This vegan leek and potato soup is every bit as good as the classic French vichyssoise but without the dairy. Floury potatoes give this comforting soup a lovely velvety smooth and creamy texture so no cream is needed! Unlike other vegan recipes for this soup, my recipe is free from coconut milk as well as dairy free, so that the flavours of the leek and potato can really shine through! Serve chunky or smooth, however you like it, it's easy and delicious so give it a try!
As a child, leek and potato soup (or vichyssoise as the French call it), was my favourite soup. To me, it is the ultimate comfort food!
When I gave up dairy to go vegan, I was gutted that I couldn’t eat this rich, creamy soup anymore. So, after some experimenting, here is my dairy-free leek and potato soup recipe that is every bit as creamy and delicious as the heavy butter, milk and cream-laden French version.
This version is also different to a lot of the vegan leek and potato soup recipes out there since it does not contain coconut milk. I’m sorry but I really don’t like the idea of coconut milk in this classically French soup recipe. It just seems a bit incongruous to me. So, my version is coconut milk-free and cream-free but totally creamy and delicious!
Why you will love this vegan leek and potato soup recipe!
- The rich, mellow flavours of this soup are pure comfort in a bowl!
- This easy recipe makes a filling and satisfying meal for the whole family with minimal effort.
- The main ingredients are cheap and readily available so this recipe is easy on the pocket!
- It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and vegan.
- It's perfect for taking to work or school in a thermos flask.
Depending on where you come from, you may know this soup by a different name. In the UK we tend to call it leek and potato soup or vichyssoise which is the French version (served ice cold and silky smooth). In America, I believe it is known as potato leek soup instead. Either way, it’s delicious and much-loved everywhere!
How to clean leeks
Leeks are notoriously dirty inside so require thorough washing! The best way to prep leeks is:
- First, chop off the very dark green parts of the leek which are too fibrous and tough to digest. You should be left with just the white and light green parts.
- Chop off the roots at the white end. Then slice down the length of the leek and peel off the tough outer layer.
- Cut the leek in half lengthways.
- Run the cut leek under the tap, cut side facing the water, while pulling out the different layers with your thumbs to remove dirt from in between the layers.
- Shake to remove excess water.
- Chop as needed.
You will hardly believe such a flavoursome soup can be made from such simple ingredients!
- Leeks – to choose the best fresh leeks, go for ones that are straight and firm. You don’t want too much of the dark green ends if you can help it, because they are too fibrous to digest so we just cut those off and discard them. Try to find leeks with a long white and light green parts as that’s the bit that you will use.
- Potatoes – you need floury potatoes to make leek and potato soup. These are the ones that go lovely and soft when cooked and almost disintegrate into the soup. In the UK, these are varieties like Desiree, King Edward and Maris Piper (not Charlotte or Anya which are waxy varieties and will stay too firm for the soup). In Qatar, I find the Oman potatoes to be best. In America, russet potatoes or, at a push, yukon gold potatoes would work for this soup.
- Garlic – added for depth of flavour (and really I can’t cook anything without garlic!).
- Olive oil – for sautéing the leeks. You could use a mixture of olive oil and vegan butter if you prefer.
- Vegetable stock – use a good quality vegetable broth as this adds background flavour for the leeks and potatoes. I like the Marigold vegetable bouillon powder.
- Bay leaf and nutmeg – these add a lovely flavour to the soup. Be careful not to go overboard with the nutmeg though as too much of it will give a less pleasant medicinal flavour. Dried bay leaves can be found in the grocery store.
- Oat milk – a little oat milk is added at the end to thin down the soup and make it even more creamy. You can substitute for any non-dairy milk you like.
- Salt and pepper
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities of ingredients.
How to make this recipe
- First prep the leeks (see section above on how to clean leeks) and peel and chop the potatoes and garlic.
- Then, in a large pot, warm the olive oil over a medium heat and add the leeks. Stir over the heat, then turn the heat down to medium-low and sauté for 5 minutes until soft and translucent and a little bit golden brown. If they are browning too quickly you can turn the heat down a little.
- Next, add the garlic and stir over the heat for another minute or so until the garlic smell is fragrant and it has browned slightly.
- Then, add the potatoes, vegetable stock and seasonings and simmer for 15-20 minutes. You could also add a sprig or two of fresh thyme at this stage if you like.
- The soup is ready when the potatoes are soft and tender (check with a fork mashing a cube against the side of the pan – or just try eating one of the cubes!). The cooking time really depends on the type of potato used and the size of the cubes. I like to cut mine into small cubes so that I can leave the soup chunky without having to whizz it. It also means that the potato cooks quickly.
- Once the potato is cooked through and soft, take the soup off the heat and stir in the oat milk.
- Either serve this delicious soup as it is or blend with a stick blender in the pan (or transfer to a regular blender) and whizz until smooth. If you are leaving it chunky, you can either leave it as it is or mash the soup slightly with a potato masher, to get more of a thick soup texture rather than little cubes of potatoes.
- Serve with a swirl of vegan cream and some chopped fresh chives sprinkled on top and a generous grating of black pepper.
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for full instructions or see the web story here.
This vegan leek and potato soup is delicious on its own as a main meal with some crusty bread or as an elegant vegan starter for a dinner party. The French serve vichyssoise as an ice-cold soup but I like to eat it as a hot soup instead. It really is up to you but if you are going to serve it cold, you will need to season it really well with extra salt and pepper since colder temperatures dull the palate.
