baked potato soup

We’re on day two of something called a “wintry mix” which I suspect if I lived in one of those places where one was forced to wear shorts and sunglasses in January, eating food plucked recently from the ground (pea tendrils, anyone?) I’d imagine constituted a fun day of mixed winter activities, like snowfall fights followed by ice skating and then, if you’re not too tuckered out, some hot cocoa before you head home. Alas, a “wintry mix” is the precise reason my only current goal in life is to flee to someplace tropic and sandy.

peeling and cubing

And make soup. Except, me and soup have been on unstable terms this year. I know its the “right” thing to eat this time of year but my relationship with soup has been near-irreparably damaged by too many bowls of vegetables boiled to death in an oversalted broth, soups assaulted with so much cream that whatever healthy things in there cannot be tasted, and in what I imagine had to have been some sort of practical joke, a soup I ordered from from a cafe a few weeks ago that tasted, smelled and sloshed about like freezer-bitten spinach pureed in water. (It cost $6.95.)


So I was almost done with soup when I starting thinking about baked potatoes and how it’s been too long since I had a great one and how awesome it would be to make a soup that embodied everything you liked about baked potatoes — including, should you dare, cheddar, sour cream, bacon bits and chives — but in a bowl. And I became obsessed, thought about nothing else until I could bring home a pile of Russets and got to work.

gloomy garlic
severed garlic head!

The result might be the first soup I have been excited about in a very long time. It’s thick and intensely baked potato-ish and although it is a lot of fun to make a piled-on spud of your bowl, the soup can stand on its own, neither immensely unhealthy or lacking in flavor without toppings. Plus it’s hearty, warming enough to make me forget all about the fact that I remembered — as my foot was halfway descended in a bottomless pit of street slush this morning — that I wasn’t wearing waterproof boots. Warming enough that you might decide you need one less layer. Warming enough that the prospect of spring being more than two months off is ever-so-slightly more bearable. Not quite pea tendrils, but it’ll do.

baked potato soup

One year ago: Black Bean Soup with Toasted Cumin Seed Crema, Cranberry Syrup (on an Intensely Almond Cake)
Two years ago: Light Wheat Bread and Clementine Cake
Three years ago: Pickled Carrot Sticks and Chicken Caesar Salad
Four years ago: Artichoke Ravioli with Tomatoes, Leek and Mushroom Quiche

Baked Potato Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Source: Adapted generously from Cook's Illustrated Garlic Potato Soup
  • Print

I know what you’re thinking: “But where’s the baked potato?” (A few folks have already asked.) The title is a riff on the taste and toppings of baked potatoes. I did, of course, initially consider starting with baked potatoes but rejected this approach because of time constraints (an extra hour for potato-baking, 15 minutes for cooling before you could touch them), textural concerns (I wanted some chunks to remain, and knew that a baked potato dropped in a soup would fall apart) and flavor worries (that a potato cooked outside the broth wouldn’t pick up as much garlicky/leek fragrance). That said, should you want to adhere closer to the baked potato theme, or have leftover baked potatoes that you’d like to use, I’d add them in chunks exactly when you’d add the raw ones, but only cook it for 10 minutes, not 15 to 20, before finishing the soup.

Skins or no skins? Your choice. I went without skins because I wanted a light-colored soup but leaving the skins on would amp up the baked potato flavor, for sure.

More changes I made to the original recipe: I used less garlic (and found a way for you to use the whole head, not 2/3 of it and a few extra cloves), more leeks, less broth, sour cream instead of heavy cream, all Russets instead of half Red Bliss potatoes and all sorts of toppings I doubt CI would approve of. Their loss. This soup is the perfect January antidote.

  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, washed, and chopped small
  • 5 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (I used 5 cups; add the extra cup after pureeing if you’d like a thinner soup)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Table salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • Ground black pepper
  • Toppings, optional:
  • Minced fresh chives or scallions
  • Bacon bits
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheddar
  • A drizzle of melted (or melted and browned) butter

Prepare the garlic: Rinse the head of garlic to remove any outside grit or dirt. Cut the top third off the head and peel any loose papery skins off the bottom two-thirds. Instead of discarding the top third (CI’s suggestion), pop out a bunch (or all) of the garlic clove tips and mince them. If you’re Deb, breathe a sigh of relief that you have wasted nothing.

On the stovetop: In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add leeks and cook them until soft (but not brown), about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook another minute. Add the larger part of the garlic head (whole, not chopped), broth, bay leaves and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat and simmer until garlic is very tender when pierced with tip of knife, 30 to 40 minutes. Add potatoes and continue to simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

In an InstantPot or electric pressure cooker: Use the sauté function to melt the butte, add the leeks, and then cook them until soft (but not brown), about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook another minute. Add the larger part of the garlic head (whole, not chopped), broth, bay leaves and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cancel out the sauté function and select the soup/broth function; cook for 10 minutes at high pressure, then manually release the pressure. Add the potatoes to the pot, select the soup/broth function again, and cook for 5 more minutes at high pressure. Let it release naturally for 15 minutes, then manually release the pressure the rest of the way.

Both methods: Discard bay leaves. Remove garlic heads. Optional: If you’d like an extra garlic boost to the soup, using tongs or paper towels, squeeze garlic head at root end until cloves slip out of their skins. Using a fork, mash the garlic cloves to smooth paste and add it back to the soup. [I felt our soup was garlicky enough without this. It had a great suggestion of garlic without overpowering the baked potato flavor.]

To finish: Add sour cream to soup and cook [use the sauté function in an InstantPot/electric pressure cooker) for another 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper to taste. Using immersion blender, process soup until chunky-creamy, leaving lots of potato texture intact. (Alternatively, transfer a portion of the potatoes and broth to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.) Serve with whatever makes you happy on top, or nothing at all.

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407 comments on baked potato soup

  1. Amy

    No way. I’ve been looking for a baked potato soup for SO long. This one looks like it will fulfill all of my needs and then some. Thank you so much for sharing. Unfortunately, it’s 9:45AM & I’m sitting at work. I’m guessing today will consist primarily of distracting myself from my new Baked Potato Soup craving!

  2. Dena

    My fiance had his wisdom teeth out last week and he raved about the potato leek soup I made. I also made your chicken soup and the creamy tomato soup – both were amazing!

  3. Amy

    Was there enough flavor left in the garlic heads to, say, use the softened garlic to spread on toasted bread? Or were they left fairly bland after being simmered?

    1. deb

      Amy — Definitely flavor left. My husband popped a few cloves onto his soup. There’s no reason not to mash it in, of course, I just wanted a baked potato soup with a suggestion or garlic and leeks without actually being a garlic-potato soup.

  4. epic

    oh yum. my husband has a thing for potato soup, and so we always have (gasp) several cans of it lying around. i’ve been looking to make a homemade version, so will definitely give this a go! thanks!

  5. Nicole

    Man, I love soup. But I admit, it’s always better when I make it myself (actually, it’s always better when someone makes it *for* me, but that doesn’t happen too often. Sounds like you should just give up on the restaurant variety and stick to the stock pot! Exception: since you live in New York, Veselka has the best chicken noodle outside of the stuff my (Ukrainian, incidentally) grandma used to make. In your matzo ball soup recipe, I know you said you don’t really like chicken soup, but you should give Veselka’s a whirl. It is the best thing ever for any sort of ailment.

  6. Shelley

    Wow! Heading to the grocery for more potatoes! Sounds deeelish — wondering what you think about making this in a crockpot? Any changes to be made? Would you think the end result would turn out to be the same?

  7. Deanna B

    Baked potato soup is my best friend’s favorite soup. I promised her I would teach her how to make it, but none of the recipes were quite what I wanted. This one sounds like a winner. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait awhile to make it though because I’m in shorts and sunglasses today (not that I’m complaining). It took me a few reads to figure out what a “wintry mix” was and I lived in NY for all of 6 months (including winter! It didn’t snow until the day I left though).

  8. When my boyfriend is away I often eat nothing but mashed potatoes for dinner. I’m thinking this would actually border on a real meal for my “single girl” nights.

  9. Lisa

    So just to confirm…when it first says “Add the garlic and cook another minute” that’s the minced top third of the head? And then the next step is to add the intact bottom two thirds of the head which is later removed. Is that correct? The “add the garlic” and then “add the larger part of the garlic” threw me so I wanted to be sure – don’t want a bunch of minced garlic in there if it’s not supposed to be!

  10. April

    I have tried recipe after recipe for potato soup and been disappointed every time – too brothy or too heavy. Given that you like the balance, maybe this is the one!

    1. deb

      Tammi — Nicely thick, but actually slightly less thick than it looks in the top photo; I confess it had cooled a bit before I could get a shot. If you want it thinner, you can add another cup of broth.

  11. Jorie

    I’m thinking hard about this one. I might do it. My mom, who is usually a decent cook, has really ruined me on potato soup. Hers is mealy and is mostly liquified overcooked potatoes with dill. Question – do you have to worry about this becoming gluey when using an immersion blender? Potato starch + Electric Blade = Potato Glue for me more than once :)

  12. JackieD

    Perhaps you are not interested in another potato soup recipe, but any mention of one brings to mind the potato soup I have regularly eaten since I was a child…a Hungarian sour potato soup from George Lang’s (excellent) book, The Cuisine of Hungary.The book has a history of Hungary and its food as well as recipes. Anyway, the point is…that soup is tangy and full of carraway seeds and parsley and sour cream, and I love, love, love it. I consider it an heirloom recipe (along with gulyas, porkolt, chicken paprikash and dobos torte).Maybe Alex would too? Oh, and my dad (who emigrated to the US around ’78) would sometimes add some sliced/diced kielbasa to the soup to beef (pork?) it up.

  13. Valerie

    Absolutely perfect! I have some potatoes to use up!

    Could you share your thoughts on an approximate measurement for the amount of “2 leeks”? I generally use the TJ’s frozen chopped leeks, because I have been guilty of wasting perfectly good leeks when the recipe only calls for a few. I’m guesstimating that it would be around 3/4 to 1 cup – does that sound about right?

  14. I tend to not like cream-based soups, so I’m really intrigued by this baked potato soup recipe. I wonder how it would do with greek yogurt (which I have on hand) instead of sour cream. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  15. Do you have any ideas on what to do with the left over potato skins? The valueable nutrition and i hate to waste content made me ask.

    Love the pics of roasted garlic and the chopped onions. your lighting setup in the kitchen must be as clever as your ability to cook in it

  16. Are leeks an essential part of this recipe? Unfortunately, my boyfriend and I can’t abide leeks. So we get along fine, just not with this recipe!
    It looks delicious otherwise!

    1. deb

      Valerie — Just use a small yellow onion instead, but cook it longer, until quite softened.

