This healthy Potato Leek Soup is exactly where we need to be right now: expertly walking the tightrope between rich, creamy comfort and all things bright, wholesome, and nourishing.
When you taste a bite of this potato leek soup, first you’ll be struck by how rich and thick it is (like my favorite Vegan Potato Soup).
Then, however, something will change.
Flavors of dill, capers, and chives hit your taste buds and convince you that this soup must be pure bright sunshine served in a bowl.
Another curve ball: this decadently textured potato leek soup recipe contains no heavy cream or milk and is vegan (!!!!).
5 Star Review
“This is great. Silky and bright indeed. Simply yummy. Definitely making again.”
— Christi —
Like my dreamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup, this vegan potato leek soup is velvety yet bright, hearty but not heavy.
I love eating it for easy lunches.
Each time I taste it, it surprises and delights me anew.
Today’s recipe keeps what I argue are the best parts of potato leek soup—the humble vegetables and soothing, creamy texture—but is a world apart from the heavy-cream-laden iterations you may have tried.
The secret to a CREAMY potato leek soup is (are you ready for this?)…CASHEWS.
Blended cashews don’t taste like nuts once added to the soup (as in my Instant Pot Carrot Soup with Ginger).
Rather, they turn into a cashew cream that makes soup satisfying and rich without weighing it down.
How to Make Potato Leek Soup
This recipe makes clever use of the ingredients themselves and keeps the potato leek soup calories much lower (like my Roasted Carrot Soup).
Not only is this soup rich, creamy, and satisfying, the cashews almost make the soup taste cheesy (as in my Vegan Queso), despite the fact that it is made entirely without dairy.
- Leeks. A relative of the onion, leeks are mild and delicate. The white part and light green parts of the leek are used for soup (and Spinach Quiche), while the dark green tops are not edible but can be used if you’d like to make stock.
To cook leeks for soup, you’ll first want to wash out any dirt that’s hidden in their layers. After slicing them, rinse them thoroughly and run them through a salad spinner or shake them out in a colander to make sure you don’t have any bits of dirt or sand spoiling your lovely soup.
- Celery + Carrots + Garlic. A classic for soup bases (often called mirepoix when combined with onions, but the leeks stand in for the onion here). These ingredients give the soup a depth of flavor you’d miss without them.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes are the potato of choice here, as opposed to starchy russet potatoes). With their naturally buttery flavor and smooth texture, they give the soup incredible richness (without cream or milk) and body. (They’re also the best potato for Oven Roasted Potatoes.)
- Cashews. The secret to creamy vegan soup success. If you’re concerned about cashews adding too much fat, don’t be. Cashews are loaded with healthy fats and minerals that make this a superfood soup!
- Vegetable Broth. The liquid base that keeps the soup vegan (vegetable stock may be used too).
- Artichoke Hearts. Surprising and SO fantastic in potato leek soup. I always have a few cans of artichokes on hand, and they are wonderful here.
- Dijon Mustard. A spoonful of Dijon cuts through the richness of the cashews and balances the soup. There’s a reason mustard and potatoes are often served together, and it’s ideal here.
- Capers. The brininess is a lovely foil to the creaminess of the potatoes.
- Lemon Juice. For a touch of brightness and acidity.
- Fresh Dill + Chives. Dill and chives lift this soup to the stratosphere. Please do not skip them or be tempted to substitute dried. Fresh is worth it!
Potato Leek Soup with Bacon
- To Store. Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the fridge. Leek and potato soup will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm soup in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat until hot. You can also reheat your soup in the microwave.
- To Freeze. While I am ALL ABOUT the freezer, this soup is not the ideal candidate for two reasons. First, the cashew base will become less smooth when the soup is frozen. Second, potatoes tend to become mealy when frozen. (For what it’s worth, I froze this Crockpot Potato Soup and didn’t mind the texture change, but it’s good to be aware.)
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Ladle. The ideal way to transfer soups to bowls and storage containers.
- High-Powered Blender. Perfect for blending the soup ingredients. (This more economical blender option is great too.) You could also use an immersion blender too.
- Love and Lemons Every Day. This potato leek soup recipe comes from this wonderful cookbook, the second book written by the ridiculously talented Jeanine and Jack of the blog Love and Lemons. It puts vegetables at the center of the plate and proves how outrageously delicious they can (and should!) be.
The Best Dutch Oven
My favorite vessel for making soups on the stovetop.
This potato leek soup punches well above its weight. I can’t wait for you to try it!
Frequently Asked Questions
While cashews often need to be soaked in vegan recipes, this soup is not one of them. Simply add the raw cashews to the blender with the soup when ready to puree. It couldn’t be easier!
Both walnuts and almonds would have a more pronounced taste and would likely not puree as smooth as cashews, so I’m not sure I would recommend them as a substitute. If you do use almonds, look for ones with the skins removed.
I have not tried making this potato and leek soup without cashews, so it would be an experiment. I do think you could try adding 1/2 cup of coconut cream in place of the cashews with good results, however.
The origin of potato leek soup is originally from Wales, though versions of it are popular across Europe (Irish Potato leek soup is a classic), and for good reason. It’s an inexpensive, delicious meal and makes use of the potato, a hearty crop grown all throughout the world. For example, potato leek soup is also popular in Romania and France.
When served cold, potato leek soup is known as vichyssoise. Admittedly, I’ve never gotten into the cold version—though I did sneak several bites of this soup cold out of the refrigerator on Tuesday night. It’s so delicious, I needed a bite!
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 leeks white and light green parts, thinly sliced and rinsed (3 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots chopped (I scrubbed and left the peels on)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes chopped (I scrubbed left the peels on)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can artichoke hearts (14 ounces) drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice divided
- 1/2–1 cup water
- 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped (plus extra for garnish)
- 1/4 cup fresh chives chopped (plus extra for garnish)
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, carrots, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, 8 to 10 minutes, turning down the heat if they start to over-brown.
Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the potatoes and the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the artichokes.
Let cool slightly, then transfer half of the soup to a blender, along with the cashews, mustard, capers, and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Puree until smooth, and then pour the mixture back into the soup pot. Stir in the water as needed to reach your desired consistency. (I love a super thick soup, so I used closer to 1/2 cup.) Add the dill, chives, and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish with more dill, chives, and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
- TO STORE: Leftover soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Warm gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until steaming.
- TO FREEZE: Avoid freezing (see blog post above for reasons why).
- TIP: Don’t skip the fresh herbs! They make the soup taste incredibly fresh and are well worth it here.
- SOURCE: Shared with permission from Love and Lemons Every Day
Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 312kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 6gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gPotassium: 706mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 3680IUVitamin C: 47mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 3mg
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