Vichyssoise, tracing its popularity back to France, where it was traditionally served cold and was a staple in the French culinary repertoire. The soup was named after Vichy, a city in central France known for its exceptional produce, particularly leeks and potatoes.

    However, the soup's popularity truly soared when it crossed the Atlantic. Louis Diat, a French chef at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City, is often credited with introducing Vichyssoise to the American palate in the early 20th century. Diat fondly remembered how his mother and grandmother would prepare a hot leek and potato soup and cool it down with milk during the summer. Inspired by this childhood memory, Diat decided to create a refined, chilled version of the soup and named it "Crème Vichyssoise Glacée".

    A Versatile Dish for All Seasons

    Whether you prefer it piping hot or chilled, potato leek soup is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed year-round. In the colder months, a steaming bowl of this hearty soup is the perfect antidote to the chill, warming you from the inside out. In the warmer months, a chilled Vichyssoise can be a refreshing and satisfying meal, especially when paired with a crisp salad or crusty bread.

    One of the beauties of potato leek soup is its simplicity. With just a few humble ingredients – potatoes, leeks, broth, and a touch of cream or butter – you can create a dish that's rich in flavor and deeply comforting. It's a soup that allows the natural goodness of its ingredients to shine, making it a beloved staple in households around the world.

    So, whether you're looking to celebrate your Welsh heritage, channel your inner French chef, or simply enjoy a bowl of homestyle comfort, potato leek soup is a dish that's sure to delight. Embrace its rich history and versatility, and savor every spoonful of this timeless classic.

    Tips, Tricks, and Serving Suggestions

    When making Potato Leek Soup, here are a few tips and tricks to ensure it turns out perfectly every time:

    As for serving suggestions, Potato Leek Soup is incredibly versatile. It can be served hot or cold, making it perfect for any season. For a touch of elegance, serve it chilled in shot glasses as an appetizer at a summer party. In the colder months, serve it hot with a side of crusty bread for a comforting meal. You can also garnish it with a variety of toppings, such as crispy bacon bits, a dollop of sour cream, fresh herbs, or a sprinkle of cheese. No matter how you serve it, Potato Leek Soup is sure to be a hit!