This creamy Irish Leek and Potato Soup is a deliciously savory and satisfying light dinner that is perfect served with lots of crispy, crumbled bacon bits on top and a loaf of Irish soda bread with plenty of butter.

If you're looking for some other delicious Irish dishes (say that three times fast!), be sure to try our Bangers and Mash, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Dublin Coddle, Sticky Toffee Pudding, or Shepherd's Pie!

Two bowls of creamy Irish leek and potato soup garnished with crispy bacon and thyme leaves, next to a pot of leek soup.

You will love Leek Potato Soup

Leeks and potatoes are both classic ingredients in Irish cooking. They grow well in Irish soil, and were staple crops for many Irish families who could grow both in their gardens. While we may not be as familiar with leeks these days, their mildly-oniony flavor is wonderful, especially once they are sliced and sauteed in a little butter to make them tender and delicious.

Despite their subtle flavor, leeks combine with potatoes to make this wonderful soup that our family enjoys during the cold winter months, which is perfect since leeks are in season from October through May.

An image of two leeks, an onion, garlic, yellow potatoes, cream, and bacon on a wooden cutting board, ready to make potato leek soup.

What do Leeks Taste Like?

Leeks are in the same family as onions, shallots, scallions, and garlic, which you might guess by the shape and color of a leek, since leeks look a lot like a giant green onion. But they tend to be quite a bit milder than the other allium vegetables, and while still tasting similar to onions, they don't have the same pungent aroma and powerful bite that most onions have. The white and light green parts of the leek can be eaten raw and are crunchy and firm. But the dark green leaves are too tough to be eaten raw and I've never cooked with them, although you can throw them into a stockpot to help flavor a homemade broth.

Leek and Potato Soup ingredients

  • Thick-cut bacon - This is to be either used as a garnish or mixed into the soup at the very end.
  • Butter - To cook with the onions
  • Yukon gold potatoes - Good potatoes for soups because they hold their shape well when cooked.
  • Leeks - they have a good mild taste. Make sure they are thoroughly washed before cooking.
  • Onion
  • Garlic - minced and cooked with the onions. Garlic adds wonderful flavor to soups.
  • Chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh thyme - Use the whole thyme sprig in the soup.
  • Heavy Cream - Add the soup at the very end to add richness and creaminess.

How to prepare Leeks for Irish Potato Soup

Since leeks grow up through sandy soil and have many layers, the leek leaves can be full of grit and dirt. Which makes cleaning them super important if you don’t relish the idea of eating gritty soup.

Add chopped leeks to a bowl of cold water and swirl them around to remove the dirt and grit. Scoop the rinsed leeks out with a slotted spoon and drain completely before using in the soup.

Don't just pour the rinsed leeks into a colander with the water, since the dirt settles at the bottom of the bowl and you don't want to pour that over the now clean leeks.

How to cut a Leek for Potato Leek Soup?

To prepare leeks for soup, use a sharp knife to cut off the tougher, dark green leaves and the root end of the leek. I then find it easiest to slice the leek in half lengthwise and proceed to chop it much like I would chop an onion. Leeks generally have quite a bit of sand and dirt between the layers so make sure it is thoroughly washed after or before chopping.

An image of two bowls of creamy potato leek soup, garnished with crispy crumbled bacon and thyme.

How to make Potato and Leek Soup

  1. To make Irish leek and potato soup, I like to first start by browning chopped bacon in the bottom of a dutch oven. You could skip this step and make a vegetarian version of this soup by using vegetable stock in place of chicken broth, but I love the richness and flavor that the bacon gives and it makes a great garnish that turns this soup into more of a meal for me.
  2. Once the bacon is browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and drain the bacon grease. I like to add butter to the pan to saute the onion and leeks in, although you could use some of the bacon grease instead, if you prefer.
An image of chopped onions and leeks browning in butter in a white dutch oven on the stovetop.
  1. Once the onions and leeks start to soften, add the garlic for just a minute, then in go the potatoes, broth, and all other remaining ingredients except for the cream, which you will reserve for the end.
An image of leek and potato soup simmering on the stovetop in a dutch oven.
  1. It only takes 15-20 minutes of the soup to simmer enough for the potatoes to soften, then I like to blend about ⅔ of the soup until creamy and add it back to the remaining ⅓ of the soup so that there are still some bite-size chunks of potato and bits of leek in the soup.
  2. Just be careful about not overblending the potatoes because they can develop a thick, unpleasant gluey texture if processed too much.
  3. At this point, a little heavy cream adds just the right amount of extra richness and creaminess to this wonderful soup, which you can garnish with the crispy bacon and maybe some extra thyme.
An image of a white pot of potato leek soup with two bowlfuls of soup and a leek and potatoes off to the side.