      Mary Ann — Baked potato is a play on the fixings, not preparation. Although I did consider baking the potatoes first to keep with the theme, I decided it would be an absurd amount of work (an hour to bake potatoes) as you’d then still have to cook them into a soup (at least 30 minutes) and they wouldn’t have absorbed as well all of the flavors in the soup.

      matt — You can leave them in. I omitted them because I wanted the soup to look more like a baked potato in color. But I am sure it would add to the baked potato flavor if you left them on. Thanks, btw. No lighting set-up, just a window next to the counter. It was very very dark out yesterday.

      Valerie — I’d say two cups of chopped leeks.

      JackieD — That sounds so good. I have a recent fascination with Hungarian food because Jacob’s babysitter is from Hungary and I’m always prying her to talk about the food back home and it sounds right up my alley. She brought us some paprika for Christmas! It smells amazing.

  17. Rob

    Why is this soup called “Baked Potato Soup”?. According to the dictionary to bake is to cook (food) with dry heat, especially in an oven. I have not seen any oven mentioned here.

  18. Sally

    This looks delicious! I just made Dorie Greenspan’s Potato Leek Soup from AMFT and it just wasn’t potato-y enough…

    Two questions:

    1) Do you make your own chicken broth or use one from a box? If the latter, what kind do you use?
    2) Can you use low-fat sour cream?


    1. deb

      Rob — See my response to Mary Ann, above.

      Sally — Uh, I LIKE to make my own stock. I have none in the freezer right now. I used Pacific or Kitchen Basics brand, I grabbed whatever I could find. I don’t see why you couldn’t use low-fat sour cream. It’s about making the soup creamy, so with less fat, it might make it less creamy. You might add a little more, though that would probably defeat the purpose. :)

      Corby — You can skip the garlic. Maybe use more leeks or an onion? I looked at a lot of recipes for garlic-less potato soups (I wanted, after all, a potato flavor above all else) and they really looked the same, minus the garlic.

  19. Well, yes, please! Love baked potato soup and love the toppings, even if some might not approve. The recipe I recently tried didn’t have the garlic addition, though, which sounds perfect, as I do so enjoy garlic.

  20. Corby

    Okay, I know this will take the zing out of it, but I have a most unfortunate dreadful allergy to garlic. Would leaving this out render this soup useless? I guess I could give it a try myself, just wondering if anyone else has made ‘à soupe d’ail sans’ without a deleterious effect on the taste buds. The photographs, by the way, are wonderfully tempting!

  21. Jessica

    At a restaurant years ago, my mother ordered a “loaded” baked potato with a side of potato soup. I am SO making this for her. :)

  22. Marcy

    OMG! I made potato leek last night! I searched your site for a recipe…but there wasn’t one so I adapted my own. What a strange coincidence…if I’d only waited one day! I have to try yours now because mine did not have garlic at all. Anything is better with garlic. Thanks!

  23. Dawn

    I made a similar recipe from a link posted up on The Kitchn a couple of weeks ago, and it was so good, just the thought of it makes me smile. But yours uses leeks, and I really love leeks, so I am going to have to (twist my arm) make yours this weekend. One thing I added to the other recipe that was such a great addition was lots of red pepper flakes, to give it some heat. Wooo, it knocked our socks off, in a good way.

    1. deb

      Dawn — Thanks for the reminder. I meant to suggest that people who wish to add a shake or so of hot sauce. It’s delicious in here. I just Googled the recipe from the Kitchn and whoa. They seem to use a bechamel base (with two sticks of butter to 8 cups of milk) instead of broth, a ton of cheese, a pint of sour cream and two cups of bacon. I cannot imagine it being anything less than delicious.

      1. Stephanie

        Hi Deb – do you think it would work to use water instead of broth? I don’t have homemade broth and I don’t really like the store bought stuff. Thanks!

  24. This looks delightful!! Lately, I’ve also been screwing around with potatoes in soup/stews to make them comforting and smooth without the pint of heavy cream. The evidence rests at my (very very very very) recently launched food blog. Excitement!

    PS- Your blog is my favorite blog and really inspired me to start working on my own.

  25. Susan

    I was just thinking the same thing as #42-Mary Ann and read the recipe twice looking for where the potato is baked. No matter, it looks delicious and nothing is lost, all the nutrients (that aren’t dissipated by cooking) and starch stay in the soup. I’ve had such disappointing results from fresh boiled or baked potato soup recipes. They all seem to produce an old-slushy-snow colored, mealy textured product that I’d started using the packaged Bear Creeke potato soup mix. I hope this recipe will make me ashamed I didn’t dog it enough work out the problems myself! I’m glad you did!

  26. e

    I love potato soup, especially my mom’s potato soup. But, she makes hers with loads of butter and sour cream and we are really, really trying to get through January with a little weight loss (or more!). This recipe looks much lower in fat without sacrificing flavor. Looking forward to trying it!

  27. Audra

    Deb, i’m seriously addicted to your blog. I pretty much use it as a recipe book. It’s funny, but I just made potato soup the other night! I decided to do half potatoes and half yams to cut the sweetness and added cayenne which gave it a really nice flavor. I want to try this recipe now, especially since it has leeks. I love that you can top this soup just like a baked potato. Yum.

  28. jenny

    um, you just read my mind. I have been on an obsessive soup kick here since about november. on tap for tomorrow: your delicious-looking orzo & tk meatball soup (thank you!). I just may have to do potato this weekend … if I can wait that long. :)

    btw, if you’re in the market for a good soup book, my go-to tome is “vegetable soups from deborah madison’s kitchen.” have yet to make a recipe that hasn’t blown me away (although most are QUITE labor-intensive).

  29. Amanda from Chicago

    I think the only thing that could make this sound better is if it could be nearly finished after coming home from work. Do you think you could put most of the ingredients in a slow cooker, cook it on low for 8 hours, and then add the sour cream / puree it? Would this alter the flavor significantly? Would you need to cook the leeks and garlic before adding it to the slow cooker?

  30. Kristin Satterlee

    I was just thinking yesterday that a green-chile potato soup would be just the thing, and this looks like a perfect base. I’ll definitely make this over the weekend!

  31. Abby

    I love this blog. I love love love this blog. I have a hundred blogs in my Google Reader, and this is the only one that always has zero unread. I think my enjoyment is 20% recipes, 30% food pictures, 10% writing/storytelling, and 40% baby pictures.

    Thank you for adding to my happiness each day that you post.

    That’s all.

  32. This soup looks amazing! I’m going to make a pot of it, just as soon as I finish eating the soup I made last night — your sweet potato and sausage soup (with wilted spinach) which I must admit is probably my new favorite food. I love your blog so very much, thank you for keeping me happily fed on beautiful pictures and tasty, healthy, food.

  33. You reminded me of my mum in two ways, Deb. She absolutely loves potato soup. I’ll cook this for her one day. Also, she’s a diplomat who spent four years in Budapest, and found out there that the Hungarians import the majority of their paprika from – you’ll never guess- South Africa.

  34. candace

    this looks soooo great! I am cooking it tonight with a side of chicken!! Instead of bacon bits, I am going to have real bacon. I may mix them in. I’m so hungry for this right now that I wish I had a time machine. Seriously.

  35. Patryce

    Looks great! I’ve made leek and potato, and a cheesy beer potato soup recently. Instead of garlic and leeks the cheesy one had a couple of cups of chopped onion, browned in butter, 12 oz of beer and a quart of broth. 2.5-3 pounds of chopped potatoes, skins left on, cooked about 1/2 hour, then use the immersion blender–a great tool! a quart of milk, six oz sharp cheddar and 6oz swiss, both shredded, made a tasty, not too thick soup. We browned some turkey kielbasa slices and put a few in each bowl. Bacon would be good too…

    French onion has been on the menu lately too, quite the soup run we’ve been having!

  36. Baked potatoes as a soup. GENIUS. I’m at work with 2 sweaters on and a cup of tea and I’m still cold. The thought of having this soup tonight is warming me up already. COMFORT!
    Thanks, Deb.

  37. Christina

    omg Deb!! We are on the same wavelength! I am suffering from the same wintry mix in boston. I made some baked potatoe soup last night because that was all I could think of on extra long commute home!

  38. So did you send your cafe soup back for a refund or exchange? Just curious. I can never decide if it’s worth the hassle. On the one hand, “it’s just soup” and oh well, I’m disappointed. On the other, I care about our small-town businesses enough that I do want them to know if there’s a problem.

    1. deb

      Kris — It was Le Pain Quotidien so I would have had no guilt sending it back but I’d brought it home for lunch so just ended up chucking it. I’ll stick to their bread and salads.

  39. Alicia

    This looks amazing! I love your blog so much.

    I want to eat this RIGHT NOW but am going away for a few days… do we think it would freeze well?

  40. Amazing – I picked up some leeks yesterday with the plan to hunt down the perfect potato leek soup. Thanks for the timely recipe – it’s like you were reading my mind:)

  41. Stephanie

    I love potato soup! The recipe that I’ve settled on uses milk and cream cheese instead of broth. Cream cheese really is the key ingredient, though I’m sure that takes any healthy aspect right out the window. But it makes it sooo creamy, and delicious!

  42. M.F.Peterson

    Thank you SOOO much for this adaptation! My husband and I LOVE baked potato soup, but I’ve just been diagnosed w/ a gallbladder issue (during pregnancy, no less) and have to eat a low-fat diet to avoid surgery.

    Anytime you want to make something yummy that’s also low in fat, I will worship you even more!

  43. This looks amazing and love the possibility of toppings, endless toppings… kind of like my favorite potato adaptation for parties and events that I keep bumping into (ahem, diving into), the mashed potato bar. Can’t wait to make it!

  44. this looks nothing short of perfect…Potato bar is one of my favorite “throw together” meals, and this would be a lovely switchup… if there’s leeks involved…well….definitely got to have some! I love soup…but since I make my own 99 percent of the time, I’m as spoiled as can be…nearly every soup i have in a restaurant falls below expectations! :S
    cathy b.

  45. Ugh there’s nothing worse than a bad soup, and I have to completely agree with you because I have come to the point where I avoid it all together now! But since this is Smitten Kitchen I will have a go. Also I love the fact that it’s not loaded with cream! Thank you for sharing x

  46. Ashley

    Okay, so it’s been snowing like crazy all day, and then I saw this post, and I knew I had to make this tonight. So I braved the snowstorm and bought potatoes and leeks, and it is magical. Until this point, I swore by Alton Brown’s potato soup (which is fabulous), but this is even better (and doesn’t require buttermilk, a huge plus!). New favorite recipe. Perfect on a snowy evening. I even have your oatmeal raisin cookies (best cookies ever) for dessert. Deb, you rock.

  47. Katy

    With regards to your option toppings– what is *really* the difference between chives and scallions? I’ve been cooking my whole life and honestly always thought they were the same. In fact, I don’t even know which of them I buy weekly in the grocery store and use. Obviously this tiny detail hardly affects your delicious soup, but if you can enlighten me I would greatly appreciate it!

