This Potato, Leek, and Kale Soup is the perfect creamy comfort food to warm you up on a cold, blustery day.
Is it getting cold outside where you are? Soup weather is upon us, my friends. And this Potato, Leek, Kale Soup is the perfect cozy meal for a chilly day. It’s hearty, nutritious, and flavorful – not to mention easy to make! You can have it on the table in under an hour, making it the perfect weeknight dinner. So let’s make some soup!
- Bacon: The bacon is used as a topping, and some of the bacon fat is used for sauteing the vegetables.
- Onion: I used a medium yellow onion for this soup.
- Leeks: As leeks grow, they can get a lot of sand and dirt stuck inside. I give them a good wash before chopping, and I also rewash them in a strainer after chopping to get any remaining bits of dirt cleaned off.
- Garlic cloves: You can use fresh garlic from either the garlic bulb or buy the pre-minced variety.
- Gold or red potatoes: Gold and red potatoes have better flavor and a creamier texture than baking potatoes. Their skin is pretty tender as well, so I don’t bother peeling these types of potatoes. The skins get pureed into the soup anyway, so it’s also easier.
- Stock: I prefer chicken stock myself, but feel free to use vegetable stock if you prefer. One of my favorites is Kitchen Basics.
- Milk: I’ve only tested this with cow’s milk, so 1%, 2%, or whole would be best. If you’re feeling extra, you can use half and half or heavy cream. Skim milk won’t give any creaminess because it has no fat. I have not tested it with any plant-based milk, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work as long as it’s unflavored.
- Kale: I usually buy kale pre-chopped, but you can chop it yourself too. If you chop it yourself, go with a fine chop so that the kale cooks and wilts faster.
How to Make Potato Leek, and Kale Soup
First, you’ll cook the bacon until super crispy (so it can be crumbled later) in a large stockpot and save about 2 tbsp. of bacon fat to saute the vegetables: onions, leeks, garlic, and potatoes.
After sauteing the vegetables, you’ll add the stock and allow the potatoes to thoroughly cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
You’ll add the milk and use an immersion stick blender to puree the soup. If you don’t have an immersion stick blender, you can transfer the soup into a regular blender to puree. See below for more information on blenders. You may have to work in batches, and you’ll need to transfer the soup back into the stockpot.
Once the soup is pureed, you’ll turn the heat to low if you haven’t already and add in the chopped kale. Let the soup cook with the kale in the stockpot for about 5-10 minutes or until the kale is cooked and wilted. Then you can serve the soup with your favorite potato soup toppings.
Best Toppings for Potato Soups
The sky really is the limit, but the classics would be:
- crumbled bacon
- minced chives
- sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
- cheese – specifically cheddar cheese
While adding some beer bread or garlic bread isn’t exactly a topping, they are nice accompaniments. If you’re feeling extra, you can also hollow out small loaves of bread for bread bowls to serve the soup.
Recommended Tools for Pureed Soups
As mentioned above, a good stick blender is necessary for a smooth soup. In these types of recipes where you would be blending hot liquid, a stick or immersion blender is your best choice over a regular blender. It allows you to keep the hot soup in the pot, reducing the risk of burning yourself.
An immersion blender has a lot of different applications other than pureeing hot soup. I’ve used mine to make whipped cream and you can also make frothed milk for coffee like in this Pumpkin Cold Brew recipe.
The stick blender that I have linked also comes with a blending jar with measurements. This can be really helpful if you’re blending something to be added to a recipe – like with the frothy milk I mentioned for coffee. You can measure out exactly how much you need in the blending jar, and it is deep enough that you won’t be splashed when the stick blender is turned on.
Can you freeze potato soup or make it ahead?
Unfortunately, potato soup and dairy-containing soups don’t freeze that great. When they defrost, it may be separated, or the texture may be off. I don’t recommend freezing the finished product, but there is a way for you to make this ahead and freeze later that won’t cause separation or off texture.
First, you make the soup up to step 3 and puree the soup without the milk and the kale. Then, freeze for up to 3 months. When you rewarm the soup, you can add the milk, cook until slightly thickened, add the kale, and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Leftover finished soup will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Potato, Leek, and Kale Soup
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
- Total Time: 45-50 minutes
- Yield: 6–8 servings 1x
- Category: soup
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large leek, cleaned and chopped
- 3–4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 lbs. gold or red potatoes (about 4 larger golden potatoes), chopped
- 4 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
- 1 cup of milk
- 4–6 cups of fresh kale, chopped
- Salt + pepper
- Extra toppings: chives, sour cream or Greek yogurt, cheese (optional)
- Cook bacon in a large stockpot until crispy. Drain bacon on towels and set aside. Leave about 2 tbsp. of bacon fat in the stockpot. Add onion and leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Saute 3-5 minutes.
- Add garlic and golden potatoes and saute for an additional minute. Add stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low-medium to simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Reduce heat to low, add milk, and puree using an immersion blender or transfer to a regular blender to blend in batches if needed.
- Stir chopped kale into to pureed soup in the stockpot and keep warm on low heat for additional 5-10 minutes or until kale is wilted.
- Serve with your favorite toppings.
To freeze this soup:
You can make the soup up to step 3 and puree the soup without the milk and the kale. Then, freeze for up to 3 months. When you rewarm the soup, you can add the milk, cook until slightly thickened, add the kale, and cook for additional 5-10 minutes.
Keywords: potato soup