Potato Leek Soup with White Cheddar

4.72 from 7 votes
45 minutes
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Everyone will love this simple, cheesy, creamy, comforting soup! Potato Leek Soup with White Cheddar is easy to make and perfect for lunch, light dinner, or an elegant starter. Make it a “soup and sandwich” meal with Chicken Sloppy Joes!

Photo of two bowls of Potato Leek Soup with White Cheddar on gray napkin in white tray with bread.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Potato and leeks together in a soup is a classic combination that never disappoints.  This version has white cheddar added for another level of loveliness that will appeal to every member of your household!

Potato – Leek Soup is easy to make and comforting to the last drop! It’s cheesy, creamy and simply delicious!

Close-up photo of Potato Leek Soup with White Cheddar in gray bowl with spoon garnished with bacon and chives.

How to Make Potato Leek Soup with White Cheddar:

Recipe Ingredients (In Addition to Leeks and Potatoes):

Photo of ingredients for Potato Leek Soup with White Cheddar in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Leeks: Leeks are alliums, so they’re related to garlic, chives, shallots, and onions. They have a sweet, oniony flavor, but unlike their relatives, they are best cooked rather than consumed raw. Leeks can also be very muddy, so thorough washing is necessary. See below for how to do that.
  • Russet Potatoes: I prefer Russet potatoes in this Potato Leek Soup for their starch content, but you can also use waxy potatoes such as red or Yukon golds.
  • Chicken Broth: When I don’t make my chicken stock/broth, I use Swanson Natural Goodness.
  • White Cheddar Cheese: White cheddar cheese does not have any color added. You may also use yellow cheddar cheese.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Start with the leeks.  Leeks can be very muddy, so after halving and slicing the leeks, immerse them in a bowl of cold water.
  • Swish the leeks around so any dirt trapped in the layers falls to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Then, scoop the leeks out with your hands or a slotted spoon, leaving any debris behind.
Photo of sliced leeks in glass bowl immersed in water.
  • Peel and cube the potatoes.  I don’t do this too far ahead of time because they can discolor unless you keep them immersed in water.  There’s no problem if you do that; remember, they discolor if not covered with water.
Photo of Russet potatoes in white distressed colander.
  • Cook the leeks in a large pot until melty soft in the butter and oil.  Stir them often, and be careful not to brown or burn the edges.
  • Add the garlic and cook briefly.
Photo of cooked leeks in white Dutch oven.
  • Add the peeled and cubed potatoes, chopped fresh thyme, and chicken broth.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, then simmer until the potatoes are tender.
Photo of cubed potatoes in white Dutch oven.
  • Add the cream and cheese.
  • Puree using an immersion blender until the soup is silky smooth!  If you don’t have an immersion blender, grab one below in the affiliate links!  You’ll be glad you did!
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Photo of Potato Leek Soup with White Cheddar in white Dutch oven after being pureed.
  • Garnish with fresh chives and crispy bacon if desired!
  • Total creamy, cheesy comfort in a bowl!
Close-up photo of Potato Leek Soup with White Cheddar in gray bowls garnished with bacon and chives.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • When a recipe requires softly cooked onions, leeks, and shallots, I start with cooking them in fat but will then add small amounts of water to help move the softening process along. This keeps them from getting brown, golden, or burning because these vegetables have a lot of sugar.
  • Immersion blenders are one of the most useful kitchen appliances you’ll ever own. Besides pureeing soups, they’re great for many things including smoothing out lumpy gravy or sauce.
Photo of Potato and Leek Soup with White Cheddar in gray bowl with broken bread in the background.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does Potato Leek Soup freeze well?

Yes, it’s possible to freeze potato leek soup. Thoroughly cool the soup, then place it in containers as desired. Freeze for 2 to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then gently reheat over low heat. Whisk the soup several times while heating to bring it back together and smooth it out.

Can I make Potato Leek Soup ahead of time?

Absolutely! You can make Potato Leek Soup 2 to 3 days ahead of time. Cool completely, then refrigerate. Reheat on the stovetop on low heat until heated through.

What other types of cheese can I use?

You can use any cheese that melts well like Gouda or Gruyere.

Close-up photo of Potato and Leek Soup with White Cheddar in gray bowl garnished with bacon and chives.

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Potato and Leek Soup with White Cheddar - Straight-on shot of soup in gray bowl with broken bread in the background

Potato Leek Soup with White Cheddar

4.72 from 7 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Here’s a simple, cheesy, creamy comforting soup everyone will love! Potato Leek Soup with White Cheddar is easy to make and perfect for lunch, light dinner or elegant starter.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine English
Servings 6
Calories 659 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large leeks - white and light green part only, halved and thinly sliced (approximately 3 cups), thoroughly washed
  • 4 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 6 large Russett potatoes - approximately 3 pounds, peeled and cubed (7-8 cups)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded white Cheddar cheese
  • Pinch cayenne - optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • Diced cooked bacon - for garnish
  • Chopped fresh chives - for garnish


  • Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven or other soup pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the leeks, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring often or until the leeks are very soft. Be careful to not brown them or burn the edges.
  • Add the garlic and cook briefly, 10-15 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the potatoes, chicken broth and chopped fresh thyme.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook partially covered for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.
  • Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream and cheese and continue stirring until the cheese has melted.
  • Puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor or blender (be careful with hot liquids).
  • Add a pinch or two of cayenne and season to taste with salt and black pepper as desired.
  • Serve, garnished with bacon and chopped fresh chives.


SUBSTITUTIONS:  A large onion may be substituted for the leeks.  Substitute Gouda or Gruyere for Cheddar if desired.
MAKE-AHEAD:  This can be made 2-3 days ahead.  Gently reheat over low heat on the stovetop.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Freeze in airtight containers in portions as desired for 2-3 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Gently reheat over low heat on the stovetop, whisking occasionally to bring the soup back together and smooth it out.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 659kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 1139mg | Potassium: 1869mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1527IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 391mg | Iron: 5mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.72 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Hi there!
    First off, how many ounces is one serving?
    I made this last night and it was absolutely deicious! Thank you for this recipe. I fell in love with this soup while working/living close to an Irish Pub in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. McGarry’s is the name of the restaurant. I moved about 45 mins away and began trying many versions of this soup-your’s is the closest to the Irish Pub and most delicious! I am recovering from a bowel blockage created by my irritated small bowel now that I have a permanent ileostomy since I no longer have a large intestine. Being able to have delicous soups that can be blended is a MUST for me. I cut the potato quantity in half since I am watching my carbs and added small cut ham pieces to crank up my protein. I have frozen most of the left overs into individual 6 oz containers to add to my meal prep. This delicious soup is a very welcome addition to my prepped frozen meals! I looked through your other recipes and am now following you! The next entree I will make of yours is the Braised Boneless Short Ribs Bourguignon, since I love beef stews and want to practice using wine in more of my dishes. Amazing! Thank you again!

    1. Hi, Colene, Thank so much and I’m happy to hear from you and appreciate your following! The serving amount is an average because someone may have a cup (which is eight ounces) or a bowl, which is 12 ounces if you go by Panera’s formula. I have to average/estimate for the nutritional analysis. I see that you’re going to freeze this soup. When you reheat it, reheat on low heat and stir it frequently. It might not look that great at first, but it will come together. Thanks again so much and hope this answers your question.

  2. It’s on the stove right now! This is my second time making this it is so good. I was short 2 cups of chicken broth but had vegetable broth. Hope it doesn’t change the taste too much. This is now my go-to potato soup!

    1. Hi, Gail and thanks so much! I think the vegetable broth will be just fine–may change the color a bit. So glad you’re enjoying! Thanks again!

  3. I made this as is with the substitution of rosemary salt for plain salt just because I really like rosemary and potatoes together. Rave reviews all around! One of our guests said it was the best potato soup he’d ever eaten.

    1. Hi, Barb and THANKS so very much! Love the idea of the rosemary salt; rosemary is definitely great with potatoes. Glad everyone enjoyed and thanks again so much!