    1. deb

      Katy — Scallions have a longish, mild onion bulb at the end, generally not much thicker than a pencil. Chives are like onion-y grass. I’ve taken to just using the greens of scallions (which I almost always have around) rather than chives (which I never have around, or if I do, are rotted within a day) as garnish but in this rare case, I bought chives anyway.

  48. I saw this this morning at work and immediately went to the store to pick up necessary supplies to make this when I got home. The hubs was blown away by the smell when he walked in the door! It may be too late by the time you get this, but how do you feel about mashing the potatoes with a potato masher? We have the world’s smallest kitchen & the thought of getting the food processor out is depressing…

  49. Karen

    Deb, I would really recommend the Paris Mushroom soup from Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook. It is so essentially French, and so perfect as a starter, or as a main with some bread, cheese and salad that I have made it three times this winter already.

    I too was in a soup rut, and Dorie (via a tradional Parisian treat) pulled me out!

  50. Would it be okay if (due to logistical concerns) I processed the potatoes first and then added the sour cream as a last step? Or will that mess with the texture?
    On a side note, a facebook friend of mine recently suggested that “wintry mix” sounds like a type of salad. Just a thought in case you feel inspired to create a salad to accompany the soup.

  51. Rachel Grace

    Can you freeze and reheat creamy soups? I’ve been doing broth based soups all winter, but I’ve never attempted a creamy one.

  52. I come from the country where every dinner starts with a soup. Therefore, I thought I already knew all of them, especially those made from potatoes and leeks. But, you managed to surprise me as I have never tried a baked potato soup.

  53. Yummmm. Can I just say how beautiful a head of garlic is when cut open like that? If it weren’t all of a sudden summer again here (and if it ever cools off again…) I’ll have to make this. Or I could just say screw the heat and make it anyway. In the meantime, you’re more than welcome to come visit me in Miami and bring your adorable little boy for me to play with while you cook dinner for me :)

  54. Jeni

    Yayyyyy! Made this for dinner tonight. Even with the larger amount of broth it came out more like soupy mashed potatoes than soup. Regardless, it was FAB, with crumbled bacon, shredded Comte, and sour cream on top. My occasionally fussy toddler loves leek and potato soup, so I told him that’s basically what this is and he promptly ate his whole bowlful! Win!

  55. Oh.My.Stars. This soup looked so good I immediately had to try it, even though I was missing several important ingredients. I then blogged about my love of all things Smitten and raved about your soup on my blog: I am a foster adoptive Mom in New England parenting kids from the hard places and your blog often makes my day (and makes my house smell “oh-so-good”) Thank you for for sharing your amazing gift!

  56. mindy

    (delurking) so this has been my go-to recipe for baked potato soup (ugh that’s an ugly url). cooking light is not as classy as gourmet, but … i love it and it was a big improvement over the paste-y stuff my mom used to make. i made it for her when they came to visit in october and (even low-fat) promptly aggravated my heretofore unknown and symptomless gallstones to the point of emergency surgery and a 3-day hospital stay. i haven’t made it since but as i no longer have a gallbladder, it shouldn’t cause me any trouble! the garlic and leeks are genius. but since you have to boil the garlic so long (and the potatoes too), it is nearly as long as just baking them (which you can do ahead anyway). perhaps roast the garlic while the potatoes are baking and squeeze in? hmmm.

  57. denise

    I live in one of those places where from january to march it’s summer time… I hate summer. I need the cold, and all these winter recipes just make me wanna move somewhere cold, with a white christmas and all that. can you imagine a xmas eve, at 37 *C? and eating hearty meals, just as if we lived in a northern hemisphere country, just because it’s tradition? crazy, huh?

    oh, i’m from argentina, and i promise in winter i’ll make this amazing soup. it looks delicious =)

  58. I made your soup this evening and it was fantastic!!! The only small change I made was to roast the garlic in the oven beforehand and then squished it all into the pot. Tonight’s dessert was a “monkey” cake: banana chocolate chip cake with peanut butter frosting and chocolate chips on top so the soup with broth (rather than cream) was a much lighter (even though it doesn’t taste light at all) dinner! :)

  59. I had read Matt’s blog too (before I read yours) and I literally snorted when I saw the topic…pea shoots…really? It is January for #*#@ sake! I love Matt’s blog, but it is cold where I live and spring is not even in my imagination, much less in my kitchen. This time of year is best served by comfort foods like a belly-warming soup, and this one sounds like a great one. I like the idea of dressing up the soup just like a baked potato with the works…I think I will add some steamed broccoli to mine and plenty of bacon. Thanks!

  60. I’ve always had a weird prejudice against potato soup, which is strange because I love baked potatoes, and mashed, etc. This sounds delish, though, I’ll give it a shot :) Thank you, Deb :)

  61. Ada

    You’re lucky you only have to wait till March for spring! Where I grew up, spring came in late April, and it would still snow occaisionally in May. This soup looks great for the current cold weather though!

  62. Amy

    This looks wonderful. While I see the contribution the sour cream makes, I can’t eat that much dairy. Do you have any suggestions for another way to bring in the sour taste? BTW, I second the recommendation of The Cuisine of Hungary, a definitive Hungarian cookbook. The current issue of Cook’s Illustrated has a great recipe for Hungarian Goulash (which I just made tonight!), where they discuss different brands of paprika. Astonishingly, the worst of those tested was Szeged, which comes in that pretty can. The winner was “Hungarian Sweet Paprika” from The Spice House here in Chicago. They were right–the flavors are subtly sweet.

  63. Living as I do in a place where you do have to where shorts and sunglasses in the middle of January, eating things just plucked from the ground (tomatoes, still warm from the sun) that first wintry mix sounded awesome. But so does this soup. I love winter, and I get excited about soup ALL THE TIME. So I can’t wait till winter and soup time comes around. I’ll make this like a shot. Thank you so much for your blog, I read it obsessively and it’s my go-to for internet recipes. Your chocolate souffle cupcakes were raved over this afternoon. You are awesome. Thank you thank you thank you. :)

  64. Gemma

    I have been in soup mode here in stormy RI and have plans on the docket for the very delicious Hearty Minestrone soup from the Kitchen Detective by Christopher Kimball and some no knead bread. But I sense the baked potato soup making an appearance over the weekend! Oh, and thanks for the kid friendly ideas from the Parenting mag newsletter. Will try some out on the littles this week.

  65. Imagining the winter bliss of this – and I’m in mid Summer here!. So good to learn another way to enjoy a full bulb of garlic (and can even use the cooked 3/4 bulb for other deliciousness while devouring such a scrummy soup – am sure it would be good chilled too – please???).

    Keep warm and cosy, Michelle in the NZ summer

  66. Ann

    I can’t wait for winter to try it. I’ve made potato and leek soup plenty of times but adding all that garlic sounds delicious.
    I love the way you answer all the questions everyone asks you. Great job Deb!

  67. Rebekah

    Mmm, I was just going to make a nice thick potato soup tonight. My recipe calls for cheese, and I’m sticking with it for the most part, but your addition of garlic looks simply mahvelous… I will steal that idea for sure!

  68. This maaaay be an overshare, but I basically want to make out with that head of garlic. Too much? What I’m saying here is that I’m excited about this soup.

  69. Living in one of those wonderfully warm places, I wish that’s what wintry mix meant. I can’t wait to try this recipe, optional toppings being completely mandatory!

  70. Shelly

    I put chorizo in mine. Makes it rich and really nice in the winter. I know, you were trying to make it healthy, but sometimes you have to throw in a bit of meaty substance to make it even more of a meal.

  71. Anna

    This recipe from Cook’s Illustrated has been one of my favorites for a while now, but chopping off a third of the garlic and discarding it has always bothered me – nice work coming up with a way to use it! Another problem I always have, though, is that the head of garlic falls apart into cloves when I cut the top off, which makes fishing the garlic out of the soup very tedious. Any advice on how to slice so that the thing stays together?

    1. deb

      Anna — It might just be the age or type of garlic. Mine was pretty tight and didn’t fall apart but I can see why some might with that much cooking.

      I’m getting a surprising amount of comments about the fact that this soup doesn’t start with baked potatoes so I updated the recipe notes to address this, and how you can adapt this to start with already-baked potatoes. That said, I adore the recipe as I posted it and hope your results will speak for themselves. (And please, only criticize the recipe if you’ve tried and found it not to your liking; it’s so much more of helpful contribution this way!). Hopefully this puts the semantic concerns to rest.

  72. javajunky

    I always open your emails with happy anticipation and a big grin. I’m a HUGE fan of Baked Potato soup and this one looks absolutely divine. Thank you for all you do!

  73. Maya

    Hi – LOVE your blog!! And, this recipe sounds amazing – I can’t wait to try it out. Quick question though – do you know/are you willing to include nutritional information on your recipes? Thanks!!

  74. Yes indeed! Baked potato soup is always a wonderful thing! I have to agree, I cannot get enough garlic, and potato skins are so full of nutrition, but for a creamy factor the skins would need to be pulverized or blended first.

  75. Michael

    I think there was an America’s Test Kitchen potato soup recipe that used the skins as part of the soup and a garnish. Some were left in the soup (after peeling) and some were fried/baked crispy and used as an extra garnish and a bit of crunch on top.

  76. Baked potato soup sounds like the perfect way to banish the winter chills. I, too, have had numerous unsatisfying soup experiences in restaurants and often find that homemade soups fit my craving (and wallet) much better.

  77. Celeste

    This looks wonderful…I also love your site and can’t wait to open your emails!!!!
    Your cooking and your photographs are amazing.

  78. Gail

    Another idea for the head of garlic after cooking is to squish the super yummy cloves into a bowl, mash them up and then add them to softened butter. That’s what I do and then I roll it into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and put it in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Then, you can just pull it out and add it to anything. It makes great garlic bread, is good for adding to chicken dishes, etc.

  79. NicM

    This looks perfect for the cold, snowy weather we’re having and like some others on here I have a ton of CSA potatoes and onions to use up. And what a bonus that the base soup is actually healthy!

  80. Been wanting to tell you I love your photos, esp the veggies. I’m afraid you’ll be making more soup as we have yet another wintry mix coming…Have you tried making Colcannon? Love the combo of potato and greens-I don’t usually use cabbage though.

  81. This “wintery mix” is getting a little old here in the Northeast. My friends on the West Coast keep sending me pictures of the sunny beach! This soup looks like a great way to beat the winter blues!

  82. Christina

    Hello and love your blog! I believe I saw this question in the comments, but I didn’t find an answer – any thoughts on going without the sour cream in the recipe? I have been doing some cooking for a friend who is in chemo, and she has cut all meat and dairy out of her diet. This recipe is way closer to acceptable for her than most, so I wonder how the flavor and texture would be affected without the sour cream? PS – she loved your white bean and kale soup (and so did I)!!

