Potato Leek Soup, also known as Vichyssoise when served cold, is a rich and creamy soup made of Yukon Gold potatoes and leeks traditionally served with heavy cream and chives. Vegan Potato Leek Soup is very easy to make and filling served as either a side-soup or a meal. Subtle in flavor, it’s soft, warm, comforting, and simply delicious. We used vegetable broth and Vegan Heavy Cream in this Potato Leek Soup Recipe and turned it into Vegan Vichyssoise!
We use Potato Leek Soup and Vichyssoise interchangeably in this post so don’t be confused, they are basically the same thing. Vichyssoise is simply Potato Leek Soup served cold which makes it a Vichyssoise Recipe. Vegan Potato Leek Soup is one of our favorite dishes because it’s both simple to make, very tasty, and can fill a family. A single pot makes a considerable amount of rich soup which you’ll find filling enough with only one small serving. The key to making this Vegan Vichyssoise Recipe the right way is to ensure you let your leeks, garlic, and onions Sautee slowly and thoroughly. Also extremely important, this Vegan Vichyssoise should be creamy so it’s paramount that you thoroughly blend this soup when done cooking.
Potato Leek Soup Ingredients
- Vegan Butter
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Yukon Gold potatoes
- Vegetable broth
- Bay leaves
- Heavy cream
How to Make Potato Leek Soup
- Heat Vegan butter and oil. In a large soup pot heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.
- Aromatics. Add garlic, leeks, and onions and cook, stirring frequently until leeks are wilted and onions start to become translucent, roughly 10 minutes.
- Potatoes, liquids, and spices. Add potatoes, broth, water, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
- Remove herbs. Take the thyme and bay leaves out of the soup.
- Puree. With an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth and creamy.
- Cream. Add heavy cream, let soup simmer a few minutes longer.
- Garnish. Serve garnished with more heavy cream drizzled over the top and sprinkled with minced chives.
What Type of Potatoes Should be Used?
Yukon Gold potatoes are the way to go if you want to make this recipe according to traditional practice. These potatoes break down well and produce a creaminess perfect for this recipe. However, if you have Russet potatoes on hand, these will work as well. We do recommend you not use red potatoes as they are “waxy” and will not puree as well for this recipe.
How to Prepare Leeks
- First cut off the white tendrils of root at the base of the leek.
- Give the exterior of the whole leek a quick rinse.
- Cut the leek in half lengthwise.
- Remove the dark parts of the leafy greens, leaving only the white and light green portion of the leek for use.
- Cut the white and light green portion of the leek crosswise into 1/2 inch sections.
- Place 1/2 inch sections into a colander and rinse thoroughly while rustling the leeks with your hands to dislodge dirt.
How to Make Vegan Heavy Cream
For this recipe you will need 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, 1 1/4 cups of water, and 1/4 cup Vegan butter melted.
- Cashews: begin by soaking your cashews in cold water for 2 to 3 hours and then drain out the water.
- Blend. Place all ingredients (cashews, water, and melted butter) into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy).
For our full recipe please see Vegan Heavy Cream.
How to Serve Potato Leek Soup
This soup is rather hearty and filling so it can stand alone as a meal alongside some good toasted bread. However, keep in mind that you’re eating mostly carbs here so you may want to balance out your meal with some protein. Consider serving it with a bean salad. Also be mindful that you don’t have to serve heaping bowls of this soup because it is so filling. This soup keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week so there’s no rush, have a little each day with your favorite protein.
You can also serve this soup cold with a little Vegan heavy cream which, when served as such, is called Vichyssoise.
What is Vichyssoise?
Despite it’s linguistically awesome sounding French name, Vichyssoise is a French-American culinary construct. It was created by French Chef Louis Diat in 1917 when he was Chef of the Ritz Carlton in New York. The dish derives it’s origins from French potato leek soup which Chef Diat traditionally made with his grandmother in the town of Bourbon-Lanchambauld, near Vichy where he was born. As an homage to his roots it was thus named after Vichy.
Tracing the origins of this soup a bit further back, when Chef Diat made traditional potato leek soup with his grandmother it was largely a recipe modeled after a soup called Potage Parmentier created by Antoine Parmentier, a doctor living in 18th century France. Dr. Parmentier was the first in France to import potatoes when they were previously thought to be poisonous. Sometimes risky business pays off!
Why is Vichyssoise a Cold Soup?
But how did it come to be served cold? Culinary lore tells us that during summers (prior to the advent of suitable air conditioning) Chef Diat was looking for a dish, cold and refreshing, to serve his patrons and thus he served this soup cold with a bit of heavy cream. The patrons stayed cool and their palates were entertained.
What’s The Difference Between Vichyssoise and Potato Leek Soup?
What makes Vichyssoise different from Potato Leek Soup? One simple answer: temperature. Vichyssoise is simply Potato Leek soup served cold and typically with a little extra cream.
Vichyssoise, a Culinary Favorite of Great Chefs!
This soup is also a favorite of famous French Chef Jacques Pepin who (in his popular cookbook “The Shortcut Cook”) calls it “my favorite soup.”
(Jacques Pepin, The Short-Cut Cook, pp.60)
Anthony Bourdain, in his book Kitchen Confidential, talks about his encounter with the great Vichyssoise during a trip with his parents aboard the Queen Mary heading to Europe when he was a fourth-grader. This experience he said was “the first food I enjoyed and, more important, remembered enjoying. I remember everything about the experience: the way our waiter ladled it from a silver tureen into my bowl; the crunch of tiny chopped chives he spooned on as garnish; the rich, creamy taste of leek and potato; the pleasurable shock, the surprise that it was cold.”
(Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential, pp. 9-10)
Can You Freeze Potato Leek Soup?
You can also freeze this soup and it will keep well for up to a month in a freezer bag. Reheat in a sauce pot with a little olive oil and Vegan butter.
Is Vegan Vichyssoise Healthy?
- Leeks are a great source of fiber and prebiotics which are beneficial for healthy digestion (1).
- Studies have shown that compounds in thyme may reduce symptoms of bronchitis such as coughing (2).
We hope you enjoyed this Vegan Plate recipe, here are some other recipes we know you’ll love!!
Vegan Soup Recipes
- Cuban Black Bean Soup
- Vegan Red Lentil Soup
- Ribollita Soup
- Vegan Chili
- Vegan Tortilla Soup
- Moroccan Harira Soup
- White Bean Tomato Soup
- 4 Ingredient Potato Soup
- 3 tablespoons Vegan butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large leeks, white and green parts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, cut into 4 to 6 pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 5 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Vegan Heavy Cream
- Chives, finely chopped (for garnish)
For The Vegan Heavy Cream
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup Vegan butter, melted
- In a large soup pot, add olive oil and butter and heat over medium-high until butter is melted.
- Add leek, garlic, and onion, stirring frequently until leeks are wilted and onions begin to sweat, roughly 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes, broth, water, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper, bring to a boil.
- Cover the pot, turn down the heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
- Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
- Puree soup with immersion blender until smooth.
- Add heavy cream and let soup simmer for a few minutes.
For The Vegan Heavy Cream
Soak Cashews: cashews should be soaked for 2 to 3 hours in cold water first and then drained and rinsed.
- Place all ingredients in a blender, blend on high until smooth.
If soup is too thin, remove lid from the pot and continue to simmer until soup thickens or add more cream. If the soup is too thick, add more vegetable broth.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 452Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 543mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 9g
The Vegan Plate attempts to provide accurate information. However, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations.