Slow cooker potato leek soup is just the thing for dinner on a chilly night!
It’s rather amazing how much more flavorful potato leek soup is when you use the slow cooker than when you make it on top of the stove. And with less work involved since you don’t need to keep an eye on it or give a stir or adjust the temperature! The potatoes are creamy and smooth. The leeks are mellow from long cooking. And then there is all the wonderful cheese to finish things off.
Isn’t the slow cooker awesome?
It took me about 15 minutes to get this soup into the slow cooker, including all the chopping and sauteing the leeks. And then the slow cooker did the work, just needing a few quick additions towards the end, until it was time to finish it off and eat. (I do love my slow cooker! There is nothing like dinner happening on its own without needing me.)
Finishing it off took another 15 minutes, including pureeing it up with my stick blender and making some homemade croutons. The croutons are optional, but the ones I use in my Homemade Caesar Salad recipe are great in the soup as well.
30 minutes active time for dinner? Sign me up!
Cheesy potato leek soup is a recipe I’ve been making for decades. In the summer I love a simple soup of potato, leek, chicken broth, and cream. And not too much leek or potato! A thin, refreshing, very cold soup.
But in the winter?
It’s time for the cheese. And lots of potatoes. And plenty of leeks. I want a soup that a spoon could stand up in. Well, almost.
If your spoon can actually stand up for more than a moment, it’s probably a bit too thick and you need to add a little more liquid. 🙂 But it still should be thick and filling and comforting. I do love my comfort food and you can’t go wrong with a bowl of thick, potato leek soup to warm you up and make you feel better about the world.
How do you make slow cooker potato leek soup?
To make slow cooker potato leek soup saute leeks and garlic in butter until soft. Then add the leeks, garlic, herbs, wine, broth, and potatoes to the slow cooker and cook until done. Puree the soup, stir in the half and half, then add shredded cheese and melt. Serve with croutons and chives.
1. You’re going to start by washing the leeks well, slicing up the white and light green parts, and then washing them again. Leeks tend to be gritty and they like to hide that grit in between their layers, so you can’t be too careful in making sure they’re clean!
2. Get the leeks sauteing in butter and toss in the garlic once the leeks are nice and soft. Depending on your slow cooker, you may need to do this in a separate saute pan or right in the bowl of your slow cooker. (Have a multicooker, like the Instant Pot? Just set the the pot to saute on low!)
3. Then peel and chop your potatoes, measure out the liquids, and gather your herbs.
4. Put everything into the slow cooker and set it on low for 5 hours. Though if 6 hours is more your speed, that won’t hurt it.
5. Add the half and half, puree up the soup, and add your cheese. Pop it closed and let the cooker work its magic for another half hour while you make some toppings and maybe a salad.
I certainly felt better about the world after I had a bowl.
Some soup. Some salad. A good fire in the fireplace. A cat or three to warm up your lap. (Or a dog. We have both! 🙂 ) That sounds like just the thing on a chilly evening. Don’t you think?
Blending the Soup
You can, of course, use a regular blender to puree the soup, but that is something else to clean and you have to deal with transferring hot liquid around, which is going to be a few more things to clean.
That is where my stick blender has it all over the regular blender. I basically just use it to puree hot liquids (soups, sauces, and so on), but I would not part with it. I spent too many years washing blenders and bowls and ladles every time I wanted a smooth soup! I’ve had a couple of stick blenders in my life. I can’t even remember what brand the first one was, but it didn’t work and sat in my drawer until I finally threw it out.
My KitchenAid Stick Blender, though?
That one I love. It’s a workhorse and can deal with the chunkiest of soups to make them lovely and smooth. If you are totally fussy about your soup and want not one bit of unpureed soup left, then stay with your blender and get a fine mesh strainer too. But, if you are okay with your soup being home-style smooth and don’t want to wash extra dishes then a stick blender is for you.
What to serve with potato leek soup?
For toppings, I like croutons, chopped chives, crumbled bacon, or chopped fresh herbs like thyme or parsley. A little extra cheese or cream is also nice swirled over. And, if you want to mix it up, you can add sour cream, creme fraiche, or maybe flavored oil – like my parsley infused oil.
As for sides, I personally feel this soup is very hearty so I like a lighter side like a salad with the soup. While I have many salads on the site, here are a few I think would pair well.
- Italian Orange Radicchio and Pecan Salad
- Peach and Blueberry Spinach Salad
- Green Bean Salad with Fried Almonds
- Spring Radish and Snap Pea Greek Salad
- Winter Citrus Salad
- Cold Cauliflower Salad with Green Olives
Want to make potato leek soup in the Instant Pot as a pressure cooker soup? Then check out my recipe for pressure cooker potato leek soup!
If you try my recipe for Cheesy Slow Cooker Potato Leek Soup, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
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– Happy Slow Cooking, Annemarie
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced, white and light green
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 leaves bay
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 5 cups low sodium broth, vegetable or chicken
- 4 medium (1 1/2 lbs) yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 8 oz grated cheese, such as havarti, fontina, cheddar, or gouda
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- chives and croutons for topping
- Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and salt and saute until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; saute for 30 seconds.
Transfer the leeks and garlic to the slow cooker. Add thyme, oregano, bay leaves, white wine, broth, and potatoes. Set slow cooker on low for 5 hours.
Add half and half. Stir to combine.
Puree soup until smooth. Either puree in two batches in the blender or use a stick blender right in the pot. If the soup is a little too thick, add some more liquid - broth, half and half, or water, your choice.
Toss the cheese with a teaspoon or two of cornstarch. Add cheese to soup and mix in.
Set slow cooker on low for 30 more minutes to melt the cheese. Serve soup with croutons and chives.