Potato leek soup is a classic French soup that we have always loved. Variations on this soup abound, like with the addition of bacon, dairy free, chunky, smooth, etc. We enjoy most versions, but what we love is the depth of flavor that caramelizing the leeks brings. When making these alterations it is no longer a “classic” potato-leek soup but that is not the intention here. We wanted to create the best tasting soup we would want to eat! This Creamy Potato and Caramelized Leek Soup is absolutely delicious, full of flavor and perfect for soup season.
What do Leeks Taste Like?
Leeks are from the onion family and have a similar flavor profile to onions, garlic and shallots as well. Compared to these other more well-known vegetables, leeks have a sweeter, less aggressive onion-flavor making them perfect for a variety of dishes, especially soups. The white and light green parts of the stalk are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked. The darker green tops of the stalks are very tough, but are great to add to homemade vegetable stocks or broths.
Leeks can be used in many recipes that call for onions if you want a more mild and sweeter flavor profile.
What Potatoes are Best for this Potato Soup?
There are many potatoes to choose from, but for this soup, the two best options are either Yukon gold potatoes or russet potatoes. Both are easy to find and have enough of a starchy component to make the texture of the soup perfect.
The goal is to have a thick yet creamy texture, so we prefer Yukon gold potatoes for this reason.
You can certainly use other potatoes – we have experimented here as well – but the overall texture isn’t quite as good with a waxy white or red new potato.
Pancetta vs Bacon
We don’t mind bacon in this soup at all, but we prefer the more subtle, non-smoky flavor brought out by the pancetta.
Bacon’s smoky flavor tends to be overpowering in a lot of dishes. Don’t get us wrong, we love bacon, but it has its place and we didn’t want this to be a bacon-forward soup. If you can’t find pancetta, you can of course use bacon, but we encourage you to try pancetta first.
There isn’t much pancetta in this soup, so the flavor is not extremely pronounced, but the delicate addition really makes a difference as opposed to leaving it out (we tried both)!
We prefer vegetable stock in this soup since it is a vegetable forward dish. But either vegetable or chicken stock will work well here, so use what you prefer.
How to Achieve that Smooth Creamy Texture?
To purée the soup, we found it easiest to use an immersion blender. This way, we don’t have to transfer the soup and create more dirty dishes.
However, you can also use a countertop blender to puree the soup. If using a countertop blender, be extremely careful to start the blending process on the lowest setting and gradually increase the speed until blended. Hot liquids will explode in a blender if started on too high of a setting.
Our third choice is a food processor, which won’t yield as creamy of a texture. It will work just fine, and if you prefer less of a silky texture, it will work fine.
If you have any leftovers, store the soup in airtight containers in the fridge for up to one week. Reheating the soup is easy on the stovetop on low or in the microwave.
We hope that you enjoy this recipe for Creamy Potato and Caramelized Leek Soup! If you give it a try and like it, click the heart at the top of the post, leave us a 5 star rating and comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
Looking for more recipes like this? Check these out:
- Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Asiago Soup
- Spiced Carrot Ginger and Fennel Soup
- Minty Pea Soup
- Hearty Vegetable Pasta Soup
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