Instant pot leek potato soup is a European classic, made super easy in the pressure cooker! Mild, sweet, oniony leeks combine with creamy potatoes, broth, and fresh cream in this unique bowl of hearty comfort food.
Leek Potato Soup, A French-Belgian Classic
Every once in a while, I get nostalgic for the autumn I spent in Europe in 2006. Our home base was Belgium and one of my fondest memories is the incredible meals our house mom, Mama T, used to serve up every night.
Most nights, we had an appetizer of pasta with butter & parmesan or a hearty bowl of vegetable soup. Our favorite variety was leek & potato, which is about as Belgian as you can get (except for the escargot, which tasted like garlic butter with the texture of a gummy bear.)
Back to the leek & potato soup. Despite being a humble vegetable, leeks felt a bit special and civilized to me since I was unfamiliar with them, growing up in rural Southern USA. I instantly fell in love with their mild, sweet, and somewhat oniony flavor.
I believe she shared the recipe with several of us girls back then, which I have since misplaced. Thankfully, leek and potato soup is a very simple & straightforward dish that anyone can make.
Leeks feel oddly special to us Americans, even though you can easily find them in pretty much any supermarket. If you want to feel a bit European and civilized while enjoying a bowl of hearty comfort food, this recipe is for you.
A Traditional Soup in the Instant Pot?
To make this recipe even easier, I’m making it in the Instant Pot! It might seem a little less traditional this way, but the key is using the homemade chicken bone broth you made previously to add that depth of flavor (here’s my method). I love filling my freezer full of homemade broth every couple of weeks so I can make richly flavored soups anytime I want.
You can easily convert this recipe to make it on the stove if you have a little more time. But, using the Instant Pot is a great hack for quick & easy weeknight dinners.
There is a really nice stovetop version in this lovely cookbook I recently found, “Everybody Eats Well in Belgium.”
Important Tip for Washing Leeks
The only downside to leeks is that they are a bit challenging to clean. Dirt tends to get stuck in many of the layers, especially at the bottom. Cut off and discard the root ends, and peel back a few layers as you wash thoroughly.
One trick to try is slicing the leeks and putting them into a large bowl of water. The leeks will float to the top, and the dirt will fall to the bottom.
Use the whole leek (no waste)
Many recipes will tell you to discard the thick dark green parts at the top of the leeks. I don’t like doing this, as I don’t enjoy wasting perfectly good food! Since you will be thoroughly cooking and partially pureeing the soup, it’s fine to use the whole leek.
You can cut off about an inch at the top of the leaves which can be a bit tough. But the dark green part of the leek is full of vitamin C and fiber, plus it adds a nice color and flavor to your soup!
Here’s more about why you don’t want to throw away the green part.
What to serve with leek potato soup
Leek and potato soup is a classic starter or appetizer for any special dinner. Everyone will love it!
You can also top this soup with cooked & crumbled bacon for extra protein and an incredible boost of flavor, or try some crispy croutons and chives.
Other Soup Recipes You’ll Love
How to Make Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup
First, wash your leeks thoroughly (per instructions above) and make sure they are sliced and ready to go. Dice onion & potatoes too. I like using yellow potatoes, but you can use any type. Turn the Instant Pot on “sauté” mode and melt some butter in there.
To the pot, add chopped onion and leeks, and sauté for several minutes until leeks are starting to soften. Then add garlic, salt, thyme, and bay leaf and sauté for a minute more.
Next, add diced potatoes and chicken stock to the pot. Stir everything together and lock/seal the lid. Set to “manual, high pressure” mode for 10 minutes. Remember, it will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure.
Once it’s done, carefully release the pressure seal valve and open the lid once it’s fully vented. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Use a stick immersion blender to pureé the soup to your liking. You can make it really smooth or leave it chunky (we like ours somehwere in between).
Stir in the cream or half & half. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve with toppings of your choice such as grated parmesan cheese, bits of bacon, croutons, chives, etc.
Instant pot leek potato soup is a European classic made easy! Mild, sweet, oniony leeks combine with creamy potatoes, broth, and fresh cream.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 leeks, sliced and washed thoroughly
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh)
- 1 pound yellow potatoes, diced
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup half & half (or heavy cream)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
1. Wash leeks thoroughly to remove all dirt and slice into coins. Turn the Instant Pot on "sauté" mode and add butter.
2. Add chopped onion and leeks, sauté for several minutes until leeks start to soften. Add garlic, salt, thyme, and bay leaf and sauté for a minute more.
3. Add diced potatoes and chicken stock to the pot. Stir everything together and lock/seal the lid. Set to "manual, high pressure" mode for 10 minutes.
4. When cycle is complete, carefully release the pressure seal valve and open the lid after fully venting. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
5. Use a stick immersion blender to pureé the soup to your liking. You can make it really smooth or leave it chunky.
6. Stir in cream or half & half. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Serve with toppings of your choice such as grated parmesan cheese, bits of bacon, croutons, chives, etc.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 1063mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g