Potato and Leek Soup

Total Time:
1 hr
16 min
44 min

1 1/2 quarts soup, or about 6 servings

  • 1 large or 2 small leeks, about 1 pound
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives

Trim the green portions of the leek and, using 2 of the largest and longest leaves, make a bouquet garni by folding the 2 leaves around the bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. Tie into a package-shaped bundle with kitchen twine and set aside. (Alternately, tie 2 leek leaves, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme together in a piece of cheesecloth.)

Using a sharp knife, halve the white part of the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water to rid the leek of any sand. Slice thinly crosswise and set aside.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is very soft and has rendered most of its fat. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the reserved bouquet garni, chicken stock, potatoes, salt and white pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart and the soup is very flavorful.

Remove the bouquet garni and, working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender. (Alternately, if you own an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot.) Stir in the creme fraiche and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately, with some of the snipped chives sprinkled over the top of each bowl of soup.

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Pairs Well With
Sauvignon Blanc

Acidic, refreshing white wine

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    159 Reviews
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    My family who are no keen soup eaters loved it. Think I will try it without the bacon next time and use veg stock - maybe just add some parmesan. I think the bouquet garni is key. Brilliant recipe. Cheap and gourmet.
    used 1tbsp butter, 1 lb potato, 2 leeks, didnt make spice bundle but added spices, 1/2c cream used pancetta so not as strong added garlic good flavor
    Great flavor, tho I did it veggie w/ no bacon and veg stock. Not too salty w/o bacon. Doubled the recipe. Was a bit watery, would use less stock next time, or more potatoes (used about 2 lbs.) Used extra butter in the beginning b/c no bacon fat.
    So good, ate seconds! Slight changes per some of the reviews I read. I used just some the rendered bacon fat with the butter to saute, and ate the bacon while I cooked the soup! I saw someone suggest crumbled bacon on top and doh! I should have done that lol! This was so. so good! Also, I didn't bother with the bouquet garnis, I just added the herbs and removed the bay leaves before emulsifying it. Will definitely make this again!
    Everything's better with bacon, right? Well, 99.9% of the time, the answer to that is yes. In this case, however, I'm going to say I prefer it without the bacon. I made this awhile ago and followed the recipe exactly. I couldn't get past the pureed bacon. I just didn't care for it. I think it would be better if you were to remove the bacon after cooking it and then crumble it on top before serving. Well, I decided to make it again last night and I left out the bacon completely in an effort to be a little healthier. This soup is so flavorful and tasty, I didn't miss the bacon at all. In fact, I definitely prefer it without the bacon and I think that's how I'll make it from now on. Bacon is delicious, but it does tend to overpower and I think it masks all the other wonderful flavors in this soup. With this amount of flavor, the bacon just isn't necessary!
    I followed the recipe EXACTLY as written, because Emeril knows flavor!! It is absolutely THE BEST!! I used Sauvignon Blanc. Even made the bouquet garni with the leek leaves! Sooo much fun to make and such an aroma while cooking and sooo delicious and satisfying to eat. 10 STARS!!!
    great! i absolutely love potato leak soup and this was better than any restaurant
    Best ever!!!
    Excellent. I added a yam, used red potatoes, sherry,water& broth I had left over, poultrySeasoning not thyme. Sour cream/& plainYogrt,etc. VeryGood
    patty why even rate a recipe that you change so much that its not even the recipe any more? at least you gave yourselff 5 stars
    The main reason I read the reviews is to see alterations that people have made with success or not. For example, I read patty's review thinking ah- I have some yam to use up, I bet that would add a nice touch of sweetness. Helps with the creative cooking process- recipes as inspiration is just as valid. Rock on, alteration reviews!
    Liked it! I had fatty bacon so I poured off some of the fat, used black pepper and regular whipping cream.
    This is an excellent recipe. I made homemade chicken stock for the soup. I followed the recipe except I left the salt out. Great stuff, everyone enjoyed it-Cheers!!!
    I made this soup for dinner and my daughter loved it. She wants me to make it every week. The only change I made was not using bacon. I just added extra butter. Perfect recipe
    I absolutely ADORE this soup! I usually am not much of a soup person, but this one is so creamy and yet satisfying at the same time. Just the right amount of spice, though it does tend to get spicier if you have leftovers--I've been told that that is because of the white pepper, so I tried it with black this time and see if we have the same problem.
    I made this and I, my wife and friends found it to be absolutely delicious. The bacon used is a big part of it. Thicker the better I say. I did, as anyone who enjoys cooking, added to the recipe. After blending, I added some additional potatoes that were diced and parboiled to the soup.
    This was delicious! I had yukon potatoes and leeks on hand. I left out the bacon and substituted the chiken broth for vegetable broth. I replaced the creme fraiche/heavy cream with 1 cup Lifeway low-fat KEFIR and 1 cup Silk's unsweetened almond milk. I also added a bit more white wine! Followed the rest of the recipe as stated. It was fabulous!  
    Adding the Kefir and unsweetened almond milk, I thought was a stretch, but couldn't believe how fantastic this tasted!
    Wow, delish! I actually signed up just so I could write a review of this fabulous soup. I didn't use a cheesecloth or make a wrap with the leek leaves, I just tossed in the peppercorns (but remove them when the soup is done, didn't have thyme, so I used about a teaspoon or marjoram flakes, didn't want to dirty my blender so I used a potato masher. I also didn't have chicken broth so I used 5 bouillon cubes, and we don't drink or use wine for cooking, so I used 1/2 cup water instead. We also don't eat pork and only had one slice of turkey bacon left so I used that. Didn't have heavy cream so I used 1/2 cup half & half. Even with all those changes, this is probably the best soup I've ever made. From the other reviews and changes they made too, it seems kinda impossible to go wrong with this soup. Yum!
    This is a delicious soup, perfect for a cold snowy day. I did not have white wine, so used 1/4 cup of brandy instead and it turned out great. I would add a touch less white pepper and salt, as the seasonings came out a bit too strong. Otherwise, I wouldn't change anything and will definitely be making this again.
    YUM! I made this tonight because I had leeks and potatoes on hand. I left the cream out, but followed the rest (almost. I added a little hot sauce, and used my potato masher at the end, since I couldn't find my immersion blender. My husband and I inhaled it, and I'm glad there's a little left for tomorrow's lunch! Very flavorful. Thanks, Emeril!
    Amazing! I have made this recipe many times and it's perfection. Be careful to stay within or a bit under the potato measurement or else it gets too thick but you can always use more stock to thin it out. This soup is a big hit. You can't go wrong.
    Delicious! I like my potato soup thicker so I added some potato flakes. It was a bit salty so next time I'd lighten up on it. Like so many others, I used more bacon. A great soup after a day of shoveling out from Blizzard Nemo!!
    My main criticism is that there is far too much salt. Chicken broth has about a gram of sodium per cup. The bacon has salt too. Adding salt according to the recipe is overkill. I added just a smidgen, and next time I will not add any.
     I didn't have bay leaf, so I left it out. I also didn't have fresh thyme, so I just sprinkled in a bit of ground thyme. I put the pepper corns in a mesh ball. I didn't have heavy cream. I whisked 1/2 cup of warm milIk into 1/4 cup melted butter instead. I also didn't add the white pepper. My wife likes things mild, and I always add pepper at the table.
     With all these modifications, the soup was delicious. I am considering adding a carrot and a stalk of celery next time.
    This was so easy and very yummy! One of the group is vegetarian so I omitted the bacon and chicken stock. Used a little extra butter to make up for the bacon fat and used vegetable stock instead. It was amazing. Can't wait to make it with the bacon!
    As soon as those leeks hit the pan mmmmmm the house smells so good. My husband and my kids insist that I make this soup as soon as the fall season begins in Michigan and throughout the snowy Sunday's. Use one of those new cool hand mixers to blend the soup at the end. You'll save a lot of time instead of tranfering to cuisinart or kitchen aid mixer. Also FYI consider doubling this recipe, you're going to want another bowl the next day:
    Yummy. But very fatning. Since my hubby is kinda a bacon junkie, I used 3 slices of bacon. A guilty pleasury that he gets to enjoy rarely (or when I'm not around. One of those dishes that you can't eat too much though. A little is deliciously enough.
    One word: BACON. Been making Potato Leek Soup for years, never thought to add this simple, tasty ingredient. Makes such a difference!!
    AMAZING! First soup I have ever made and it was easy and was delicious.
    So fantastic! I followed it to the letter and the taste is divine! It is like having soup in a fancy restaurant. The only suggestion that I might have is if you are using regular chicken stock (instead of low sodium cut it with a little water. Mine turned out great, but it was almost too salty. Ingredients are inexpensive and it was quick to make. I even had time to throw together an apple crisp. A++++
    Excellent! I made a boo boo though.....I added too much pepper (I tripled the recipe and never used white pepper so I added extra , its so spicy and I need to figure a way to cool it down....any ideas??? My bad totally I LOVE this recipe just be cautious on the pepper usage. No gettin crazy with the pepper unless you like it hot!
    amazing, I top it with freshly grated Parmesan.
    Excellent soup... perfect comfort soup! Well balanced would not change a thing!
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