Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup is the velvety fusion of mild creamy leeks, buttery yellow potatoes, and delicate cauliflower. With each silky spoonful, you'll be reminded why you love comforting soups and why they are a great option when craving a lighter meal.
Potatoes and leeks are a classic culinary duo, and when matched together, they create a creamy texture and delicious soup. But when the unassuming cauliflower joins the party with its neutral nature, you suddenly bump up the vitamins, minerals, and fiber, checking all the boxes for a healthy meal.
This creamy cauliflower potato leek soup uses simple ingredients and is naturally gluten-free, and I've noted below how to make it dairy-free if you like.
Enjoy this soup alone, or pair it with a yummy grilled cheese sandwich made with cheddar cheese.
Here is a summary of the ingredients you'll need to make Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup:
- Leeks: Leeks have a mild, sweet, onion-like flavor with a subtle hint of garlic. When cooked, they develop a soft texture and a sweet taste, making them a versatile ingredient in various dishes. I use the white and lighter green parts and discard the dark green fibrous parts.
- Curry powder: Curry powder is a blend of various spices commonly used in Indian cuisine and other global dishes. While the exact ingredients can vary, it often includes a mix of spices such as coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili peppers. Other possible additions might be ginger, cinnamon, mustard seeds, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper. The combination of these spices results in a flavorful and aromatic powder that adds depth, warmth, and complexity to dishes.
- Yellow potatoes: Yellow potatoes, also known as Yukon Gold potatoes, have yellow flesh that gives the soup a nice golden color and imparts a buttery creaminess.
- 35% cooking cream: I use cream specifically labeled cooking cream because this type of heavy cream is formulated to withstand high heat, preventing curdling or splitting of the soup.
See the recipe card below for all the ingredients and measurements.
- Russet potatoes: You can use russet potatoes instead of yellow potatoes.
- 15% cooking cream: Substitute with 15% cooking cream instead of 35%.
- Olive oil: Use light olive oil or neutral oil instead of butter for a dairy-free option, and omit the cream.
- Chicken stock/broth: Replace the water with unsalted chicken broth or vegetable broth.
- Omit the cream: I tested the recipe without the cream for a dairy-free option, and the soup was as delicious.
- Fresh herbs: You could add fresh thyme or sage to the soup for extra flavor.
- Garlic: Minced garlic would be a nice addition to the soup and would complement the leeks.
- Bay leaves: If you have bay leaves, add two to the soup for an earthy flavor boost.
How to Make Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup
This comforting soup is easy to make; best of all, it's ready in one hour.
Sauté leeks. In a large 5 ½ quart (5 liter) Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the leeks and sauté until soft but not browned. This should take 4-5 minutes.
Add potatoes and cauliflower. Add the potatoes and the cauliflower florets and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add remaining ingredients except cream. Add the remaining ingredients except for the cream. Stir, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft (the tip of a pairing should easily pierce the cauliflower and potatoes without resistance).
Purée. Off the heat, with an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth and silky. Alternatively, use a regular blender (see note section in the recipe card below).
Add cream. Add the cream, stir, and return the pot to the stove. Heat the pot over medium-low to warm it through.
Serve. Garnish with fresh chives, croutons, cilantro, and spicy chili oil. Other favorite toppings include cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche, and green onions. Serve with big chunks of crusty bread, and enjoy.
Secret for Success
How to Clean Leeks
Leeks require thorough cleaning because there is sand between their many layers (and no one likes grittiness in their food)!
I begin by cutting off the dark green tops of the leeks and discarding them. Then I cut off the root, cut the leek in half on the length, then slice each half into ¼-inch slices.
I put the sliced leeks into a salad spinner filled with water to clean them. The sand falls to the bottom of the bowl, and I discard the sandy water. To remove excess water, I spin the leeks in the salad spinner, and then they are clean and ready to be sautéed.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. This soup freezes well for up to 3 months (if using heavy cooking cream).
The soup can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for 3-4 days or kept frozen for up to 3 months.
Reheat gently on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, or use the microwave to reheat smaller portions. As a general guideline, one bowl of soup will take 1 ½-2 minutes to reheat, but this will depend on the power of your microwave.
During cooking, potato starch cells absorb water, causing certain cells to rupture and release a sticky gel. Overcooking the potatoes leads to even more cell ruptures, increasing yumminess. To prevent this, cut your potatoes into uniform bite-size chunks. This will ensure an even cooking time for the cut-up potato pieces.
Your soup may taste bitter due to browning the leeks during the sautéeing process. Leeks have the best flavor when cooked until tender with no visible caramelization. Unlike onions, leeks can become quite bitter if browned.
Did you use the dark green parts of the leeks? This part is tough, fibrous, not edible, and quite bitter. Be sure to only use the leeks' white and light green parts for the best flavor.
Firstly, did you use enough salt? Salt brings out the flavor in food, so try adding more salt.
How long have you had the curry powder? Ground spices will lose their flavor with time. Make sure your dried herbs are not 5 years old for the best flavor!
📖 Recipe Card
Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup (Creamy & Healthy)
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- 5 ½ quart Dutch oven
- immersion blender
- measuring cups and spoons
- ¼ cup salted butter
- 4 cups leeks, dark green tough parts removed and discarded, white and light green parts washed, cut length-wise, and then into ¼-inch slices.
- 4 cups yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- 4 cups cauliflower, about one head of cauliflower, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 4 cups water, or unsalted chicken or vegetable stock/broth.
- 1 cup 35% cooking cream, or 15% cooking cream.
- chopped chives
- spicy chili oil
- Sauté leeks. In a large 5 ½ quart (5 liter) Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the leeks and sauté until soft but not browned. This should take 4-5 minutes.¼ cup salted butter, 4 cups leeks
- Add potatoes and cauliflower. Add the potatoes and cauliflower and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.4 cups yellow potatoes, 4 cups cauliflower
- Add remaining ingredients except cream. Add the remaining ingredients except for the cream. Stir, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft (the tip of a pairing should easily pierce the cauliflower and potatoes without resistance).2 teaspoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, 4 cups water
- Purée. Off the heat, with an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth and silky. Alternatively, use a regular blender (see note section in the recipe card below).
- Add cream. Add the cream, stir, and return the pot to the stove. Heat the pot over medium-low to warm it through.1 cup 35% cooking cream
- Serve. Garnish with fresh chives, croutons, cilantro, and spicy chili oil. Other favorite toppings include cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche, and green onions. Serve with big chunks of crusty bread, and enjoy.chopped chives, croutons, cilantro, spicy chili oil
- Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before blending.
- Blend the soup in small batches, filling the blender container only halfway to leave room for expansion.
- To release steam while blending, slightly vent the blender lid by leaving an opening or using a kitchen towel to cover it partially, allowing steam to escape.
- Alternatively, use an immersion blender (my tool of choice) directly in the pot. This eliminates the need to transfer hot liquid and reduces the risk of accidents.