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Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup Recipe

This Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup is a comforting and hearty dish perfect for colder weather or anytime you’re in the mood for a satisfying soup.

It’s hard to beat a warm, comforting meal without much fuss. This easy soup recipe combines the simplicity of fresh ingredients with the convenience of slow cooking, resulting in a dish that’s both delicious and effortless.

A Bowl of Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup.

Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe promises to deliver rich flavors and creamy textures (without heavy cream) with minimal effort. So, grab your crock pot, and let’s get started!

Ingredients to Make Slow-Cooker Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients of Potato Leek Soup.
  • Potatoes: Russet potatoes are great for this recipe because they break down well and create a creamy texture when blended. Yukon Gold potatoes are a good alternative if you prefer a slightly buttery flavor. Ensure they are peeled and diced to similar sizes for even cooking.
  • Leeks: Only use the white and light green parts as they are milder and more tender. Thorough washing is crucial to remove all the silt trapped between the layers. This process ensures your soup is free from grit.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds a layer of depth and complexity to the soup’s flavor profile. When sautéed with leeks, its sweetness enhances the overall taste of the soup.
  • Celery: Celery contributes to the soup’s aromatic base (along with leeks and garlic), offering a hint of bitterness that balances the richness of the potatoes and the creaminess of the beans.
  • Broth: Using low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth allows you to control the salt level of your soup better. Vegetable broth is an excellent option for making this dish vegetarian or vegan.
  • Butter or Olive Oil: Both are used for sautéing the leeks and garlic. Olive oil is a healthier option and can make this recipe vegan.
  • Ground White Pepper: Made from the ripe seeds of the pepper plant with the outer layer removed, white pepper offers a milder, more delicate pepper flavor compared to black pepper. It has a slightly musty, earthy aroma. White pepper adds a subtle warmth and depth to the soup without the more pronounced bite of black pepper, complementing the mild flavors of the potatoes and leeks. Its lighter color also keeps the soup’s color more uniform and appealing. That said, if you don’t have white pepper, you can easily substitute black pepper.
  • White Beans: Adding a can of white beans (like cannellini or great northern beans) not only adds protein but also makes the soup more filling and increases its nutritional value. Ensure they are well-drained and rinsed to remove excess sodium.
  • Leek Oil (optional): Drizzling leek oil on top of the soup before serving adds a burst of fresh leek flavor and a visually appealing green color. It enhances the soup’s presentation and adds an extra layer of leek flavor, tying the dish together. I use Feasting at Home’s Leek Oil recipe, which just happens to be a great way to use the green tops of the leeks.
  • Chopped Chives (optional): Chopped chives sprinkled on top of the soup serve as a garnish, adding a fresh, oniony bite that contrasts beautifully with the creamy texture of the soup. The green of the chives also adds a pop of color, making the dish more visually appealing.
rinse leeks.

How to Clean Leeks

Leeks are known for their delicious, mild onion-like flavor, but they also have a reputation for being tricky to clean due to the silt and soil that gets trapped between their many layers as they grow.

Leeks are grown in sandy or silty soil to facilitate their elongation and to ensure their stems remain tender and white. As the leek grows, the soil is often mounded around it, a process known as blanching, to protect the edible parts from sunlight which keeps them white and tender. This method of cultivation, while great for the leek’s growth and flavor, also means that soil and silt become trapped between the tightly packed layers.

Thoroughly washing leeks is crucial to avoid gritty textures in your dishes. Taking the time to clean them properly ensures that you can enjoy their mild, sweet flavor without the unpleasant crunch of dirt.

Steps to Thoroughly Wash Leeks:

  1. Trim and Slice: Start by trimming off the root ends and the dark green tops of the leeks, leaving the white and light green parts. These dark parts are tougher and less flavorful, though they can be saved for making stock or this Leek Oil. Slice the leeks lengthwise in half to expose the inner layers.
  2. Cut into Half Moons: After slicing them in half, chop the leeks into half-moon shapes. This shape increases the surface area, making it easier to remove any hidden dirt.
  3. Bowl of Water: Place the sliced leeks in a large bowl of cold water. The water helps to loosen any dirt or silt that’s trapped between the layers.
  4. Agitate and Soak: Use your hands to agitate the leeks in the water, helping to dislodge any silt. Let them soak for a few minutes. The dirt will sink to the bottom of the bowl while the leeks float.
  5. Rinse: Carefully lift the leeks out of the water to avoid reintroducing them to the settled dirt at the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Repeat if Necessary: Sometimes, one round of soaking isn’t enough to remove all the silt. Empty the bowl, rinse it out, fill it with fresh water, and soak the leeks again if you still see dirt attached.
  7. Colander Rinse: For an extra layer of assurance, you can then place the leeks in a colander and give them a final rinse under cold running water.
  8. Dry: Pat the leeks dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, or let them air dry for a bit before using them in your recipe.

Making Crock Pot Potato Leek Soup

Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup

  • Sautéeing Leeks, Celery, and Garlic: You don’t have to sauté the leeks, celery, and garlic; you could just add everything raw to the slow cooker. But, by taking an extra 10 minutes to sauté these aromatics before scraping them into the slow cooker, your potato leek soup will have that deeper and sweeter flavor.
  • Slow Cooking: Cooking on low heat for a longer period helps in developing the flavors more profoundly than cooking on high heat.
  • Blending: For a smoother soup, puree it thoroughly. If you prefer a chunkier texture, blend only part of the soup. An immersion blender works best for this, but if you’re using a regular blender, be careful with the hot liquid.
  • Garnishes: Leek oil, sour cream, and chives add both flavor and a visually appealing touch to the soup. Don’t skip on these if you want to elevate the dish.

Frequently Asked Questions About Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup

Can I use different types of potatoes?

Yes, you can use different types of potatoes. Russet potatoes are popular for their starchy quality, which helps thicken the soup. Yukon Gold potatoes are also a great choice for a creamier texture and a slightly buttery flavor.

Stay away from waxy potatoes, such as red potatoes, new potatoes, and some fingerling potatoes. Because they retain their shape and have a firmer texture after cooking, waxy potatoes don’t break down as easily when blended. This can result in a less creamy soup compared to using starchy potatoes. While they can still be used if you prefer a chunkier soup or if that’s all you have on hand, they won’t provide the smooth, velvety texture that’s characteristic of a classic potato leek soup.

Do I need to sauté the leeks and garlic before adding them to the slow cooker?

While it’s not strictly necessary to sauté the leeks and garlic before adding them to the slow cooker, doing so can enhance the flavors of the soup. Sautéing helps soften the leeks and mellows the garlic, contributing to a more complex flavor profile.

Can I make this soup vegan?

Yes, the soup can easily be made vegan. Use olive oil instead of butter for sautéing the leeks and garlic, and choose vegetable broth over chicken broth. For garnishing, opt for vegan sour cream or skip it altogether.

How can I thicken the soup if it’s too thin or thin it if it is too thick?

If the soup is too thin for your liking, there are a few ways to thicken it. One method is to remove a portion of the soup, blend it until smooth, and then stir it back into the pot. Adding a can of white beans, as suggested in the recipe, not only adds protein but also thickens the soup when blended.

And, if you prefer it a little thinner, add some broth after you’ve blended it.

What are some good garnishes for this soup?

Good garnishes for Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup include chopped chives, a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese or vegan sour cream, crispy bacon bits (for a non-vegan option), or a drizzle of olive oil or leek oil for added flavor and visual appeal.

Can I leave the soup chunky or does it need to be fully blended?

The texture of the soup is entirely up to personal preference. For a chunkier soup, blend only a portion of it, leaving some pieces whole for texture. For a smoother soup, blend the entire mixture until it reaches your desired consistency.

