Potato Leek Soup (Instant Pot)

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This classic potato leek soup is made with wholesome ingredients for a smooth and creamy appetizer. This soup recipe has been adapted for the Instant Pot which cooks the potatoes and leeks under pressure for a quick meal.

Potato leek soup with a swirl of dairy cream

A hot bowl of potato leek soup is a comforting meal made with leeks, an underutilized ingredient that can add a lot of depth and flavor to any dish. This recipe showcases its delicate onion and garlic qualities and makes it the star! The potatoes provide body to the soup, adding in the perfect balance of aromatic flavors with creamy spoonfuls of wholesome vegetables.

Typically made on the stove top, this leek soup version has been adapted for the Instant Pot. Using the pressure cooker function tenderizes the potatoes efficiently to cut down on the cook time to 30 minutes or less.

Cooking leeks in an Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is one of my favorite tools to use. It has a saute function built right into the multicooker, so you do not have to use a separate pan to cook the leeks. This makes it a one-pot recipe plus delivers more subtle sweet notes that gets transferred into the soup base. The goal is to soften the leeks but not overly brown them to preserve the savory aromatics.

Diced russet potatoes are selected because they have a high level of starch. When cooked, especially under pressure, they absorb the cooking liquid and become mealy in texture, falling apart instantly when pierced with a fork. This is the consistency you want when pureeing the ingredients to make a smooth super. That is why russet potatoes are also great for light and fluffy mashed potatoes!

The cleaned leeks and potatoes cook in vegetable broth, garlic, bay leaf and fresh thyme in the pressure cooking function of the Instant Pot. Once the cooker comes to pressure, it takes just 7 minutes for the soup to cook.

Immersion blender breaking down potato leek soup

Once the pressure has been released from the unit, using a handheld immersion blender is the easiest way to puree the soup. This process cuts out having to move the hot soup to another container.

A blender or food processor can also be used, working in batches to puree the soup until just creamy, making sure not to over-process the mixture. The natural starches in the potatoes will swell and provide thickness to the soup, but when overly mixed can get gluey in texture.

Top shot of potato leek soup in a white bowl with a cream swirl

The soup is finished with whole milk and cream to add a nice texture. Garnished with chopped chives, freshly cracked pepper and a drizzle of cream makes for a gourmet homemade soup.

My first encounter with potato leek soup is when I made a French vichyssoise in the first few weeks of culinary school. The cold potato soup is very similar to a British style version. If you have leftovers, you can even enjoy this soup cold for a different eating experience. Either way, it’s an impressively elegant and straightforward meal that will wow at the dinner table.

Close up of potato leek soup with garnish

More soup recipes

When to add milk to hot liquids

When adding delicate dairy products like milk to a hot liquid, the timing is crucial. If the cooking liquid is boiling, the hot temperatures can cause the milk protein to curdle, creating a cottage cheese-like texture. To prevent this from happening the milk should be added at the end of cooking to finish the dish. Adding in a high fat cream also helps to stabilize the milk, in addition to providing richness.

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Potato Leek Soup

A classic potato leek soup made with simple ingredients for a smooth and creamy appetizer made in an Instant Pot.
Pin Print Review
4.41 from 27 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings 5 servings
Course Soup
Cuisine English

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, ⅛-inch slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth, or stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

Instructions 

  • Select the "Saute" function on the Instant Pot. Allow pot to heat, it will indicate "Hot" on the display when ready.
  • Add olive oil and butter to the pot, once hot add the leeks. Saute until softened, stirring frequently and not allowing to brown, 8 minutes.
  • Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add potatoes, vegetable broth, salt, bay leaf and thyme. Stir to combine.
  • Make sure that the release valve is in the "Sealing" position.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn and lock.
  • Press the "Manual" button on the Instant Pot, set to "High Pressure" setting. Set the timer to 7 minutes using the "+" or "-" buttons. It will take about 10 minutes for the pot to heat and build up pressure. You will see steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display and count down.
  • Once cook time is complete, turn off Instant Pot by pressing the "Keep Warm/Cancel" button. Allow it to naturally release the pressure for 15 minutes.
  • If pressure still remains, use an oven mitt or towel to slowly and carefully twist the steam release handle on the lid to "Venting" position. The initial release will spray some moisture around the pot so be careful.
  • Remove the lid, opening the top away from you as steam will be released from the pot.
  • Remove and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
  • Use a hand immersion blender to puree the soup until just smooth, or transfer to a blender and puree.
  • Add in milk, heavy cream and black pepper, whisk to combine.
  • Taste the soup and adjust seasoning as desired.
  • Serve garnished with a drizzle of cream and chives.

Notes

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE & VEGAN: Substitute butter with olive oil, dairy milk, and cream with nut milk of your choice.
  • MAKE IT WHOLE30: Substitute butter with Ghee or clarified butter, kosher salt with sea salt, dairy milk and cream for almond, cashew or coconut milk.

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Nutrition Facts
Potato Leek Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 216 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 354mg15%
Potassium 522mg15%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 2300IU46%
Vitamin C 35.5mg43%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

18 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Clint Chapel says

    Although some people are new to their instant pot, some of us don’t need to know every single nuans of their device. Don’t get me wrong, the soup was good. Perhaps you can add an * and a note for the new people, so that the seasoned people can just skip that part.

  2. Stacy H says

    My kids said they were full. Full! My kids are never full! LoL They loved it so much, I think they each had almost 3 cups… Even I tapped out after my second bowl! Just a nice, simple, easy, and quick meal for a cold night. We served with herb and cheddar biscuits (grain-free), Red Bartlett pears, and topped the soup with cheddar and parsley.
    Thanks a bunch for the recipe!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Wow, that is the ultimate mom win Stacy! Your meal sounds fantastic, I’ll have to give that combo a try. Cheers!

  3. Lois says

    Everything you shared was so helpful, and I thought the soup was delicious. My husband said he might have preferred a thicker soup. I don’t know what one could do in the future to make it thicker without throwing all the seasoning off, for they were perfect. Do you have any suggestions? Your instructions about cleaning the leeks were just great, and this was my first experience using an Instant Pot. Thanks!

  4. AliciaHEKREM says

    The soup tasted “pedestrian” …I followed the recipe exactly as I’m new to elecric cooking. It tasted bland to me.

    I have made it before on a stove and it was great but I dont have an oven/stove anymore😒

  5. Gail says

    What a great soup recipe and clear instructions. I substituted yams for the potatoes and it gives a really sweet taste to it. Wonderful on this rainy day in the west coast. Thanks.

  6. Jeanie says

    I made this yesterday and it was wonderful. I had leeks from another recipe to use and this recipe popped up. I didn’t have quite the amount of leeks the recipe called for but peeled more potato than I needed. It didn’t matter, probably made it a little creamier. I threw in some bacon bits and shredded cheese. An easy, comforting and filling soup. Thanks.

  7. MARCIA NASEEM says

    Hi Jessica,
    It was my first time making this soup and I’m happy you have an instant pot recipe. I’ll try on the stove, but then I think-why? 😊This is an amazing recipe and it is very versatile. It’s like you told a commenter, that you can add seasoning per your taste. For me I grew up with garlic powder and onion powder so I added that. Because I’m married to a Pakistani gentleman, I’ve been making and eating their cuisine almost 30 years-therefore I love spicy food. So I added some Cajun spice to it. It isn’t very spicy, but I wanted that spice to add an extra layer of flavor. As your recipe is, it is perfect and thank you for posting it. I also want to thank you for telling/showing us how to clean leeks. It’s actually how I found your recipe.💞

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