Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup is a creamy, smooth soup made with savory leeks and tender potatoes. It’s an easy family favorite!
As much as I love my Instant Pot for everything from Mashed Potatoes to Sloppy Joes, the IP really shines when it comes to soup. And around our house, Potato Leek soup is currently king. The subtly tart flavor of leeks sautéed in butter is the perfect pair to creamy Russet potatoes. Blend it all until smooth and top the bowls with sour cream and / or bacon (!) and serve it with crusty bread on the side. Or if you are feeding a crowd (or just have a really hungry family!), consider pairing this soup with Pull Apart Cubano Sliders. Who doesn't love a great soup and sandwich combo?
Here’s how to do it!
Potato Leek Soup Ingredients
- Butter - Saute the leeks in butter to really help them tenderize and mellow. You can use salted or unsalted butter, but just keep in mind that you may want to add more or less salt to the soup, depending on which type you use.
- Leeks - Leeks are big leafy vegetables that are part of the same family as onions and scallions but have a very mild flavor once cooked. You’ll need 2 leeks for this recipe which will seem like a lot, but will cook way down. See below for more details about preparing leeks for cooking.
- Russet Potatoes - Russet potatoes are best for this soup. They have the right amount of starch to make the soup creamy and thick.
- Stock - If you want a vegetarian version, make it with vegetable stock. Chicken stock works well if you’re not vegetarian. In a pinch, you can use water which will add slightly less flavor to the soup over using stock.
- Heavy Cream - While you can definitely skip the heavy cream, it really adds a creamy texture and flavor element that goes well with this classic French-style soup. For a lighter option, you could also use half and half for a similar result.
- Bay Leaves, Salt, Black Pepper - Pantry staples. Be sure to taste the soup at the end and add salt and pepper as needed. These will bring out the flavors of the finished soup.
The Key to Smooth, Not Gluey Potato Soup
To get smooth, creamy potato soup that is not grainy or gluey, it is important to blend it as little as possible. The more you blend and work the cooked potatoes, the more their starches will release and mess with the texture of your soup. I strongly prefer to blend the soup for the simplicity and minimal dishes, but just be sure to stop blending as soon as the potatoes are smooth.
It also helps to cook the potatoes in larger pieces in the Instant Pot, as in this recipe. Don't cut them down too small and allow more surface area and more starch to release during cooking.
And finally, if you don't mind adding an extra step, you can remove the cooked potatoes and use a potato masher or ricer to break down the potatoes before stirring them back into the soup. This method will result in the least amount of starches release and the smoothest soup. Check out J. Kenji López-Alt's detailed article on this issue here.
How to Prepare Leeks
- Trim off (and discard) the roots and dark green leaves.
- Slice lengthwise through the center of the leeks.
- Chop the leeks into bite-sized pieces.
- Transfer chopped leeks to a mixing bowl or salad spinner.
- Fill the bowl with water and use your hands to rub the leeks gently to release dirt or soil trapped between the layers. (Note: if using a salad spinner, you can drain and spin the leeks like you would clean lettuce.) Repeat as needed until the leeks are clean.
More Instant Pot Soups and Stews
- Instant Pot Baked Potato Soup
- Instant Pot All American Chili
- Instant Pot Pasta e Fagioli Soup
- Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Instant Pot Tex Mex Chicken and Brown Rice Stew
How to Freeze it
This soup freezes well. Prepare it as written and allow it to cool completely before freezing. Freeze for up to 4 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Check out the recipe card below for a printable freezer label you can attach to this recipe when you freeze it!
- 6-Quart Instant Pot Duo – This is the Instant Pot / pressure cooker I use to test all meals on this site. It easily makes enough to serve the 5 members of our family (usually without leftovers). Though this recipe was not tested in the larger 8-Quart Instant Pot, it should work in that version.
- Immersion Blender – I love this little tool for making pureed soups and sauces. It’s so much easier to clean than using my standard blender.
Use the white and light green parts of the leek only. Remove and discard the roots and the dark green leafy parts.
Yes. And actually, it will give you a GREAT textured soup. If you don't have a blender, remove the cooked potatoes and use a potato masher or ricer to completely mash the potatoes. Stir them back into the soup.
Russet potatoes work best in a smooth soup. They have the right amount of starch and moisture to completely fall apart and blend easily and quickly.
The process of blending potatoes causes their starches to release further, leading to a soup that is grainy and / or gluey. Blend as little as possible to avoid this texture. To correct a soup that is already gluey, add some additional cream or stock to help loosen it up.
Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup Recipe
- 6-quart Instant Pot / pressure cooker
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Leeks, chopped (use white and light green parts only)
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 4 cups Stock (use vegetable or chicken stock)
- 2 pounds Russet Potatoes, peeled and quartered (see note)
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- Sour cream, crumbled cooked bacon, and / or chopped green onions (for topping)
- Turn on the Instant Pot’s saute function to Normal / Medium.
- Add butter and leeks. Saute until leeks are very soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add salt, black pepper, and bay leaves and saute for 2 minutes more.
- Turn off the saute function.
- To the bowl of the Instant Pot, add stock and potatoes. Scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan (this is important because browned bits on the bottom of the pan may cause the burn error).
- Close and lock the lid.
- Set the pressure valve to Sealing.
- Cook on manual / high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Manually release any remaining pressure.
- Remove and discard bay leaves.
- Stir heavy cream into soup.
- Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a standing blender) to blend soup until smooth. (Note: For the best texture, blend the soup as little as possible. Stop blending as soon as all of the potatoes are smooth. The thickness of the soup may vary slightly. Add some water a bit at a time, if needed, if the soup is too thick.)
- Taste and add more salt and black pepper, if needed.
- Serve with sour cream, crumbled cooked bacon, and / or chopped green onions on top.
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