This Instant Pot Potato Leek Soup recipe consists of mild leeks and starchy potatoes that are pressure cooked to velvety smooth soup perfection! Comfort food and health to the max!
The countdown is on for our trip to ATL to meet our newest family member! The girls are packed – mostly toys, but they’re closer than Mark or I. The temps will get to nearly 100 degrees while we’re there and us Northerners just may melt away. Good thing for air conditioning and endless baby snuggles!
This week is preparing us weather-wise. We’ve had a slow climb in the temperatures this week and we’re gearing up for some seriously HOT weather this week! But my building at work? Freezing! I bought soup from the cafeteria the other day and seeing as I got my THIRD choice (stuffed pepper, very good), I’m not the only one eating soup in warmer weather. I love soup (and chili!) anytime, all the time! Of course those chilly days will be here in no time and a bowl of soup with a slice of crusty bread is something the whole family can get down with.
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Soup Fans: There’s no shortage of soup recipes I love and classic potato leek soup is definitely in the top 10. There’s a lot of ways to make this comforting soup, but a creamy texture is definitely my favorite. If you don’t find soup to be a complete meal, add a half of a sandwich or small salad alongside for a fun meal with a little bit of variety!
- Instant Pot Lovers: Set it and forget it and quicker than a slow cooker! The pressure cooker has its place in the kitchen and creamy soups is most definitely one of them. With the use of an immersion blender, there’s very few dishes or clean up involved which is certainly an added bonus.
- Kid-Friendly: With the mild, sweet flavor of leeks, this soup is creamy and kid-friendly. Serve with an array of toppings that kids can add themselves and it’s a great recipe to sneak in veggies with wholesome, simple ingredients.
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Butter: An unsalted butter is a good option, but you may substitute in olive oil or ghee to make vegan. You need a bit of fat when pressure cooking to avoid sticking and a burn notice.
- Onion: I highly recommend a sweet Vidalia onion in this recipe as it pairs beautifully with the leeks, however a yellow or white onion will work well and after sautéing for a bit, will sweeten and soften.
- Leeks: You can use 1 additional onions in place of the leeks, however due to their mild nature and unique, almost sweet taste, the combination of onion and leek is preferred to onion alone. You’ll want to remove the root by chopping off the tip of the white portion and then clean and slice the remaining white and very light green portion of the leeks.
- Garlic: Fresh is best, but 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of garlic powder will work well!
- Flour: All-purpose flour is used here as a thickener, however you’re welcome to use whole wheat flour or a gluten-free all-purpose or oat flour if you prefer.
- Salt: A bit of salt (iodized, kosher salt, any will do) enhances the flavors. A salt substitute or using slightly more or less works well.
- Black Pepper: Use more or less based on your preference for black pepper. Freshly ground adds a nice bit of heat!
- Nutmeg: There’s something about onion, leek, and nutmeg that just works but you’re more than welcome to leave it out – no problem there!
- Potatoes: Russet potatoes are the starchiest of the potato varieties and can be a bit mealy after cooking making them perfect to soften the fastest and to puree the easiest. Yellow potatoes (Yukon Golds) and red potatoes can certainly be used however they are smaller and therefore a little trickier to peel and will take longer to soften for pureeing.
- Vegetable Broth: Use a low-sodium variety of vegetable broth or vegetable stock so you can best control the level of sodium. You can absolutely substitute in chicken stock, chicken broth, or another broth or stock of your preference.
- Bay Leaves: With mild flavors of eucalyptus and pine, bay leaves add a unique depth flavor to recipes such as soup. You can reduce to 1 bay leaf of omit if you prefer or don’t have any on hand. If you don’t love the flavor of bay leaf, you could consider adding some fresh thyme that has been removed from the stem and chopped.
- Milk: Whole milk (4% fat) is a nice option over half and half or heavy cream to reduce saturated fat while still including adequate fat for a creamy, smooth texture in a hot dish or soup. To make this recipe vegan, you may use an oat milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. Low fat and fat-free dairy can curdle when added to very hot soups and dishes, so a bit of fat is as much for taste as it is for aesthetics and a lovely final dish. You may absolutely use half and half, heavy cream, or another milk, however I do recommend adding the milk a little at a time, or to temper the milk adding some of the hot broth mixture to the milk before adding the milk into the soup. The roux (butter + flour) also helps to prevent curdling dairy in hot dishes and soups.