What goes with Potato Leek Soup?

You can serve a simple salad tossed with some vinaigrette like this one or some yummy homemade or rustic bread.

How to store Irish Potato Soup

Store the soup in an airtight container for 2-3 days. If you have leftover leek soup and you want to enjoy it at a later date, you can freeze it for two to three months.

Potato and Leek Soup Recipe FAQs

Why is my potato leek soup gummy?

If the potatoes are blended too much, they will leach gelatinized starch into the broth. This starch will bond with the broth, causing the body of the soup to become slimy and gummy. Certain potatoes (waxy potatoes) are better for soups like white potatoes, red potatoes, and Yukon golds.

Can you overcook leeks?

Yes, if you overcook leaks they can turn slimy and mushy. Sliced leeks should be cooked for 5-7 minutes until tender but still firm. Whole small leeks should be cooked for 10-15 minutes until tender but still firm.

Every time I make this leek and potato soup, my whole family raves about it and asks for second and third helpings. And in the spirit of the Irish and my Irish heritage, here are the lyrics to an Irish blessing song that I learned in high school show choir (yes, I did show choir and was even in the Nebraska All-State Choir my senior year) that we performed a cappella at the close of every concert.

To this day, I still have the alto part memorized and sing it to my girls as a bedtime song from time to time. It has always spoken to me.

May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face; The rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May the God that loves us all, Hold you in the palm of his hand.

An image of a hand holding up a spoonful of creamy Irish leek and potato soup with chunks of potato in it over a bowlful of the soup.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

More St. Patrick's Day Recipes You'll Love

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Chunky Potato Leek Soup

4.97 from 31 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Irish
Servings 6 servings
This creamy Irish Leek and Potato Soup is a deliciously savory and satisfying light dinner that is perfect served with lots of crispy, crumbled bacon bits on top and a loaf of Irish soda bread with plenty of butter.


  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes diced into bite-size pieces
  • 3 leeks white and light green parts only, chopped and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  • In a dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Drain grease.
  • Melt the butter in the dutch oven with the fond from the bacon. Add the chopped leeks and onions. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Add potatoes, chicken broth, salt, pepper, thyme and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  • Remove the thyme sprigs, then transfer ⅔ of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth or use an immersion blender, if you have one, to partially blend the soup, leaving some chunks whole depending on how much of the soup you like pureed. Return to pan and add the cream. Stir to combine and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve with the cooked bacon sprinkled over the top for presentation, or just stir it into the soup.


Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 1532mg | Potassium: 987mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1191IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Beautiful post! I love the bacon and all of the information about leeks. I have actually made a potato and leek soup that included all of the green part of the leek, and it worked!

  2. 5 stars
    This soup is just divine! Now this is how I would love to celebrate St. Paddy's day! And I just love using leeks, but find I don't as often. I am not sure why, they are so tasty and I do find them in my market! Can't wait to make this. I know my family will love it!

  3. Still lots of winter left here in New England and I can never have enough soup recipes. This looks great!

  4. This soup looks delicious, but then again if a potato is involved how can it not taste good. That Irish blessing was one of my mom's favorites.

  5. I'm cooking this now and it smells amazing! I made mine vegan with veggie broth, coconut oil, Lightlife smart bacon, and full fat coconut cream to substitute for heavy cream. I'm Irish-American and I love reconnecting with my heritage while staying vegan. This recipe is awesome! Thanks for the tips to prepare the leeks. I've never used them before.

  6. This soup is  deliciously satisfying! I made it today. Your ingredients & instructions are spot on. We like to top off with some grated Cheddar Cheese, while soup is hot so the cheese gets a little gooey! 

  7. 5 stars
    This was delicious!! I had never grown leeks before, and so happy I found this recipe . The bacon made it !! I will definitely make this again.

  8. 5 stars
    This was delicious; however saying prep time is 15 minutes is very misleading. Prep took me a good hour and I have been cooking for decades. That said, I would definitely make it again.