Darina Allen's winter leek & potato soup

Leek & potato soup

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(114 ratings)

Ready in 40-50 minutes


Serves 6 - 8

Of the winter soups, leek and potato is one of the most comforting and familiar - and Darina Allen's makes the most of seasonal, local veg

Nutrition and extra info

  • Veggie (if you use vegetable stock)
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving for six

  • kcal252
  • fat18g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs18g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre3g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces (try Golden Wonders or Kerr Pinks)



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 1 small onion, cut the same size as the potatoes



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 450g white parts of leeks, sliced (save the green tops for another soup or stock)



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 850ml-1.2litres/1½-2pts light chicken or vegetable stock



    Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…

  • 142ml carton whipping cream
  • 125ml full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

To finish

  • the white part of 1 leek



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • a small knob of butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • finely chopped chives


  1. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. When it foams, add the potatoes, onion and leeks and toss them in the butter until they are well coated. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper and toss again. Put a disc of greaseproof paper (called a cartouche by chefs) on top of the vegetables to keep in the steam), then cover the pan with its lid. Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not coloured.

  2. Uncover the pan and discard the paper. Pour in 850ml/11⁄2 pints of the stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are just cooked – about 5 minutes. Do not overcook or the soup will lose its fresh flavour.

  3. Purée in a blender until silky smooth, in batches if necessary, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Return the soup to a clean pan and stir in three quarters of the cream and all of the milk.

  4. To finish the soup, finely shred the white leek and gently cook it in the hot butter for a few minutes until it is softened but not coloured. Reheat the soup to a gentle simmer (add some extra stock at this point if the soup is too thick for your liking), then pour into warmed bowls. Drizzle the remaining cream over each serving, top with a little pile of buttered leeks and a scattering of chives and black pepper and serve at once.

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Comments, questions and tips

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18th Feb, 2014
A lovely, flavoursome soup for minimal effort!
10th Feb, 2014
I make this soup all the time, a great family favourite. I don't use the cream at all and the soup hasn't suffered because of it.
1st Nov, 2013
Tasty soup but needed a lot of seasoning. Used 2 tbs low fat creme fraiche instead of milk & cream for healthier option. Also found 1 1/4pt stock was ample.
circe12's picture
17th Jun, 2015
This is really useful--thanks!
28th Oct, 2013
Very tasty recipe. Similar ingredients to my Mum's version but different cooking process. I used soya cream as it's what I had and finished the bowl with a little grated nutmeg (like we did at home).
7th Sep, 2013
Great recipe! Mobile site won't let me rate it's 5 stars. Really easy to follow and steaming the veg gave it a wonderful flavour. So many veg soup recipes come out bland but this one was lovely. Didn't have any cream so used cheddar cheese. Had 3 nights running - tasted better with each bowlful!
18th Aug, 2013
Really nice recipe and very easy to follow. I used new potatoes which gave the soup a lovely natural sweetness, i also added some blue Stilton both to the soup itself and as a topping on top of the leeks at the end which gave it a great flavour. Instead of blending all the soup I only did half and roughly mashed the other, purely to give different textures to the soup- which I preferred as I don't like to eat soup with the same consistency as baby food!
29th May, 2013
Always a welcome treat on a rainy day, and quite easy to make too. All round tummy pleaser :)
27th May, 2013
Beautiful soup used fri light instead of butter at start for vegetables no cream, used semi skimmed milk and also 2 carrots-lovely cant wait to make again
28th Apr, 2013
Really nice - made it for my mother who is convalescing. She wouldn't have any other soup but this. The whole family liked it. :)


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