    1. deb

      Christina and others who have asked about omitting the dairy — I don’t think it would especially harm the soup. It’s very little, only adds a slight creaminess so therefore would be missed less. Can use olive oil for butter and then it is dairy-free.

  83. Lisa

    When I make baked potato soup, I bake the skins with a little oil, butter and salt (then chop ’em up and use as “croutons”) – – delish!

    Now I wanna try this with the roasted garlic – yum!

  84. Marie M.C.

    I’m so happy to find a recipe for Potato Soup. Eons ago, like 45 years ago, Campbells had a frozen Potato Soup. In my memory it was pretty good. I see that #12 Eric said there’s a canned Potato Soup. Hmmm. I’ve never seen it in cans. But I won’t have to look. I will make this version and I’m sure I’ll be very happy.

    p.s. I live in California and it’s been brrrrr very cold. When I go to walk the dog in the morning it’s been 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve been wearing three layers of clothes. So there. It does get cold in California. OK, not Oklahoma cold, but still . . . Well today it has warmed up a tiny bit. It’s 65 degrees. What can I say — we’re weather wimps.

  85. Nicole

    I just made this, and it is delicious. Thank you.

    Though, food for thought/thought for food: I made bacon bits before the soup, in the same pot, and used the grease from the bacon (along with some butter) to sautee the onion. Because the potato’s so thick, it ends up being just a hint in the final soup, but my family liked it :-)

  86. liz

    possibly dumb question: I just made a boatload of mashed potatoes to see how they would do in the crockpot in anticipation of a dinner party I’m having. Would it be a disaster to add these already cooked & mashed potatoes into the blender w/ the other ingredients after they’ve been cooked? Would you use less liquid since your’e not having to cook the potatoes? or more? or would this just be a non-way to use mashed potatoes?

    ps – my friend who grew up in hawaii (I know, right?) had no idea what a wintry mix was until she moved to MN. She also thought that you subtracted the windchill temp. from the regular temp. 9* – 2windchill* = 7*. So funny!

  87. This looks divine. I made a similar recipe a few months ago, but ended up putting a dash of truffle oil on top for that extra depth.

    I can’t wait to try this. It’s freezing in MA, and its supposed to snow tonight. I am tempted to run out and grab all the ingredients before i go to bed!
    bacon bits on top is brilliant. My husband is going to love this.

  88. Kerry

    I made this tonight! To save time (after a long day of work), I microwaved the chopped up potatoes for about 4 minutes while the broth was simmering. It took a good 10 minutes off the cook time. It was yummy and delicious.

  89. This looks yummy! I happen to live in one of those places where you’re walking in your shorts in January, so it might be another few months before I try this, but I will definitely try this recipe when it gets colder here.

  90. Oh my god. I just made this for dinner and it blew my socks off. I wasnt sure how flavourful a potato soup would be, but even the soup alone (without toppings) had plenty of flavour. I think I have a new favourite winter comfort food!

  91. Kaitlin

    I just discovered your blog about two weeks ago and have been obsessed with pouring through your recipes ever since.

    My fiancé loves baked potato soup and has been under a lot of stress at work lately so when I saw this I knew I had to make it. It was my first time cooking with leeks and it was a total success. We both loved it. I ended up adding a full cup of sour cream for a little extra creaminess and topped it with scallions and cheddar cheese. We followed it up with your raspberry buttermilk cake (my second time making it in less than a week – I think I’m hooked!).

    Thanks for the great recipes!

  92. This recipe looks so delicious. I love to eat and I have a little passion on cooking. I must say putting ingredients is not just mixing them together. Timing is very important or else your cooking will be a disaster.

  93. I love potato soup and I have a recipe for WINTER WHITE VEGETABLE SOUP that would be perfect for this time of the year in your neck of the woods. I had this in Mexico and it took me about 2 years to come across a recipe that tasted similar.
    I will try your baked potato soup recipe soon and I know my husband will love it.

  94. I just visited your blog, after hearing about it for AGES! Of course, I’m definitely not disappointed! Love your recipes and your writing style! Baked potato soup is a classic, and I need to make it pronto! Perfect for this weather!

  95. Speaking of wisdom teeth, mine apparently have to go. *gulp* I’m not really afraid of the pain; I’ve had teeth out before, but not being able to eat real food scares me to death. And I HATE soup (except matzo ball). But Potatoes are the best thing in the world. This just might work. . .

  96. NicM

    I ended up going home and making this last night. To use what I had on hand I swapped the leeks for cioppolinis and the russets for red and Yukon gold potatoes. We did all the toppings and added some hot sauce too and it was fantastic! Perfect for a cold winter evening and I’m actually excited about leftovers for lunch.

  97. Dana

    I made this last night, too. It was delicious! I didn’t even bother putting the soup in the blender; I just used my masher and smushed the potatoes right in the pot.

  98. Sherill

    We made it for dinner last night and had it again for lunch – wintery mix her in Austin is when the temp drops to 32…burr…the soup was great – we crumbled up some proscuitto and scallions over the top – was perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  99. ATL Cook

    Love potato soup, leeks and onions. I put peeled garlic cloves in with the potatoes as they cook (put a few cloves in pasta as it cooks too). ATL has had a lot of cold, snow, and even ice. Soup weather! We are not used to being so cold.

    Originally baked potato soup was a way to use left over baked potatoes rather than discard them. Adding the toppings takes it over the top.

  100. Tina

    I made something similar about a month ago when it was cold here in So.Calif. (and by cold I mean we actually had FROST a couple of nights — but I have lived where it snows, so please don’t kill me!) We loved it, and I was able to make a version with veggie broth and a little soy milk for my vegan FIL, who loved it!

  101. I made a variation of this today (I added cauliflower along with the potatoes and dropped in steamed broccoli at very the end). It was AMAZING. Great recipe, as always.

  102. Emily

    I made this soup tonight and it was delicious! My husband would not stop talking about how good it was! thanks for the recipe- I have to agree that it’s the perfect january antidote.

  103. Wow! A baked potato flavour, in soup for? With all the toppings? How can a carb addict like me say no. I will be trying this out on the weekend for sure. Thanks for all the lovely recipe ideas. This is one of my favourite sites!

  104. Eileen

    Love, love the recipes here & this is my first time posting on the results. 1) the soup looked just like the pictures, thick, creamy & its was good – just not great. 2) Next time, I’ll add lots more liquid.

  105. I braved 6 inches of snow covering my car to get to the grocery store for leeks to make this last night, and it was well worth the 20 minutes I spent with shovel, scraper, and various other winter implements. And I’m really not a baked potato fan at all. It tasted to me like a yummy mashed potato soup, only much tastier than any mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. Thanks for sharing!

  106. I have been looking for a potato soup that doesn’t make me feel quite so much like I’m contributing to my first coronary event–this looks rich, but reasonably so!

    And–doesn’t the phrase “wintry mix” sound a lot more fun than it actually is? I think I might develop a cocktail recipe by that name :)

  107. Rachel G

    Def going to try this. I tried my version a few weeks ago w/ baked then mashed potatoes…I didn’t really like the resulting texture that way…so I will give this version a go. Smitten kitchen has not steered my wrong yet!

  108. Sandy

    We made this for ourselves and extended family last night. My daughter, who is 39 years old, licked her bowl! LICKED HER BOWL! I think others wanted to but decided to have a 2nd helping instead. This is a really really good soup. We will make this over and over. Thank you so much for coming up with this!

  109. Bee cooks in Vancouver

    Made this soup today and followed the recipe to a T.
    We couldn’t get enough of it. I served it with grated old
    cheddar, sour cream and bacon. I make homeade soup
    a couple of times a week and my 10 year old son exclaimed,
    “this is the best soup you have ever made”. He then
    proceeded to eat 3 bowls!

  110. Towels

    I have a big pot of this on the stove. I doubled the recipe and used low fat sour cream and it is absolutely delicious. It doesn’t even need the yummy toppings, but they will be a great accompaniment. Thank you!

  111. Melissa

    My son was diagnosed with a lot of allergies/digestive issues and I stumbled across your site. We made this for dinner tonight. I didn’t have leeks, so I used onions. Additionally, he can’t have dairy-so we substituted soy sour cream. Incredibly simple, elegant, but most importantly delicious. I see you have many recipes like this and I intend to try out many more. Thanks so much for sharing!

  112. Nicole

    Are you trying to make me swoon? You’ve covered all my favorite foods in the last two months without me even having to ask. Baked potato is the best, heartiest soup there is and I go to restaurants on the night they’re serving it because I love it THAT much. Can’t wait to make this.

  113. Colleen

    This is the type of dish that makes January and February bearable. I made it tonight for dinner and couldn’t believe how easily it came together. Plus, it made my home smell fabulous and it’s absolutely delicious! Thanks so much, Deb!

  114. I’ve just made this soup. In fact, I have a bowl of it (with yummy flat bread) in front of me right now. It is so, so, so, so, so delicious! Thank you so very much for the recipe!

  115. Lesley

    Made this for dinner last night and it was a hit. We were fighting over who got the leftovers for lunch today (also delicious). This was so easy and fantastic. Didn’t have any issues with the garlic falling apart, everything came together wonderfully. Also made your cream cheese pound cake with strawberry coulis. No one could believe how fast I was able to whip it all up!

    I did have to cook my soup about 10 min. longer – I think I cut my potatoes too thick so they were still a little crunchy!

  116. John

    Soups are something I’ve struggled with in the past. I must say this is by far the best soup I’ve made to date. Absolutely delicious. I do think it’s best served with a toppings bar so that everyone can customize it to their taste.

    Thanks so much for the recipe, you haven’t steered me wrong yet.

  117. Michelle

    LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this. I agree, had to cook my potatoes longer but still worth the wait. We even took the garlic and spread it on some bread to accompany our meal. Fantastic meal.

  118. Lisa

    I made this tonight and it was great! I did 1 tablespoon butter, 1 of olive oil and 1 of pancetta to give it a little more oomph. I also added a small shallot with the leeks as I had one on hand. I had never added sour cream before and thought it was great. It had more body and flavor than the half and half I would normally use. Great recipe!

  119. nancy

    The soup was wonderful,we had a delicious accident when I was reheating it,added some beer….fabulous taste.
    Thanks so much for this recipe….try it with dark beer.

  120. vilaggazdasag

    As another Hungarian, I would make a different version of this soup.
    I would bake the garlic head in whole (after cutting the top) in the oven, to make them creamy and less intense in taste. (so I can use the whole:) It’s more time, but can be made in advance.
    When its done, I would push out the creamy garlic from the skin, and saute it on a little butter with the leeks and the potato, to give them a little deeper flavor. However, the deeper the flavor is, the browner the potatoes, so think about the color you want. When they look good, I’d add the broth and the bay leaves and cooked it until done. puree as you like, sour cream or thick yoghurt, and if needed, a little lemon juice for that soury touch.

