Creamy and deeply satisfying, this Vegan Potato Leek Soup is pure comfort in a bowl. Including a big handful of kale adds a punch of color, texture, and nutrition. With a flavor that is reminiscent of Irish colcannon, you can't go wrong with this cozy soup. Best of all? It's ready in just 30 minutes.
Why You'll Love This Vegan Soup Recipe
I don't know about you, but I'm a huge fan of the humble spud, so putting them front and center in this Vegan Potato Leek Soup gives me great pleasure. In addition to being ridiculously delicious, this recipe is:
- Wholesome & Nutritious. Made with potatoes, leeks, kale, and cashews, this delightfully creamy vegan soup is packed with whole foods you can feel good about.
- Easy. With only simple veggie prep involved, this vegan potato leek soup is easy enough for even a novice home cook to make.
- Takes just 30 minutes to make. That's the perfect amount of time to spend unwinding after work, if you ask me!
- Crowd-Pleasing. Since pretty much everyone loves potatoes, this tasty potato and leek soup is something even kiddos and omnivores can get behind. It also just so happens to be naturally gluten-free!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This soup uses common ingredients and pantry staples so no need to worry about any hard-to-find items. For the recipe, you'll need:
- Olive Oil: If you don't use oil, don't worry, you can sauté in water or veggie broth.
- Leeks: white and light green parts only!
- Garlic: To add lots of flavor. While fresh garlic is tasty feel free to use the powdered kind if that's what you have on hand.
- Vegetable Broth: Using broth or stock as the base of the soup gives it much more depth of flavor than simply using water. I always keep a jar of Better Than Bouillon on hand for just that purpose.
- Potatoes: I used Russet potatoes but you can also use Yukon Gold.
- Kale: You can substitute another green such as spinach, so long as you remember that spinach will take less time to heat through than kale. You could also substitute cabbage by adding it to the soup about halfway through the potato cooking time.
- Raw Cashews: Making a cashew cream is one of the simplest ways to add rich, creamy flavor without a lick of dairy! Make sure you grab raw, unsalted nuts here as the roasted kind won't work. If you can't do cashews, macadamia cream, silken tofu, or full-fat canned coconut milk can also be used.
- Salt & Pepper: For seasoning.
How to Make Vegan Potato Leek Soup
Step 1: Sauté Leeks and garlic. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add leeks and garlic. Cook until leeks are translucent (about 3-5 minutes).
Step 2: Cook Potatoes. Add vegetable broth, potatoes, salt, and pepper to the pot. Cover and cook over medium heat until potatoes are fully cooked and are starting to break apart (about 20 mins).
Step 3: Make Cashew Cream. While the potatoes are cooking, add cashews and water to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
Step 4: Mash. Once the potatoes are cooked, mash them a bit with a fork so that half of them are broken apart. This will help to naturally thicken the soup, no roux required!
Step 5: Cook Kale. Add kale and cook for a few minutes until kale is cooked to your liking.
Step 6: Add Cashew Cream. Add cashew cream to the pot and stir until fully combined and cook for another few minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Step 7: Serve. Top with scallions and enjoy!
See Variations below on how to cook the soup in an Instant Pot or Crockpot.
This vegan potato leek soup isn't just creamy and delicious, it's also got a few tricks up its sleeves.
- Make it in your Instant Pot. Put all ingredients in the Instant Pot except cashew cream and kale. Pressure cook on High for 9 minutes. Once finished, turn the valve to quick release. (Rember that the IP will take 10 minutes or so to come to pressure and the timer will begin. Mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher and then add kale until wilted. Add in the cashew cream a few minutes before you’re ready to serve.
- Make it in your crockpot. Put all ingredients except the cashew cream and kale in your slow cooker, then cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours (until potatoes are falling apart). Mash potatoes with fork or potato masher and then stir in kale until wilted. Add in the cashew cream a few minutes before you’re ready to serve.
- Make it nut-free. If you can't do cashews, try swapping in raw sunflower seeds to make a cream instead. Follow the same instructions as the cashew cream! You can also try using full-fat coconut milk or silken tofu if you prefer.
- Invest in a high-quality blender. I use a high speed blender like a Vitamix when blending the cashews. While a powerful blender is well worth the investment, I know they're pricey. If you don't have one on hand, soak your cashews in hot water for about 4 hours before adding to a regular blender.
- Fresh scallions not your favorite? Top my Vegan Potato Leek Soup recipe with some fresh parsley instead so you still get that pretty green pop of color.
- Want to make it thicker? Increase the viscosity of your potato soup by mashing more of the potatoes. It works by releasing starch into the broth, which in turn thickens up!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! This soup should keep in the freezer for up to three months. But if you're anything like me, there's no way you'll have any leftovers for that - it's too delicious!
Poor potatoes have gotten a bad rap recently because of the low-carb craze. While I agree that sweet potatoes offer a bigger nutritional punch, it doesn't hurt to have some regular old potatoes sometimes.
I also feel it's my duty to let you know that all carbs are NOT created equal. White potatoes, like the russets I used in this recipe, are not processed like white bread or pasta. They're actually whole food that contains necessary vitamins and minerals (like potassium and vitamins B6 and C).
If you're using spuds that have thick, rough skin, I suggest that you remove them first. For thin-skinned varieties like Yukon Golds, you can leave them on if you prefer!
If you make this recipe and LOVE IT, please give it 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐!
Vegan Potato Leek Soup
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil (can use a few more tablespoons of water if you don't use oil)
- 3 large leeks white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups vegetable broth or stock
- 2 cups russet potatoes peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
- ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoons pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1.5 cups kale stems removed and chopped
- ½ cup cashews soaked in hot water for 10 mins, then rinsed
- ½ cup water
- Scallions for topping
- Heat oil in large pot. Add leeks and garlic and cook until onions are translucent (3-5 mins). If you're not using oil, saute in a little bit of water
- Add vegetable broth, potatoes, salt and pepper to pot and cook covered on medium until potatoes are fully cooked and are starting to break apart (about 20 mins).
- While the potatoes are cooking, add cashews and water to a high-speed blender* and blend until smooth.
- Once potatoes are cooked, mash them a bit with a fork so that half of them are broken apart.
- Add kale to soup and cook for a few minutes until kale is done to your liking.
- Add cashew cream to pot and stir until fully combined and cook for another few minutes.
- Top with scallions and enjoy!
- See FAQ section for how to make the soup in an Instant Pot or Crockpot.
- I use a high-speed blender like a Vitamix when blending the cashews. While a powerful blender is well worth the investment, I know they're pricey. If you don't have one on hand, soak your cashews in hot water for about 4 hours before adding them to a regular blender.
- Soup will last for up to a week in the refrigerator or up to three months in the freezer.
PLEASE NOTE: Nutritional information data is computer generated and only an estimate so it should be used only as a guide.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel confident in creating sustainable habits that align with their values and health goals. She shares easy gluten-free plant-powered food to nourish your body + satisfy your tastebuds. Mary Ellen's recipes and nutrition info have been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more.