- Chives: A beautiful and flavorful pop of color and additional onion flavor, chopped chives are a traditional finish for Potato Leek Soup. That said, you can certainly use green onions, omit the chives, or include other toppings instead.
VARIATIONS, STORAGE, and TIPS
- This recipe is great to get creative with the toppings! Adding shredded cheese or bacon bits is a great way to add some additional protein and make this feel like more of a complete meal. A dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt is another great addition for added flavor and protein.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container, after cooling slightly, for up to 5 days.
My leeks have dirt or sand between all the little layers, how do I get that all out?
The easiest way is to cut off the root end of the leek and then chop the whites and light greens into thin rings. Place into a salad spinner or colander to rinse and spin before proceeding with the recipe. Repeat the rinse and spin or drain, as needed.
Can I make this recipe in a slow cooker versus the Instant Pot?
Yes! Perform steps 1-3 on the stovetop in a large skillet over medium-high heat. After step 3 (adding the flour and spices), allow to cook while you stir to take the bitterness out of the flour. Transfer the onions and leeks to the slow cooker and continue on to step 4. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours. Blend and add the remaining ingredients, as described in step 7.
I don’t have an immersion blender (stick blender). Do I have to puree the soup, or can I leave it chunky?
You can absolutely use a blender, working in batches and venting the lid to avoid excess build-up of pressure from heat. Or, you can most definitely leave the soup chunky or partially chunky if you want to mash some with a potato masher. It’s a delicious soup either way!
What can I do with the dark green parts of the leeks?
Use the green portions as you would any other onion. Slice thinly against the grain into rings (white part) and then strips (green). Use the green portion of the leeks in sautés, soups, or roasts.
- Vegetarian with vegan option
- Gluten-free with a swap on the flour
- This soup is low in calories, fat, and protein. Adding a bit of cheese or plain Greek yogurt as a topping is a great way to add some additional protein.
- Leeks are rich in a flavanoid, an antioxidant that is anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and glucose stabilizing.
- This soup is packed with vegetables: onion, leeks, potatoes, and chives
INSTANT POT TIPS
- You can perform a quick release on this recipe. A natural release of pressure is best when the contents of the pressure cooker will be overly full of liquid or foam-producing foods like grains.
- Reminder to clean the condensation cup on the pack of the Instant Pot as liquid can accumulate in there and easily be forgotten about!
- The “additional time” accounted for in the recipe direction is for the pot to pressurize. This can take a varying amount of time, but plan on 10 minutes, at minimum, for the pot to pressurize. Using the sauté mode and creating some heat to start will slightly reduce the time to come to pressure, but not as much as would be convenient!
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 leeks, white parts thinly sliced
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2.25 lbs (about 6 small) Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 qt (4 cups) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 Tbsp fresh chives, thinly sliced
- Put Instant Pot on HIGH saute mode. Add butter, swirling to melt and coat the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add the onion and leeks; saute for 3-4 minutes or until softened, stirring often. Add the garlic and stir; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onion and leeks, as well as the salt, pepper, and nutmeg; stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the potatoes, broth, water, and bay leaves. Secure the Instant Pot lid and set for 9 minutes on HIGH pressure.
- After pressure cooking, perform a quick release and allow the steam to escape until the pin drops and the lid can be removed. Remove the bay leaves.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth.
- Stir in the milk and heat 1 additional minute before serving topped with chives and other toppings, as desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 2.7gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 165mgCarbohydrates: 22.8gFiber: 3.4gSugar: 3.8gProtein: 3.4g
Wanting more Instant Pot meals that are quick, easy, and best in the IP? Voila!
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Insanely Easy Instant Pot Taco Pasta
- Mac and Cheese with Ham and Peas
- Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
- Instant Pot Loaded Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce