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This Vegan Potato Leek Soup is comfort in a bowl. It’s filled with creamy potatoes, buttery leeks, and blended smooth with rich coconut milk. Gluten-free, Grain-Free, Oil-free option.
This Vegan Potato Leek Soup is made from simple and wholesome ingredients with just 10 minutes of prep, then pureed until silky smooth. It’s the perfect creamy, soul-nourishing soup to enjoy as a light lunch, healthy dinner side, or make it as an easy meal prep on Sunday night.
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Back to the Origins
Potato leek soup can be dated back to 19th century France, where it is known as Vichyssoise or Potage à la Parmentier. The soup was named after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a French agronomist and nutritionist, who was well-known for conducting experiments to demonstrate the nutritional value of potatoes and promote their consumption.
Potato leek soup was traditionally served cold, but most potato leek soup recipes in the United States are served warm, making it a cozy, weeknight staple during the fall and winter months. And with just a few simple ingredient swaps, I’ve made a delicious soup that’s not only equally creamy, but packed with plant-based goodness. If you love my other vegan potato soup recipes such as this Vegan Potato Soup, this Creamy Parsnip Soup, or this Smoky Sweet Potato Soup, you won’t want to sleep on this comforting vegan potato leek soup recipe!
Ingredients for Potato Leek Soup
This vegan potato leek soup requires just 8 affordable ingredients. Here are a few key flavor notes:
- Leeks: An obvious necessity! Leeks have a sweet and onion-y flavor reminiscent of mild green onions. For the best flavor, use the white and light green parts. Compost the dark green parts, or use them to make veggie broth.
- Celery: Crisp celery isn’t a typical ingredient in many potato leek soups, but I find that adding celery to the soup helps the flavor pop.
- Potatoes: For the best rich and creamy soup, opt for Yukon gold potatoes. They blend like a dream and are naturally higher in starch, making them the perfect potato for a thick, creamy vegan potato leek soup.
- Coconut milk: Traditional potato leek soups are often made with heavy cream. Canned full-fat coconut milk fits the bill as the best plant-based substitute. Or, if you prefer a richer, creamier soup, coconut cream also works well.
- Herbs: Many of my favorite soup recipes use dried herbs because they are convenient and almost always in the pantry. But in this vegan potato leek soup, I find the flavor of fresh garlic, sprigs of thyme, and single bay leaf to yield a more vibrant, aromatic flavor that simply can’t be beat!
- Broth: Traditional potato leek soup is typically made with unsalted chicken stock. I find vegan “chicken” flavored broth to be the most flavorful, but any good vegetable broth will do. If you’d like to go the homemade route, my Homemade Broth never fails. Or, use vegetable stock and salt to taste.
How to Make Vegan Potato Leek Soup
- In a large soup pot or large dutch oven, sauté the leeks, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and additional salt and pepper until soft and fragrant.
- Stir in the potatoes, broth, coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Blend using an immersion blender or a regular blender until smooth.
- Season and serve while warm with your desired toppings.
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Use a blender with a venting lid. Hot foods like soup expand immensely when blended and can build up significant pressure inside the blender canister. If you do not vent the lid when blending, the lid can quite literally blow off the top of the blender! To be safe, allow the steam to vent and blend on a low setting until smooth.
- How to pick the best leeks: While the dark green portion of leeks looks attractive, it’s actually too fibrous and dense to eat. Try to pick leeks that have long white and light green stems – these parts are tender, and you’ll get the most bang for your buck!
- Thoroughly clean the leeks! Leeks are notoriously dirty – so make sure you clean them well. I recommend chopping off the root and the green parts, then cutting the remaining “stem” in half. Run the leek under water, making sure to open up each layer of the leek to check for any hidden dirt. If you are a visual learner, check out this simple tutorial from the Food Network: How to Clean Leeks for Beginners.
This soup is both light and wholesome at the same time, making it a perfect lighter lunch or dinner side! It’s the perfect soup to serve with a side of crusty bread and cozy toppings like fresh chives or fresh parsley, herby croutons, vegan cheese shreds, nutritional yeast, vegan bacon bits, a dollop of vegan sour cream, and/or a final drizzle of olive oil.
If you’d like to make it a more filling meal, I suggest serving this vegan potato soup recipe with some crispy tofu or roasted chickpeas, or a main dish such as Vegan Quiche, a Fall Farro Salad, or a hearty slice of Vegan Lentil Loaf.If you’re looking for more light vegan soup recipes, you’ll also love this Vegan Tomato Soup, Creamy Parsnip Soup with Roasted Garlic, Butternut Squash and Apple Soup and this Feel Good Red Lentil Soup!