  121. Jenny K

    I have to agree with Eileen #197.
    If you are planning to make this you should know it’s the same thickness and consistency as mashed potatoes, only takes much longer to make.
    It tasted good, but my family was bewildered when I presented them a bowl of mashed potatoes as their supper. No one said much, just ate it with funny looks on their faces while glancing sideways at me. My husband asked me twice “WHERE did you get this recipe?”
    Like I said though, it did taste good, but if you are looking for something more like soup I’d recommend buying twice the amount of broth called for. That way you have the option of adding as much as you like at the end.

  122. Naomi S.

    I made this over the weekend and both my husband & 2 year old son loved it. I will definitely make it again in the future. For those of you that didn’t take the alternative route, your soup turned out to be mashed potatoes…very thick. Next time just put only half the soup in the food processor that way the final result is still thin enough to actually be soup.

  123. Just made this for dinner, and it was great. I have to say, though, it might not have been quite so great without the bacon – it made the dish. Also, I am totally lazy, so did not peel the potatoes. Let’s just say the soup won’t win any beauty contests, but no big deal and the garnishes prettied it up a bit.

    For those of you who thought it was too thick, mine didn’t seem to be at all. I simmered the broth and garlic with the lid partially on (so not just while cooking the potatoes), and I was sure to cut my potatoes small so they would cook quickly. I blended with an immersion blender and was sure to keep some chunks. After blending, I added the additional cup of broth as mentioned (so 6 cups total).

  124. Kathy

    So insanely good. It’s currently 35 and raining here and this was a perfect way to end the day. I added about half the mashed garlic back in and thinned it out with some milk. Pretty much perfect.

  125. Really, really good. I blended half and lightly mashed the other chunks with a potato masher. Some chunks, but still soup consistency – not mashed potatoes at all! Used some homemade vegetable broth and some vegetarian ‘chicken’ bouillon (vegetarians here).
    Because in general I like to make sure I get my greens, I sauteed 5 oz of spinach and added it to the soup. It works really well with the soup and balances out the meal a bit.

  126. D

    Deb and Anna,

    i had the same problem when I cut my garlic: the cloves immediately fell apart. Luckily I had two heads, and I tried again on the second one. It turns out I had been cutting the wrong third off. If you leave the ugly brown stem thing on it all stays together. Hopefully the brown stem thing doesn’t have bad flavor?


  127. Denise Dewire

    As Tabatha mentioned…..perfect for the southern California winter weather….sorry guys but it was a chilly 70 degrees in Ventura today! We’re having our summer we didn’t have last year in January! This soup was delicious and will make it again and again! I put most in the blender but next time will use the “motor boat” and leave a lot more chunks of potatoes! Thanks!

  128. Jon

    I made this but with a few changes… First I fried my bacon then softened my leeks in the bacon fat. Second I left a little bit of the bacon in when I pureed it. Bacon, Garlic, leeks, etc. It was great. My second fav soup is the recipe from the Machine Shed (local restaurant in Iowa outside of Des Moines). They have a cookbook with a bunch of good recipes.

  129. This is a potato soup done right. One of my favorite soups for the winter time. I like that you added the sour cream, I’ve always added that and bacon as well. It just makes it!

  130. Sarah

    Made this for dinner and it was a huge hit. I used low fat sour cream and it worked beautifully. This recipe will be in my winter soup rotation from now on. Thanks!

  131. Monica

    Yum…our little store doesn’t have leeks so I used onion and celery and it was still delicious. I also used stock I had previously made, and probably more of it than the recipe called for so I didn’t have a problem with the thickness and I accidentally pureed the whole thing (first time using an immersion blender). My husband and I as well as our 1 and 3 year old gobbled it up. It was perfect for our weather recently….woke up to -26 degree weather. Yes, that is a minus sign.

  132. Clea

    This soup was great! Because I can’t leave well enough alone, I added a bit of dried thyme and savory to my broth. I also added the potatoes shortly after adding the broth and just cooked until they seemed done enough (half sweet potato, half russet). Didn’t have sour cream, so a little bit of half and half, a little milk, and a squeeze of lemon juice to finish it off went in. And a squirt of agave for a touch of sweetness. Okay, maybe it’s a different soup now, but it was fantastic and thanks for the inspiration! I think tomorrow I’ll add some smoke paprika and freshly ground pepper on top…already looking forward to it.

  133. Lara

    I made this soup today and it was fantastic! I stuck pretty much to the recipe but can definitely see all the potential tangents you could take. Delicious! I have tried many recipes from your blog and always appreciate how each turns out almost exactly as you describe. Thanks so much! :)

  134. Kristin

    I made this Sunday night, using low fat sour cream and lots of yummy toppings to choose from. It was delicious and just what I was craving. My husband and daughter loved it too.

  135. jillian

    I made this last night– very tasty! Instead of incorporating the boiled garlic head into the soup itself, I popped the cloves out, mashed them with a little warm butter and salt, and then spread that on toasted italian bread. The garlic flavor was very mild but tasted great dipped in soup!

  136. Kris

    Made this last night and it was a big hit! I can’t believe how lush it tastes even though there’s no cream in it. I’m marking it down as healthy (despite the bacon & cheese I topped it with). I used reduced fat sour cream and it was fine. I also was surprised that this soup didn’t require a ton of salt, as potatoes and soup in general often do. Just awesome.

    I can’t believe the comments about the semantics of the word ‘baked’ in the recipe title. Lordy. Just eat it!

  137. Liz L

    This is the second thing I’ve made in my new kitchen. I’m low on kitchen stuff right now, but was surprized how easy it was to take a slotted cooking spatula that was inexplicably bent in an L shape and just mash the potato cubes at the end of cooking. It turned into a thick soup with plenty of potato chunks that hold their shape but fall apart in your mouth.

    Red pepper flakes or hot sauce to spice it up sounds perfect- next time.

    Thanks for this recipe (and for the onion, butter, and tomato sauce, which was the first think I made in my kitchen).

  138. Rebecca G.

    I made this tonight and it’s yummy – I DO wish I’d read a few more comments to see where you mentioned the leeks would total about 2 cups…I’m sure I had almost twice that, and so it was rather green and pretty onion-y. I’m going to boild some more potatoes in veggie broth and combine with my leftovers to see if I can boost the Potato taste a little more. BUT, despite the fact that it looked like split pea, my almost 3 year-old exclaimed “YUMMY soup Mama!” I’ll definitely try again with either fewer leeks or your suggestion of a medium onion. I love that this is a healthy soup.

    Question: Do you think this would freeze well?

  139. deb

    I am curious about all of the pale green comments — is anyone using the dark green or medium green parts of the leeks? I only use the white and pale green (4th photo), so it didn’t remotely tinge the soup (as you can see in the top photo).

  140. cat

    I love love love potato soup. When my youngest son was first born we spent his first winter in and out of hospitals. We ate this soup at a local restaurant and although life was chaotic potato soup (I call it irish chowder) was a brief moment of warmth and comfort. I love how thick and rich this looks!

  141. This sounds insanely perfect, and I wish I could make it right now. It’s like you said–I should be eating lots of soup right now, but I’m just not that in to it. In my case, it’s because I’m too lazy to chop up lots of veggies, which is really lame because I frequently go on and on about how soup is just soooo easy to make…
    This sounds perfect prep-wise and taste-wise, thought. Maybe it will make me feel better about those 9 inches of snow on my porch.

  142. K

    I just made this last night and it was excellent!! My soup was a bit darker in color, as a result of the stock I used and I left some skins on. I ended up mashing the potatoes instead of blending, but this was easy enough. Great recipe!

  143. This sounds just too good, with all that garlic! I think I have to cook that for my boyfriend and myself, I love soup in winter! Just added the recipe to my growing recipe folder.

  144. Deb – I live in one of those places where we are forced to wear shorts and sunglasses in January – the Southern Hemisphere’s New Zealand! It’s not exactly soup season here, but I do have many potatos begging to be plucked from my garden! So I’ll wait for a chilly summer night when the weather rolls in from the South – aka Antarctica – and blasts us with a day of winter in mid-summer. Thanks!

  145. AudraNoel

    Took me a few days to get the time to do this- love that there are 250 posts 11 days later. Full disclosure: actually, husband looking for something to do so I asked him to make:-)

  146. Chloe

    I made this soup over the weekend. It was delicious and not super-garlicky as I had feared. This recipe is definitely one I’ll be repeating!

  147. Jendorf

    This was delicious!! I was really nervous about the texture after seeing the picture, but I trusted you and I’m sooooooo glad I did! My entire family literally inhaled this soup! This one goes right into the favorites file!!

  148. Natalie

    This soup is DIVINE!!! (as are your lemon bars, which I just pulled out of the oven) I added the garlic back into the soup, and left the skin on the potatoes. It is still on stove–I haven’t even blended it yet. It looks so lovely and chunky this way! I just can’t decide. But Deb–I have a whole pile of dark green leeks on my counter! Please don’t tell me to throw them away…any ideas for using them?

  149. Katrin

    This recipe sounds so fantastic – but only 5-6 cups of broth? That would be one cup for each serving, can that be correct? Does the extra volume come from the other ingredients?
    (Oh, and I’m Viennese, and your Viennese cucumber salad is our favourite recipe now!)

  150. Maya

    love this recipe – but quick question… is this something that can be made in large batches and frozen?? or is it better to eat when prepared? i’m looking for a vegetarian recipe for a meal exchange and this recipe just looks so delicious. advice is appreciated!!

  151. This terrible ‘wintry mix’ in NYC just WILL NOT STOP. More coming tomorrow. Which means, I was hoping to make this recipe…

    Unfortunately, FreshDirect won’t deliver tomorrow (damn you, wintry mix) and I don’t see myself making it out in this icy disaster with two little ones and returning carrying groceries and the little ones up three flights of stairs. Soo…

    Since you are clearly so adept at making this amazing-looking soup, you wouldn’t mind just whipping up a batch and dropping it off at my home tomorrow, would you?

    Thanks! ;)

    1. deb

      RealMommyChron — I had the same whimper over Fresh Direct (although I have to give them kudos about treating their drivers so well) when it’s in the winter that I actually need them. Shopping when it’s thawed outside is actually enjoyable; pushing a stroller, wearing knee-high wellies, trying to fit everything in the two bags I can carry, scarves, hats, gloves, umbrellas in 5 inches of slush is just BLEH.

  152. As a chronic soup eater who actually enjoys assaulted vegetables and creamy broth I am an easy sell for anything potato. I’m there. But nutella on the other hand…can’t even look at the stuff when walking down that aisle in the grocery store. Since our foreign exchange sutdent from Germany left it has been banned from my house!

