Two green bowls of Rustic Potato and Leek Soup garnished with chopped green onions on top.
Dinner Lunch Recipes

Rustic Potato and Leek Soup

My recipe for Rustic Potato and Leek Soup is loaded with diced potatoes, plenty of leeks for a delicious mild and sweet onion-y flavor, and finished with heavy cream. It’s thick, creamy, and undeniably satisfying. 

Rustic Potato and Leek Soup is one of my favorite winter-time soups. This is my Memaw’s recipe — which she would make practically every holiday season. I have made a few tweaks and some little improvements (shh, don’t tell her I said that!) to the recipe. Sound good? Let’s cook!

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Two green bowls of Rustic Potato and Leek Soup with two bunches of scallions in the upper-right hand corner.

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Key Ingredients

  • butter
  • onion
  • celery
  • garlic
  • leeks
  • potatoes
  • heavy cream
  • vegetable broth

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Rustic Potato and Leek Soup being ladled out of the soup pot.

Necessary Equipment

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How to Make Rustic Potato and Leek Soup

Author’s Note: exact measurements and detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

How to Properly Clean Leeks

The first thing you should do is cut and clean the leeks. Leeks grow in sandy soil and silt can get trapped inside the layers. I like to quickly give the leeks a preliminary rinse under running water to remove any dirt that is on the outside.

Next remove the root-end and dark, leafy green tops. You can discard the dark-green tops, or store them in the freezer and use them for a different recipe. Maybe use them to flavor a homemade broth or stock!

Slice the leeks into rounds and place into a large glass bowl. Cover the sliced leeks with enough water to completely submerge them; cover the leeks with about an inch or two of water.

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A clear plastic bowl filled with water and leeks that have been sliced into rounds; picture shows how to properly clean and cut leeks.

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Use your fingers to agitate the leeks and gently separate some of the rounds. The leeks will float in the water while the dirt will sink to the bottom.

Let the leeks soak for at least 10 minutes. If you notice that the leeks are extremely dirty, repeat this step. Set the leeks aside for later.

Important Note: When you add the leeks to the soup (later, in step 4) be sure not to strain the leeks into a colander and instead gently remove them from the water using your hands or a slotted spoon.

Mise en Place & Cooking Instructions

We’re going to start by heading over to the cutting board and doing a little bit of prep work.

This kind of prep work is known as mise en place (meez ahn plahs), which is a French term that translates to “putting in place” and the idea is to prepare all the ingredients in advance for an easier cooking experience.

Step 1: Small-dice up the onion and celery. Mince the garlic, or use a garlic press. After 10+ years of mincing garlic by hand, I’m kinda over it — so I will take that shortcut.

Step 2: Heat up a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.

Step 3: Begin by sweating the onions, celery, and garlic in a combination of olive oil and butter. Season the mixture with some dried Italian Seasoning, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.

Cook the mixture for a few minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the vegetables have softened. The idea is not to brown or caramelize the vegetables — but to slowly bring out their mellow flavors. This is the key difference between sautéing and sweating.

Step 4: Add the leeks, and continue to cook until the leeks begin to break down and wilt down by about half — about 5 to 7 minutes.

Step 5: Meanwhile, peel (or don’t peel, your call) and chop the potatoes into bite size pieces.

Step 6: Add the potatoes, vegetable broth, and the remaining salt and pepper to the soup pot. Bring the soup to a boil.

Step 7: Reduce the heat but only slightly so the soup still remains at a gentle bubble. Continue to cook the soup  — stirring every so often — for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender and the soup has thickened.

If you have the extra time, continue simmering the soup because it will get even tastier the longer it cooks. The leftovers are even better the next day!

Step 8: When you’re ready to serve the soup, add the cream. Consider pairing with homemade croutons, grilled cheese, or Everything Bread — our family favorite. Serve it up hot!

One green bowl of Rustic Potato and Leek Soup garnished with green onions and croutons. Some chunks of bread, a small glass bowl of scallions, and a spoon are placed around the bowl of soup.

Q & A Section

Why Rustic?

Traditionally, Potato and Leek soup is puréed. I like the heartiness of leaving the soup chunky — but, if you want to, you can use an immersion blender to purée the soup until it’s nice and smooth.

What are Leeks?

Leeks are a member of the Allium, or onion, family. They look a lot like scallions, but are much larger. They have a mild onion flavor and are almost sweet, much more nuanced and sophisticated than a regular onion. They are at their best in the autumn and throughout the spring.

What Kind of Potatoes are Best for this Soup?

Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes are best for Potato and Leek Soup. You could also use Baby Red Potatoes, if you’re definitely not going to purée the soup. I always use Russet Potatoes for this recipe.

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Two green bowls of Rustic Potato and Leek soup with a spoon in one bowl. A white linen cloth and two spoons are placed around the bowls.

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Did You Make My Rustic Potato and Leek Soup Recipe?

Let me know! Leave a comment or a rating down below. Share a picture of this recipe on Facebook or Instagram with #servingupspice!

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Rustic Potato and Leek Soup

Rustic Potato and Leek Soup is loaded with diced potatoes, plenty of leeks for a mild and sweet onion-y flavor, and finished with cream.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, French
Servings 6 People

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Ribs of Celery
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Leeks
  • 2 Pounds Potatoes
  • 6 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 3 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Italian Seasoning Blend
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Instructions
 

Clean and Cut the Leeks

  • Give the leeks a quick rinse under running water to remove any dirt that is on the outside
  • Remove the root-end and dark, leafy green tops.
  • Slice the leeks into rounds and place into a large glass bowl. Cover the sliced leeks with enough water to completely submerge them; cover the leeks with about an inch or two of water.
  • Let the leeks soak for at least 10 minutes.
  • Use your fingers to agitate the leeks and gently separate some of the rounds. The leeks will float in the water while the dirt will sink to the bottom.

Food Prep and Cooking Instructions

  • Small-dice up the onion and celery. Mince the garlic, or use a garlic press.
  • Heat up a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Begin by sweating the onions, celery, and garlic in a combination of 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and Butter. Season the mixture with two teaspoons of dried Italian Seasoning, a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon pepper, and the crushed red pepper flakes.
    Cook the mixture for a few minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the vegetables have softened. The idea is not to brown or caramelize the vegetables — but to slowly bring out their mellow flavors
  • Add the leeks, and continue to cook until the leeks begin to break down and wilt down by about half — about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel (or don't peel, your call) and chop the potatoes into bite size pieces.
  • Add the potatoes, vegetable broth, and the remaining salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat but only slightly so the soup still remains at a gentle bubble. Continue to cook the soup  — stirring every so often — for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender and the soup has thickened.
  • When you're ready to serve the soup, add the cream. Serve hot.

Notes

Note: If you have the extra time, continue simmering the soup because it will get even tastier the longer it cooks.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hi, I’m Taylor! I’m a self-taught amateur chef with a love for teaching people the fundamental basics of preparing good food. I’m a full-time Recipe Blogger and Food Photographer. 

I live in Florida with Andy, my exceptionally perfect dog. I spend the majority of my time cooking, writing, and trying to keep my garden of plants alive. I love naps, books, and iced coffee. → More about Taylor

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