At first glance, you may think, “how can a cream soup be vegan?” This easy and delicious vegan potato soup with leeks is just that–full-bodied, creamy and filling! It contains no dairy, is gluten-free and ready in less than 30 minutes! Read on to learn the secret to making vegan cream soup.
This recipe came to me years ago during a snow storm when the electricity was out, the milk in the refrigerator was bad and all we had in the house was a bag of potatoes and a gas stove. There was no time to experiment with making a “no cream” creamy soup, so I had to wing it. This recipe is the result of three days with no electricity, but I still make it–even when the lights are on!
Ingredients for Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup
Simple and easy ingredients consist of:
- 3 lbs. russet potatoes (this makes about 4 bowls of soup)
- 2 leeks
- 1 tablespoon oil
That’s it! No coconut milk, flour, cornstarch, butter or dairy. Can you believe these five ingredients can make a delicious cream soup?
What Makes the “Cream” in Vegan Potato Soup?
The secret “ingredient” to this recipe is potato water. Yep! Once you boil and drain the potatoes, reserve some of the potato water. The starches in the potato water act as a thickening agent!
How to Make Vegan Potato Leek Soup
- Bring a large pot of water to boil; clean and chop leeks; peel and dice potatoes into cubes
- Cook diced potatoes until tender; drain and reserve potato water
- Saute chopped leeks in oil
- Add cooked potatoes; mash and combine well
- Pour in reserved potato water
- Season with salt and pepper
Texture: When I make this creamy vegan potato and leek soup, I cut all the potatoes into cubes. Then, I take two additional small potatoes and dice them into tiny squares and set aside. Once the potato broth is cooked and creamy, I add the diced potatoes and let them cook for about 6 minutes (or until semi-tender.) The small diced potatoes give a little texture to the creamy soup.
If you want a silky smooth cream soup, I recommend using a hand emulsifier. Start by adding only one cup of potato water then use the emulsifier to smooth the potatoes. If the soup is too thick, add more potato broth and emulsify again until you get the texture you desire.
Seasonings: I only use salt and pepper in this potato soup recipe; a minimal amount of salt and a little bit more pepper (I like the peppery flavor!) You can add any seasonings or herbs to this recipe: seasoned salt, thyme, oregano or marjoram. The options are endless, so play with the recipe however you like!
What Do Leeks Taste Like?
Leeks taste like a really mild onion and give this creamy vegan potato soup a nice, yet subtle, onion flavor–not too much, but just enough so you still taste the potatoes.
How to Clean Leeks
Leeks always have a little grit in between their tightly wound leaves. The best way to clean leeks is:
- Cut the root off; and about 3 inches of the green stem; discard
- Slice the leek lengthwise
- Separate the layers of the leek
- Place layers under clean running water
- Pat dry with paper towel
Craving More? You might like Southwestern Navy Bean Soup!
Creamy Vegan Potato and Leek Soup
- 2-3 lbs. potatoes russets; peeled and cubed
- 2 cups potato broth (reserved potato water from the boiled potatoes)
- 2 leeks (about 1 cup of chopped leeks)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring stockpot of water to boil
- Peel and cube potatoes; take two additional small potatoes, peel and dice them and set them aside. You'll add these diced potatoes to the soup near the end of the cooking time
- Clean and chop leeks
Make the Soup
- Place cubed potatoes in water; bring to boil and cook til tender; do not put the diced potatoes in the water
- Place colander over large bowl; drain potatoes; set potato water aside
- In a large stockpot on medium heat, add oil and chopped leeks; saute until leeks are tender and lightly browned
- Add cooked potatoes to leeks; mash with potato masher until potatoes are broken down
- Add 1 cup of reserved potato water; combine water, potatoes and leeks well (See Recipe Notes: "Texture")
- Increase stove heat to medium high, add in the diced potatoes; cook for about 5-6 minutes
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
- Serve and garnish