  153. How funny – the awful weather in NYC drove me to make/blog baked potato soup about a week before yours! Based on the forecast for tomorrow, I think it may be time for another batch.

    I microwaved my potatoes (no time to bake) instead of boiling them. I also added some sauteed broccoli florets to the soup in the theme of baked potato toppings. AND I didn’t include any sour cream or cheese, and it was incredibly creamy and rich. And soooo easy.

  154. sdhungry

    Made this tonight. We received 20″ of snow yesterday (Chicago) and this was the perfect thing to eat next to the fire. Made some adaptations of my own but kept everything else the same. Used a whole onion vice leeks. Used 2 lbs Yukon potatoes and 1 celeriac I had in the fridge. Added some cayenne as well…because it’s so cold here…zzzzz.

  155. rae

    I stuck to the recipe, but when you mentioned the bit about ‘not wasting’ anything, I got the idea to bake the potato peels to make them crispy and use them as a topping. My boyfriend said they were a great alternative to bacon (I’m a vegetarian, he is not.) Leeks seem expensive to me and I hate throwing out the greens. So, I got a little crazy and sauted them with a little olive oil until they softened up a bit. I didn’t know the green parts were so tasty. We didn’t even use the scallion I bought because the leek greens were really flavorful and tender. Thank you for the recipe! It is a keeper.

  156. Samantha

    2 weeks later and it seems that no matter where you live it’s still a wintery mix. I’ve just about had it with this whole “snow” thing. This soup… wow! This was just the thing to help me forget about the mountains and mountains of snow outside my door, on my street and making parking a nightmare.
    It’s also true that I absolutely love garlic; my fiance, however, decided he wants the soup to be “a 6 on the garlicky scale of 1 to 10” so I only added a few stewed cloves into the soup. The rest was just the right consistency to spread on a ritz cracker, sprinkle with salt and pretend there wasn’t enough to share!

  157. Made this tonight using a yellow onion for the leeks, did not peel the potatoes (I love the skins) and adding in some baby broccoli, sharp cheddar and bacon into the main soup. I also just simmered peeled garlic cloves and mashed them into the soup and pureed the soup using the back of a large spoon (worked great leaving a few chunks for texture). It was a huge hit and all of the corners I cut and/or added seemed to work out great. My in-laws were asking for the recipe and everyone had seconds. ( :

  158. regina

    Hi, Deb – I know you hear this all the time but I LOVE smittenkitchen!!!! I discovered this blog by accident while looking for a recipe a couple of months ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. The photography is so gorgeous, your writing so witty. Thank you for inspiring me everyday to cook something nice for my family. BTW, the potato soup was delicious. I usually find potato soups to be lacking something but this one is so full flavored (maybe it’s the garlic) that we finished every last drop!

  159. Nicole

    Bless you for posting this recipe! I made no less than 18lb. of baked potatoes for Super Bowl Sunday to go along with our chili bar, but unfortunately everyone filled up on chili, leaving about 25 sad baked spuds behind. Granted, they were on sale and I would’ve been out about $5, but it would have made me ill to waste that much food. Enter your fabulous recipe!

    In the chaos of the day, I had forgotten to fry up the bacon I’d gotten for topping the potatoes. I ended up cutting up about half the package and sauteeing it with the leeks. In the end, I suppose it ended up being more of a “loaded” baked potato soup and certainly less healthy, but I can’t say no to bacon. My boyfriend was practically licking the bowl. Amazing recipe. Thank you for saving me from food-wasting shamefulness! :)

  160. Mark

    Made this tonite for the Tuesday night Mah Jongg group–it was a huge hit. Everyone loved it! Thanks Deb. (I just wish there was some left over for tomorrow!)

  161. Jess

    I love you, Deb. Okay, maybe that’s strong – I really like you! I made this today for a late lunch (and dinner for SO and lunch for throughout the rest of the week at work) with kind of “meh” expectations. I kept eyeballing the recipe over the last few weeks, consdering it and then mumbling about how I don’t really like potato soup and blah blah blah. Well, potatoes were on sale at the grocery and I decided what the hey, I’ll give this a try.

    I followed the recipe almost exactly, except I left the skins on about half of my potatoes, and it is *delicious*. Thick and creamy and the perfect winter soup. I see myself making this again in the future.

  162. Nichole

    I have made this twice already! My vegetarian husband loves this and likens it to chowder that he usually cannot have. I serve it with roasted broccoli and rolls…a perfect winter meal. Thank you so much for sharing this (and for all the other commenters tips!)

  163. Another mom-to-be in a pregnancy board I frequent recommended this recipe, and I’m SO glad she did. I’ve been an occasional reader of the blog, but don’t make it here as much as I’d like and might have missed this otherwise!

    Made it for dinner tonight and it was divine. So potato-y. I did use a bit more broth than called for (and I started with about 1/2 lb less potato), and it was still very thick but not mashed potato thick. Left the peels on my potatoes because I’m lazy, and added about half of the cooked garlic cloves back in. Otherwise I think I did everything as directed! I was surprised at how little impact the peels had on the soup colour…a bit darker, I guess, but not much. I’m pretty sure they added to the flavour–it was nicely potato-y.

  164. Michael

    I have my own version of this recipe. I might suggest cutting back a bit on the butter if you cook your own bacon in the pan, that way the soup gets a bit of the bacon grease and I find it rounds out the flavors nicely as well.

  165. I read this post when you first published it and, for some reason, when I woke up today, all I could think about was this soup. Clearly, I’ll be eating this well before the week’s end.

  166. So, I might be the last person to try this soup, but holy cow. It was incredible. Thrilled to have it stashed away in mason jars for the rest of the week’s lunches.


  167. MJ

    I made this last night for our Friday game night dinner… it was delicious.I hadn’t used leeks until this week – always yellow onions. Leeks are so pretty after they’ve been chopped and also add a lighter flavor and better texture for soups. I am two for two with your recipes :) Made the dill potato salad last weekend, which was also a big hit.

  168. sonia

    Made this and loved it! I used the whole head of garlic — just halved it and threw it all in. Except that I was distracted by NCIS reruns, so I vapidly veered off recipe and threw them in with the leeks (white and pale green parts only, for me), all at once. The cut halves ended up brown and crusty, though, so I think it made the soup not too garlicky.

  169. Lee

    We made your potato soup last night and it was delicious. Very intense flavors. The leeks added a nice touch. I wound up squeezing the garlic out and mashing all of it into the soup. Yummy. Filling and satisfying. Really looking forward to trying your other recipes

    Thanks !!

  170. Cindy

    Great flavor, but to anyone with a Vita-mix that even considers putting it in your machine instead of using a stick blender – learn from my mistake and do not do it! The Vita-mix pureed it much too smooth (no chunks) and the result was not as satisfying to the palate.

  171. BeachBlonde

    To answer a question asked previously, I don’t think it matters if you forget to add the sour cream before you blend it…the first time I made it, I forgot to add it before and just added it afterwards and it tasted fine. I’ve made it twice since, adding it before blending and has been the same! Hope that helps! I also like to add some of the garlic back into the soup, but I notice that sometimes the potency of the actual garlic head differs. It’s pouring out right now and even though it’s April, it was the perfect meal for the rainy weather!

  172. Shannon

    Thank you for this! I’m deep in the trenches of morning sickness (7 weeks and counting) and it’s HOT in New York City, but I came across this in my recipe email folder and it actually sounded *good!*. It’s the first meal I’ve cooked in weeks (other than spaghetti with butter and parm), and needless to say, over the past four hours, I ate the whole pot. Delicious!

    Now to send my husband back to the store for a five pound bag of potatoes!

  173. Oh boy! So good I had a hard time putting the leftovers away! Scoop for the Tupperware, scoop for me, etc (just me and the hubby so few germ worries ;-)
    I added the mashed cloves and added a few dashes of Tabasco Sauce and lots of chopped chives plus freshly ground black pepper, a shake of red cayenne pepper and of chili powder and some basil (semi- in place of the bay leaves I was out of). When I cooked the bacon to crumble into the pot I poured some of the bacon grease right into the pot because it just smelled like it would be so good in there- and I usually won’t touch anything with bacon in it! Oh my. So good, Deb. Sooo good! Thank you!! :-)

  174. Pam

    I threw in 1 piece of uncooked Bacon when adding broth and potatoes. I took it out before pureeing and wow what a real Bacon aroma and flavor. My husband finally wanted some seconds fantastic!

  175. this is good! i made some adjustments to fit what I had on hand (onions instead of leeks) and used greek yogurt instead of sour cream. we also smeared the leftover garlic cloves on crusty bread and dipped away. thanks for the recipe!

  176. Laura Jane

    Any ideas about how well this soup reheats? I’m making it one way or another this week, but deciding if I should bring it to a pot luck lunch (making it the night before and reheating it– maybe with some extra stock?) or if I would be better served to just keep it to myself and eat it right after I make it. Thanks!

  177. Deb,

    First, I want you to imagine a twenty-one year old male, rock climbing instructor, CrossFit enthusiast, standing at the counter, confused by butter, flour, water, salt and sugar as he tries to use a pastry cutter to make pie crust for the firs time ever, cursing each time he tries to grab his sweating beer with dough covered hands. -This is me tonight.

    Now to my question:

    Will using heavy cream instead of sour cream in the actual soup change much? How will it affect the texture, the flavor, etc.? I am kind of *not* partial to sour cream. :)

    Just curious as well. I’m a junior in college and decided it’s time I learn how to do more than saute and fry things in a pan, or cook Italian food (as my grand mother was Italian and my Italian friends have taught me how to “cook like an Italian”). I love your writing, by the way. Despite me and my grammar-Nazi tendencies, I forgive all mishaps here and laugh away–and coo (secretly, of course) at the pictures of your children, which are admittedly beautiful.

    My wife (whom I’ve not married, yet) will thank you one day.

    Jared from Iowa City, Iowa.

    P.S. You’re saving Thanksgiving by the way. First time ever I’m even somewhat responsible for it, as my mother and sister are coming to MY apartment to cook dinner tomorrow morning at 10AM. :)

    1. deb

      Heavy cream should be just fine instead of sour cream. It will probably make the soup even silkier and more delicious. May the cooking force be with you!

  178. Gretchen

    I have an announcement to make: This is the best soup EVER. I can’t even express how much I love this soup. I followed the recipe exactly (adding some of the extra garlic as you explained) and sincerely… it was so wonderful. I made it for my in-laws tonight with a beautiful no-knead rosemary bread. It was a showstopper. Thanks so much.

    If you’re on the fence thinking about making this one – I beg of you – do it.

  179. Selena

    I just made this and my boyfriend said it was awesome… even better than his mom’s! I even had two helpings! Thanks so much for sharing a great recipe!

  180. Alex

    I made this last night and it was AMAZING. Last night was -19C in MTL and this warmed up the house, our bellies and gave us amazing comfort. Thank you!