Can I freeze Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup?

Yes, this soup freezes well. Cool the soup completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or bags. Leave some space for expansion, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in a microwave, stirring well.

Souper Cubes

Food Storage Favorite

I’ve been using Freezer Storage Cubes and Freezer Pods for years! We use the 1 cup, the 1/2 cup, and the 2 tablespoon trays.

The 1 cup is perfect for lunch portions of soup and chili, as well as beans for meals.

The 1/2 cup size is great for freezing buttermilk and cream. We also portion out 1/2 cup portions of our seasoned meat for our weekly nachos.

The 2-tablespoon trays are a great size for tomato paste and chipotle in adobo.

Busy Morning Ahead? Prep This Soup The Night Before!

By prepping these ingredients the night before, you can significantly reduce the active preparation time the next day. When you’re ready to cook, simply assemble the leek potato soup ingredients in your slow cooker according to the recipe instructions. This approach makes it easy to enjoy delicious, home-cooked meals even on busy days.

Peel and chop the potatoes, then store them in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator to prevent them from turning brown. This water helps to remove some of the starch and keeps the potatoes fresh.

Clean and slice the leeks as described in the washing instructions. Once they’re thoroughly washed and sliced, drain them well, pat dry if possible, and store them in an airtight container or a zip-top bag in the refrigerator.

Chop the garlic and celery and keep them in separate airtight containers in the fridge. Garlic can be minced or left in whole cloves if you prefer a milder flavor.

You could also go ahead and sauté the leeks, celery, and garlic. After sautéing, allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before storing. Transfer the cooled mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate it overnight. When you’re ready to make the soup, simply add the pre-sautéed leek, celery, and garlic to the slow cooker along with the other prepared ingredients according to the recipe instructions.

More Soup Recipes

We are bona fide soup people; there are few meals as satisfying as a delicious bowl of soup. Browse some of these options for other soup recipes.

A Bowl of Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup.

Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup

This Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup is a comforting and hearty dish perfect for colder weather or anytime you’re in the mood for a satisfying soup.
5
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Course Soups, Stocks, Broths + Chili
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 370 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and diced or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 5 leeks, sliced in half moons white and light green parts only, washed well
  • 8 cups chicken broth, low-sodium or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper ground
  • 1 large clove of garlic or 2 medium cloves of garlic
  • 3 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 can white beans Optional for added protein
  • Leek Oil Optional for garnishing
  • Chives Optional for garnishing
  • Sour Cream Optional for garnishing

Instructions
 

  • Wash your leeks thoroughly. The easiest way to do this is to slice them lengthwise, and then into half-moons. Then, put them in a bowl of water and agitate them with your hands. Rinse them in a colander. I repeat this process until there is no silt on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Melt butter in a medium skillet over low heat and add leeks. Cover and let them cook for 7-10 minutes until soft, but not browned.
  • Add garlic and let cook for 1 minute.
  • While leeks and garlic are cooking, add potatoes, broth, salt and pepper to your slow cooker and stir to combine. For added protein, you can add a can of drained white beans and an additional cup of water or broth.
  • Add sauteed leek and garlic mixture.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  • Use a hand held blender or immersion blender to blend the soup while still in the slow cooker. You can either puree it all or just part of the soup so that some chunks still remain.
  • Serve as is, with a dollop of sour cream, a swirl of Leek Oil, or a sprinkling of chives.

Nutrition

Serving: 12ouncesCalories: 370kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 17gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 751mgPotassium: 1639mgFiber: 7gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1445IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 134mgIron: 6mg
Keyword creamy, leek, potato, soup
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Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup in a white bowl.

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4 Comments

    1. Hi Rita,

      Follow the recipe as written, put skip putting everything in the slow cooker. Instead, add ingredients to a stock pot/soup pot. Bring everything to a boil and then cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Then pick up using an immersion blender if you want to puree it.

      Enjoy!

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