Adjust the amount of milk you add to get the consistency you like. When I was doing my chef training at Leiths cooking school, we were taught that vichyssoise should be single cream consistency for dinner parties and double cream consistency for family style!
If you want to make it really special, add a swirl of truffle oil on top. The truffle flavour works so well with the potatoes and leeks!
- Vegan potato leek soup recipes often include coconut milk which is not to my taste. However, it is creamier so feel free to use that instead if you prefer.
- If the flavours are too simple for you, you could add some nutritional yeast for a slight cheesiness (and added vitamin B12).
- If you’re not into potatoes or want to add more protein, you could substitute the potatoes for protein-rich white beans. Butter beans or cannellini beans would work well. (This would be similar to my velvety spinach and cannellini bean recipe).
- You could also add a squeeze of lemon juice for a little acidity and some extra vitamin C.
Making Ahead & Storage
Soups are perfect for making ahead which is why they make such a great dinner party starter! This soup will keep in a covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you’re making it ahead, take it to the stage where you blend it but leave out the oat milk and stir that in when re-heating instead. Gently re-heat over a low heat, stirring frequently, until hot. Or, you could re-heat in the microwave but give it a really good stir to ensure it’s hot throughout.
You can also freeze this soup. Again, freeze without the milk added, then stir in the milk while re-heating gently in a pan over a low heat, or re-heat in the microwave and then stir the milk in. You might find that the soup separates on defrosting so that it has a watery layer and a thick layer. Don’t worry, just whisk it together on heating.
It is great to leave the skin on your vegetables when cooking so that you get the nutrients that are hiding just under the skin. If you’re going for a chunky texture to this soup, then it’s fine to leave the skin on as long as you cut the potato into very small cubes so that you don't get a big mouthful of skin. It will give a more earthy flavour but will still taste good. However, for a velvety smooth soup, you will need to remove the skin, as the skin will affect the consistency of the soup and may make it bitty.
Cooked potatoes can go a bit gloopy when they are blended. This is the reason why it is best to make mashed potatoes with a ricer rather than in a food processor. The ratio of potatoes to leeks is important here as it will prevent the soup texture going gluey from the blended potatoes. So don't be tempted to add more potatoes into the mix! It also helps to only blend for just the amount of time necessary to get a smooth texture and no longer.
Yes! You could sauté the leeks and garlic just as it is in the recipe but on the sauté function of the IP, then add the potatoes, stock, and seasonings and put the lid on and set it to high pressure for 15 minutes. This should cook the potatoes through. Then add the oat milk and blend or serve as it is.
📖 Recipe 📖
Vegan Leek and Potato Soup
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 600 g leeks (white and pale green parts only) sliced thinly
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 400 g floury potatoes cubed
- 900 ml vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 200 ml oat milk
- Vegan cream or olive oil or truffle oil
- Chopped fresh chives
- Heat the olive oil and when hot, add the leeks. Stir over the heat for a minute then turn the heat down to medium low and sauté for 10-15 minutes until the leeks are translucent and only very slightly golden tinged.2 tablespoon olive oil, 600 g leeks (white and pale green parts only)
- Add the garlic and stir over the heat for another minute until fragrant.4 garlic cloves
- Add the potatoes, stock, and seasonings. Stir well and bring to the boil. Once almost boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. The cooking time depends on the variety of potato and the size of the cubes. The smaller the cubes are, the quicker it will cook.400 g floury potatoes, 900 ml vegetable stock, 1 bay leaf, pinch of salt and pepper, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Check whether the potatoes are cooked by sticking a fork into a piece of potato or pressing a cube of potato against the side of the pan. If it is completely soft, then the soup is ready. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the oat milk.200 ml oat milk
- Choose whether to serve the soup as a chunky or smooth texture. If chunky, you can serve it as it is or if smooth, you need to blend the soup (either use a stick blender in the pan or pour the soup into a blender – but you might need to do this in two batches!). Do not over-blend or the soup might go a bit gluey.
- Serve with a swirl of vegan cream or a drizzle of olive oil (or truffle oil if you want to be fancy!) and some chopped fresh chives. Mop up with crusty bread!Vegan cream or olive oil, Chopped fresh chives
Instant Pot Instructions
- Follow the steps above but do the sautéing in the Instant Pot on the sauté function. Then, when you add the potatoes, stock and seasoning, put the lid on and set the IP to high pressure for 15 minutes.
- Once the soup is cooked, leave to naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes and then quick pressure release. Test the potatoes with a fork to check that they are cooked through (if not, close it again and cook on high pressure for another 2 minutes) then stir in the oat milk. Either serve as it is or blend to make a smooth soup.
- If you intend to serve the soup as a chunky texture, you will need to make sure your potatoes are in neat little cubes and the leek slices are thin and consistently sized.
- If the soup is too thick, you can thin it down with a little more oat milk.
- Please see the blogpost for tips on how to prep and clean leeks.
- It is important to use floury potatoes for this soup (not waxy potatoes). In the UK this would be something like Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes. In the US, it would be russet potatoes and here in Qatar, I like to use the Oman potatoes.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐ star rating ⭐ on the recipe card!
More Healthy Soup Recipes
If you like this vegan leek and potato soup recipe, you may like these other delicious vegan and gluten-free soup recipes too:
I’d love to know how you get on with this vegan leek & potato soup recipe. Let me know what you think in the comments section below and please give it a star rating too! Thank you!