  181. shellip

    to my favorite kitchen muse – took your inspiration one step further and BAKED the potatoes before adding them to the soup (of course shortening the cooking time). what can i say. wonderful.

  182. I just made this tonight! Makes the cold nights in Boston bareable…plus, will be my lunch all week! I used half a yellow onion instead of leeks. It’s PERFECTO! Absolutely delish.

  183. Marjorie

    @Ruby, my vegan friend has substituted homemade cashew cream in place of sour cream. It’s quite a versatile item.. she also uses it in place of cream cheese, and has made veggie pizza with it. It requires a bit of time for soaking the cashews, but overall, it’s remarkably simple. I am cooking this soup on my stove right now, and my mouth is watering. Can’t wait to try it! :)

  184. margie s

    This was a great dish for Super Bowl Sunday! Fun to add the toppings for yourself, but we all tasted the soup before the toppings, and it was delicious on its own. With toppings? Over the top!

  185. rambant

    Used this recipe to satisfy my poorly husband’s soup request- such impressive results! Thank you very much for arming me with the confidence to MAKE the soup rather than buy it, the leeks in butter smelt amazing. Used sour cream and a few croutons as topping.

    Husband loved it. I loved it. Can’t wait to tackle more from the SK kitchen.

  186. Marissa

    I just tried this tonight, and it was absolutely delicious. I had 5 cups of broth, but I think I might use half a cup left, or do your suggestion of putting half of the soup into the food processor, simply because I’d like a little more bulk in my soup.

    But it was fantastic, and I am looking forward to making it again in the future!

  187. Shilpa

    I recently made this with a bunch of green garlic, rather than the regular garlic. Just browned the white parts first, and then threw in the green parts and the potatoes. Also, I used 3-4 tbsps. of yogurt while blending it, along with the chicken stock. I think the yogurt gave it just a hint of tang, which was great. We ate it with more yogurt dolloped on top. It was delicious!

  188. I think the only thing that could make this sound better is if it could be nearly finished after coming home from work. Do you think you could put most of the ingredients in a slow cooker, cook it on low for 8 hours, and then add the sour cream / puree it? Would this alter the flavor significantly? Would you need to cook the leeks and garlic before adding it to the slow cooker?

    1. deb

      allen — I haven’t tried it but I think it could all cook together in the slow cooker, leeks and garlic too. Well, you won’t have the roasted garlic flavor but it doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it. You might want less garlic if you don’t roast it as roasting takes a lot of the bite out.

  189. Jaime

    One of my facebook friends posted something from your blog today and I checked out your site. Fabulous! I was in the mood for a cold weather meal and made this soup. Absolutely spectacular. Far be it for me to consider soup a meal(I dig food), so I decided to pair this with pepper crusted filet mignon and your balsamic braised brussel sprouts for a very satisfying meal. Thanks!

  190. Shirlee

    I’m not following, is it ‘baked’ potato, I am not seeing where to bake the potatoes….sorry, might be a dumb question but I’m just curious…

  191. MaryMcP

    Made up a pot of this luscious soup and we devoured it in two nights. Paired it with some good potato rosemary bread with garlic butter. And yes, we love the “extra garlic boost” so the entire head of cooked garlic was added near the end of cook time.

    Next time: I’ll add spicy red pepper flakes – or hot peppers from the garden – and I think stir frying some rough chopped bacon with the leeks would be good.

    Thanks for ALL the recipes, love your site!

  192. Lena

    Deb, I made this tonight for the second time. With all the toppings you used, plus roasted cauliflower, and fried potato skins!! Amazing!

  193. Marta

    I added rosemary and thyme sprigs and used green onions and yellow onion instead of leeks. It was a great lunch on a wintry day. I just received your cookbook for Christmas and I am excited to try the recipes for New Years Eve.

  194. Erin

    This is one of my all-time favorite soups and I badly want to make it for dinner tonight (rainy Chicago night) but we’re leaving town for a few days tomorrow. How long does this soup last night the fridge? Does it soup freeze well? Or should I just suck it up and make it when I get back to town?


  195. Sally

    We had this last night and it was–of course–wonderful. I used ordinary onion instead of leeks which I can’t digest any longer. And do you, any of you, have an idea why some leeks are indigestible and some aren’t?

  196. Bridget

    Deb! I absolutely LOVE your blog. Everything and anything I have made from you has been amazing. My niece, who is obsessed with strawberries had strawberry summer cake for her first birthday party this past August– what a hit! You never cease to amaze me! I can’t wait to make this soup. Thank you for being an inspiration to a 20 year old girl who loves to cook!

  197. Love your recipes! I made this tonight and it was delish. Health wise I love that it is broth over milk based, but I did subsequently notice a mealy texture rather than creamy. I may have over blended but it was very tasty nonetheless. Topped mine with cheddar, scallions and cubed ham. Thanks for sharing!

  198. Sara

    Made this last night for a sick husband, and boy was it a hit! I left it fairly chunky, and quite thick. It felt like the best insides of a baked potato. Perfect. Thanks for all the amazing recipes, I’ve been on a roll making one or two of yours a week lately! Your detailed notes make anything seem possible, so I’ve been tackling things I never would have otherwise.

  199. this one was not a total win for me, although anything else i’ve ever made from your site has been perfection. i ended up adding some sriracha to spice it up and give it a little more flavor.

  200. Jenn

    This is spectacular. I roasted the whole head of garlic with some veggies before making this soup and then added all of the roasted garlic to the soup! That way I truly didn’t waste anything :)

  201. Jen

    So I don’t see anywhere where it says to bake the potatoes… KIDDING! Sorry, had to ;). Recipe is fabulous and you are a delight. Came to your book signing at Tattered Cover in Denver and thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to your next book!

  202. Ellen

    My 10-year-old daughter LOVES this soup. The other day she and her friends were talking about their favorite foods, and she named this as one of her top three. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

  203. Helen

    I needed to use up some very sad, neglected leeks, so found your soup recipe. There will be a few variations! I using four cups of cooked diced potatoes left over from making potato salad. (Who knew our pregnant DIL would eat half the potato salad singlehanded, and I should have made a double batch?)And I missed the part in the recipe about leaving the head of garlic in the skin, and carefully put all the peelings in my freezer bag of never-ending veggie ends for broth. AND I scorched the leeks and had to pick out burnt bits. This will definitely taste “just like mom makes it”, lol. The leeks and garlic are cooking in my pressure cooker now, and I’ll add the diced potatoes, skins on and cook everything some more. Oh my God, the butter, olive oil and garlic smelled sooo good. If no one else wants this, I’m eating it all by myself.

  204. Julie

    On the stove now! Smells heavenly! Just in case anyone else needs the info, I added up all calories for the total batch of this soup. It is roughly 1650 calories for all the ingredients. If you divide that by 8 servings, only about 200 calories a bowl!

  205. Liz

    This soup was PERFECT for a friend who had just had her wisdom teeth removed. She said it was the only thing that managed to make her feel full while she was unable to chomp.

    To all the commenters asking if you can freeze the soup: I bit the bullet, froze a big batch and eventually let it thaw, and it looked weird. Really lumpy and sort of separated. But, I put it in a big pot on the stove and as it heated and was stirred, it turned back into a creamy good soup.

  206. Crystal

    Yum, wonderfully simple receipe. I ended up not even puréeing the soup because once I started tasting, I couldn’t stop! I made a vegetarian version which substituted bacon bits (I do love them) with a medley of crunchy sprouted beans (chick, lentil, red, and soy).

  207. Jo

    Hi there. Just tried this tonight. My go-to potato/leek soup is usually an Alton Brown recipe that is my husband’s favorite meal (of the things I know how to make, anyway), but I ran across this recipe and decided it couldn’t hurt to try something new. (Alton’s recipe has lots of dairy in it and I’m slightly lactose intolerant.) This one is amazing. I LOOOVE garlic so was excited to get to cook the entire head of it in there. I decided to just toss the head without mashing it up and the flavor was PERFECT. Just enough garlic to satisfy me (my hubby is convinced I would put garlic in baked goods if I could. I rarely measure it and when I do, always use more than the recipe calls for).

    We topped it with extra sharp cheddar, sour cream, and chives and it got a three-syllable “gooood” from the husband. Given the choice between this and my other recipe, he said he’d probably prefer this. Definitely going into my hand-written book. :)

  208. deb

    Leftover mashed potatoes have butter and cream in them, right? And if they were already pureed, quite soft. It may not be a perfect exchange. You could try it with less liquid if using them again here.

  209. Smash

    Sad to say this was a failure when I tried it. Flavor was OK, but not great. I think the blender is what did it. Turned too slimy for me.

  210. Esther

    I’ve made this recipe several times and it’s fantastic! I wanted to share an alternative use for the leftover cooked garlic cloves I mashed them up and added them to your “My Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits” (mixing them with the buttermilk before adding it). They were delicious with the addition (as they are without it) — a very subtle, sweet extra flavor. Thanks for all the delicious recipes!

  211. Amanda

    Made this over the weekend using a combination of leftover baked potatoes and raw potatoes (to get to 2 1/2 pounds) and heavy cream rather than sour cream. It was delicious, and my husband (who never says anything is better than “ok”) and 4 year old both agreed! It made enough to feed us for 3 meals too, a definite bonus!

  212. Geekgirl

    My sister-in-law said I was welcome to dig up leeks from her garden today as we were helping her and her family move. She hadn’t thinned them so they weren’t as large as usual and I came home with a huge bag-full. I immediately searched SK, figuring you would have an awesome potato-leek soup recipe and I was happy to find this. Just finished cleaning up and have just a tiny bit left over for lunch tomorrow. It was delicious!

  213. Markko

    I just made this for the first time with what I had on hand. Like many other cooks with no leeks on hand, I substituted onions (vidalias) for leeks & used potatoes with skins. It had a great taste, and now I’m curious to try it with leeks to note any differences. Thanks!

  214. rachel

    I suppose this could be in the comments somewhere.. But have you ever made these with different potatoes? I have red (new) potatoes and also several purple ones. Think those would affect the flavor in weird ways?

  215. Jenny

    Excellent recipe. Thanks for sharing it, Deb.

    We served this tonight to a potluck dinner party of cooks, and all gave it compliments.

    I had extra time today, so I did opt to bake potatoes for the soup; the resulting flavor was discernably “baked,” in addition to the great “baked potato & goodies toppings” motif. 2 pounds of the baked potatoes were peeled and cubed after cooling, and added as directed in the recipe. I cubed the other half pound of baked potatoes skin-on, and reserved them to add with the sour cream after the “coarse puree” step.

  216. gigi

    Loved this soup. Left it dairy free until the condiment stage and then we were happy to load on the cheese and sour cream. Saved the head of garlic for the table also so some of us squeezed garlic onto our bread or into the soup for extra oomph or both. Really delicious.