How to Store Vegan Potato Leek Soup
Leftover potato leek soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (and become even more flavorful overtime!), or can be stored in the freezer in glass jars or freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months.
When freezing in glass jars, take note of your particular jar’s freezer line. Filling the jar above this line can cause the jar to crack under pressure because soups expand as they freeze.
Reheat leftover soup in the microwave or in a small saucepan on the stovetop. If frozen, allow the potato leek soup to thaw in the fridge for 1-2 days, then reheat as desired.
Substitutions and Variations
- Oil substitutions: Instead of a drizzle of olive oil, sauté the aromatics in dairy-free butter of choice. Or, if you’re oil-free, sauté the leeks in a splash of water or additional vegan chicken broth.
- Potato options: Replace the Yukon gold potatoes with russet potatoes. Russets are slightly less creamy, but the final soup should still be smooth and creamy. Avoid waxy potato varieties such as red potatoes – reserve these potatoes for recipes such as Breakfast Potatoes, Everything Bagel Potato Salad, and Vegan Niçoise Salad.
- Leek substitutions: There is no good substitute for leeks here, but if leeks aren’t in season near you, frozen is a good option. Add the leeks to the pot of melted butter directly from the freezer, and sauté for an extra 3 to 5 minutes, until all of their liquid has evaporated.
- Coconut milk substitution: I don’t always cook with full-fat coconut milk, but when I do it’s because its richness makes a huge difference! With that being said, if you have a coconut allergy, use equal parts full-fat oat milk, or an unsweetened vegan creamer. You can also make your own homemade cashew cream by blending 3/4 cup soaked cashews with 1 cup water until smooth. I do not recommend using thin store-bought milks such as almond milk or even soy milk.
It was blended for too long. Potatoes are delicate in that they can be over mashed and over blended. This causes their starches to be released and turn into a gluey, gummy mess. Blend until just smooth, then stop.
Both! The white and light green portions of the leek are edible. The dark green stocks however are too tough and should be discarded.
Sauté them for the full 6 to 8 minutes in a source of fat such as oil or vegan butter. Cooking aromatics in fat allows their flavors to infuse into the oil or fat, which in turn increases the flavor of the entire soup. For the best flavor intensity, always sauté low and slow for several minutes in a quality fat.
We have yet to try an Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup, however, we have several Instant Pot recipes you’d likely love. Check out this similar Instant Pot Potato Spinach Soup, this Instant Pot Black Bean Soup, or this Quick Vegan Minestrone Soup.
A food processor is a great alternative. Just like using a high speed blender, make sure to leave enough space for the hot soup to expand and blend until a smooth texture forms.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Comforting Vegan Potato Leek Soup
- 3-4 leeks see instructions for cleaning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter
- 2 stalks of celery chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes chopped
- 4 cups vegan “chicken” flavored or vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 13.5- ounce can full-fat coconut milk (see notes for substitutions)
- Serving suggestions: chives or green onions croutons, chopped parsley, etc.
- Prep the Leeks: Cut the root ends and dark green parts off of the leeks, leaving only the tender white and light green parts. Cut each leek in half lengthwise, then run under water until clean, making sure to check the outer few layers of the leek for hidden dirt. Chop into ¼” pieces. Prepare the remaining ingredients, if you haven’t already
- Sauté Aromatics: Melt the butter in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for 6 to 8 minutes, until the leeks are translucent and their volume has reduced by half. Add the celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and additional salt and pepper (I used ½ teaspoon of each) to the pot and sauté for an additional 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Simmer: Add the potatoes, broth, coconut milk, and water to the pot and stir well. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium and maintain a simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Blend: Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth, or carefully transfer the soup to a blender with a venting lid and blend until smooth. I prefer my soup to be smooth, but you can leave a portion of it unblended for a chunkier texture, if you wish. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste if necessary. If the soup is too thick for your liking, thin it out with more water or broth.
- Serve: Serve warm, topped with chopped chives, parsley, celery leaves, or croutons. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or can be stored in the freezer in jars or airtight containers for up to 2 months.
- Coconut Milk: I don’t find that there is a big coconut taste in this recipe after simmering. That being said, you can also use equal parts full-fat oat milk, or an unsweetened vegan creamer. You can also make your own homemade cashew cream by blending 3/4 cup soaked cashews with 1 cup water.