  217. Ariane

    This has become a winter tradition in our household… such a delicious recipe.
    Thank you for sharing this, as it brings so much joy to our home!

  218. Kathy K

    With the ‘arctic blast’ that we endured in WI last week, this was at the top of the ‘soups to make’ list; it was perfect, topped with cheddar, bacon bits and a few ‘frizzled leeks’. ALL of your recipes are amazing! Today’s ‘pick’ is your “Black Bean Pumpkin Soup”. Your website and cookbook are my favorites!

  219. Shawna Willoughby

    I made this tonight–my house smelled amazing and the soup tasted even better! I used green onions instead of leeks (hubby isn’t a fan of leeks, but said we could probably try them next time). And I agree, just the hint of garlic is plenty. Thanks for sharing this–I’m sure I’ll be making it a LOT!

  220. Katie

    I made this this weekend during the blizzard. I’ve had a delicious potato soup recipe that I’ve been using for years (I make a LOT of potato soup) and I’m so excited by this recipe. This is a FANTASTIC recipe!! I was nervous about the garlic, but it was fantastic. It didn’t taste like garlic to me. There was just this great sweet interesting flavor that I assume was all the garlic and leeks. I will for sure be making this again.

  221. Andrea P.

    I have made this soup twice now and it is wonderful. The first time I made it was after my hubby had major oral surgery and could only eat soft foods. He was very happy with it. I find most potato and leek soup recipes to be bland. I realize this is not a classic PL soup recipe, but it is now my go to recipe when leeks are plentiful and I want an easy delicious soup. Thanks, Deb! I’m a long time devotee and first time poster.

  222. Nicole

    I just made this tonight and wasn’t disappointed. My baked potato loving 10 year old declared it great and called the thermos for Monday morning. Keep up the great work Deb—you rock!

  223. Michelle

    I made this as written, and added 4 slices of bacon crumbled to each bowl. Sooooo good! We liked that it was halfway between comfort food (husband) and health nut/veggie lover(me). Lacking an immersion blender, I put about half of the soup through the regular blender and mashed the rest with a potato masher in the pot before adding the puree back. Perfect. Will make again. :)

  224. Mayre

    Yum! Just made it. Cheated, I had some ready to go pre-peeled garlic (Trader Joe’s) and put maybe 20 cloves in with the stock, salt, and bay. Followed the rest of the directions and now have a mellow, garlicky, potato soup.

  225. Raye

    A few people asked about slow-cooking this. I tried this recipe in the slow cooker today and it definitely didn’t work as well as on the stovetop, I felt. (I’ve made it that way many times – it’s fantastic on the stove top!). I felt like the slow cooker concentrated the flavor of the garlic way too much and it almost tastes like a slightly bitter garlic broth. It’s definitely edible but not as good as the original. I did sauté the leeks and garlic on the stove and then transferred to the slow cooker – I’d recommend this step even if you do use a slow cooker as I find that onions and that sort of thing can get soggy otherwise.

  226. r k

    This means YOU, personally, really should weight your words SERIOUSLY k t t, and I strongly advice you to delete this written defamation r e b i of both characters and a huge group of people who do not take slander and character assassination like this easily j s e v f. I do not know which organization you have got to back you up, but if you do not care about lawsuits in the multi-million dollar range, fine, just keep on what you are doing r u o v r. If you DO care about spending x-amounts of money to try and defend this CLEARLY written libel, then take my DELETE-advice. Your “Post” is now officially taken both copies and screen-shots of and digitally stored for later use and evidence. This is just a warning. We are antifa, we do not forget.

  227. Shan

    First time making a pureed soup and it was delicious, full of flavor and very filling too… excellent for a fall afternoon lunch. My mom has an allergy to garlic so I omitted the garlic and used an entire head of shallot and it turned out perfectly.

  228. Liz

    With the cold weather coming on, I’m obsessed with creamy soups! Split pea, celeriac, squash are all on my to-do list — but I started with this one. Perfect! Creamy but not heavy, faintly tangy from the sour cream, you’re right about the garlic. It makes me a little sad that my husband likes it too … so I have to share …

  229. Sherry

    Hello! Second time making this, it was a hit! Quick question, my sour cream didn’t really “melt” away and was curdled looking in the soup. It still tasted great but you could see it, if that makes sense. Is there a tip to prevent this?

  230. Courtney Luckhardt

    Hi Deb – the new IP directions have an “r” missing off of “butter”. Am I child that I read it as “melting butts” and laughed? Yes, I am.

  231. Tara

    I made this about a mile nth ago, and am making it again today. It is honestly THE BEST potato soup I’ve ever eaten. I’ve tried many different recipes over the years, and am so happy to have yours now. Thank you for all the incredible recipes you offer. I have never been disappointed.

  232. Fractalfoot

    Oh my gosh, this is such good soup! My 8 and 9 year olds almost licked their bowls clean. This is better than French Fries!!! Thank you!

  233. Dana

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to make! I have all ingredients in the house but leeks. I’m hoping to sub yellow onions. Do you think one whole onion, chopped? Thanks so much!

  234. Deb, this soup is a January revelation! I used your uncluttered chicken stock for the broth, and it took the flavor to another level. I am now considering opening a little cafe on the upper west side that sells nothing but this soup.

  235. Kathryn Musumeci

    I made this just the other day and it’s possible the best thing I’ve ever cooked in my kitchen. I do have a question- this took be about an hour to prepare which is time I don’t have every night. Can this be made ahead of time and if so, what would be the best way to store it?

  236. LM

    Great recipe. I’ve made this several times now & love it. Few notes though.

    1. Instead of using butter, I start by cooking 4 strips of bacon in the dutch oven. Makes flavorful fond to scrape up later when adding the broth.

    2. Beware if you use yukon gold potatoes. Even though I was carefully not to overcook the potatoes or overwork them by too much blending (I just use quick pulses of the immersion blender), using yukons instead of russets gave me glue instead of soup! Had to throw it out.

  237. Anna

    I’ve made this as written before and it’s delicious! This time, I added some corn that needed to be used up. I cooked the cobs with the leeks and garlic, took them out and dekerneled (?) them while the potatoes cooked, and popped the corn back in at the end. Yum!

  238. EK

    This soup is spectacular. I doubled the recipe, using 5.5 lbs of russet potatoes and 10 cups of chicken broth, and it just barely fit in my 7 qt Le Creuset. I stuck to only one garlic head and the tops minced, as the recipe suggests, and it was plenty of garlic. I blended the potato mixture and then stirred in greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It resembled more of mashed potato soup, but I’m obsessed! I made about 8 lbs of soup, or 8 large bowls by doubling it.

  239. Kyle

    I love everything Deb does and I just stopped by to add one tip I think to be helpful. When roasting whole heads of garlic, I find it really easy to clean them and trim the heads off and then put them in muffin tins. You can do 6 at a time, which is not an unrealistic amount for me to use in a week and they keep their shape and remain easy to peel. Happy cooking, everyone.

  240. lilly

    I’ve just gotta tell you that I’ve been making this soup since 2011 and it’s the greatest recipe. I’ve never had anyone dislike it, and it exposed me to the simple pleasure of garlic heads softened in broth.

  241. Tara C.

    Literally THE best potato soup I’ve ever had. This is my go to recipe now. It is delicious!!!! Making some right now while snow is swirling madly outside.

  242. Dawn Zehr

    I am a Cook’s Illustrated/ATK loyalist, so I was looking forward to trying this recipe. I was not disappointed. Why did this Montana gal wait so long to make this soup?! The first simmer with the garlic and leeks is the key to this divinely flavored soup. I left the potato skins on (because, well, laziness) and tossed in a handful of shredded extra sharp cheddar with the sour cream, and finished it off in the bowl with bacon pieces and yes, more cheese. I immersion blended around half of the potatoes because I like a good chunky soup. AND it was a snowy January day in Montana, which only served to enhance the fact that this is simply the perfect soup.

  243. Veena

    Delicious! Perfect hint of garlic. Topped it with blue cheese crumbles and sour cream and couldn’t stop dipping my spoon in. Best kind of January food on the day that we have, what the meteorologists are calling in technical terms, “slop” here in Minnesota.

  244. Kelsey Lane Smith

    I made this for dinner yesterday and it was fantastic. I cooked the leeks. Then I added five cloves of garlic and half of the potatoes with the stock. After about half an hour, I put my immersion blender in and completely processed the soup. Then I added the remaining potatoes and cooked for twenty minutes. This made my soup sort of creamy with a ton of chunks. And none of my potatoes were peeled. I ate this with creme fresh, chives, cheddar, and chaat masala. This soup was perfect for January.

  245. Brit

    Absolutely fabulous recipe. We are garlic fanatics and I anticipated adding the smashed garlic to the soup but it wasn’t necessary. I prepared in my instant pot and the only modification made was to add a little black pepper during the leek saute.

    Served with crusty bread and a little shredded cheese.

  246. wonderful recipe! I had some russets that I needed to use/ cook with… and not quite enough broth (closer to 4 cups) and no sour cream, but I made it work with a simple garlic sauce and oat milk. And while it’s not really soup weather (88 degrees today), this dish tastes delicious.

  247. JudyHM

    I had left over chicken broth and potatoes that were going green so I decided to try this recipe and it made a tasty soup. I may be late to the game but I am finding your take on recipes from other sources excellent.thanks for sharing this one.

  248. Karen

    We love this soup! Sometimes we melt shredded cheddar into the soup after pureeing , top with crisp bacon just before serving.

  249. Kathleen

    I just made this, tastes great, and am very excited to eat it later tonight! I cannot get russet potatoes (I live overseas), so used what I could get and I did not have a problem. I left the skins on and, since we will eat it later tonight, will add the sour cream during the reheat to avoid any kind of curdling. I’ve got shredded cheese and bacon bits also ready to go. Thanks for another great recipe!

  250. K

    I made this for the first time tonight, and I’m sad to know this recipe existed for twelve whole years before I found it. I’ll have to make up for lost time and make it a lot from now on! It’s delicious and so thick, hovering in this magical realm between mashed potatoes and soup. I served it with scallions, sharp cheddar, diced bacon, and Crystal hot sauce on top and everyone cleaned their bowls. Thanks for the great recipe!

  251. Jenny M.

    Well, Deb, you completely saved St. Patty’s in our house. This year it fell on a Friday (it being lent and all) which meant no stew nor corned beef this year. THIS recipe saved the day.

    My spin on things was that I used veggie broth and added back in the entire cooked down garlic head (mashed)… and let just say, we did NOT miss having meat yesterday… at all. It was like a warm hug in food form. My Irish potato loving ancestors were smiling I’m sure from above while I was making this.

    My husband is ready for me to make it again already. Thank you for being a tried and true recipe source in my family for 10 years plus!!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