This creamy vegan potato leek soup recipe Is made without cream but using rich and creamy cashews instead. It’s dairy free, gluten free, healthy and good for you deliciousness with lovely notes of fresh thyme and bay simmered in a homemade veggie stock. (Video, Instant pot + slow cooker methods included).
Vegan Potato Leek Soup
About the Leeks
A part of the allium family that includes garlic, shallots and onions, leeks contain a bunch of good for you sulfur compound with health benefits. From protecting against cancers to lowering blood pressure and the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels to eye health, leeks most definitely earn their VIP spot in the whole foods pantry.
You’ll notice that most recipes only call for the white and pale green parts of the leeks to be used, however the dark greens are just as edible and caramelize beautifully delivering plenty of flavor. So I like to use those as a garnish, no sense in wasting something perfectly good and delicious. You could certainly just add them all into the soup pot but keep in mind that is going to affect the final color of the soup. To achieve that golden hue shown in the photos you must only use the lighter parts.
Yukon gold potatoes are always my top choice for creamy soups and even mashed potatoes. A quick scrub and rinse is all they need and in the soup they go. Although not my favorites, Russet potatoes would be fine in a pinch but they require peeling first as their skins are quite tough and will change the color of your soup to a not so golden brown.
Recipe Tips + FAQ
- How to make the soup chunky? For a chunky texture reserve about a third of the caramelized leeks and some of the cooked potatoes to add back into the soup after you puree the rest. Lightly mash the reserved potatoes before mixing back it.
- What can I use instead of cashews? To make the soup nut free you can use a 15oz can of white beans instead of cashews.
- Can I use coconut milk instead of cashews? You could but I do not recommend. Coconut milk has a certain flavor and you really want something neutral here that won’t overpower the delicate flavor of the leeks.
- Can you freeze the leftovers ? Absolutely yes you can. Store any leftover soup in freezer proof containers for up to 3 months. Remember to thaw it out in the fridge before reheating on the stovetop or microwave oven. The soup also keeps well in the fridge for 4-5 days, but let’s not kid ourselves though, there won’t be any leftovers.
- Is the green part of the leeks edible? Yes, the entire leek is edible and delicious, I like to reserve the green tops to caramelize and serve as a garnish on top of the soup.
Toppings + Add Ins
- steamed asparagus or roasted broccoli florets
- caramelized leeks
- chive pesto, scallions + fresh dill
- crispy smoky tempeh bits
- drizzle of cashew or coconut cream
- wilted kale or baby spinach
- crusty bread, dinner rolls or potato flatbread.
Soups + Stews
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- White Bean Soup
- Jackfruit Stew
- Garden Vegetable Soup
- Root Vegetable Soup
- Vegan Butternut Squash Soup
- Chickpea Stew
- Sweet Potato Lentil Stew
- Vegan Butternut Squash Soup.
how to make vegan potato leek soup
Vegan Potato Leek Soup
- 1 extra large leek (or 2 medium size ones)
- 2 lb golden potatoes diced
- 1 large carrot (sliced into rounds)
- 3/4 cup raw cashews or 1 cup cashew cream
- 1 leaf bay (use 2 if they are small)
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 7-8 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional for color)
- 1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- sea salt + black pepper to taste
- caramelized leeks, scallions, fresh chives + dill, chili flakes, chive blossoms, hemp seeds etc...
- Cut the root ends off of the leeks then cut them in half lengthwise. Thinly slice them and add to a large bowl of cold water and rinse well. Allow them to sit for a few minutes for the dirt particles to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Scoop the leeks out using your hands and transfer to a clean bowl.1 extra large leek
- Meanwhile preheat a heavy bottom stock pot over medium flame. Sauté the leeks in a light drizzle of olive oil ( use a splash of water, veggie stock or white wine for WFPB & Plantricious diets) and a pinch of sea salt until wilted and they start to caramelize at the edges. You might need to add more liquid so keep a close eye on them. (Optional: reserve about 1/3 of the caramelized leeks for garnish or to add back into the soup if a chunky texture is desired. In my opinion this really takes the soup over the top.)1 extra large leek
- Add the carrots, bay, thyme and cashews and give everything a good stir. Add the potatoes then pour in the vegetable stock.2 lb golden potatoes, 1 large carrot, 3/4 cup raw cashews or 1 cup cashew cream, 1 leaf bay, 8 sprigs fresh thyme, 7-8 cups vegetable stock
- Bring the soup to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots have softened. Stir in the nutritional yeast and turmeric at this point if using it. (If a chunky texture is preferred, reserve some of the cooked potatoes and gently mash them before adding back into the soup).1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Carefully transfer the soup to a powerful blender and puree until smooth and creamy on the hot liquid setting. Work in batches if needed and be mindful of the escaping steam.
- Adjust seasonings to taste with sea salt and black pepper then serve garnished with the reserved caramelized leeks, scallions, chives or fresh dill. (Optional: Finish with a drizzle of cashew cream if desired).sea salt + black pepper to taste, caramelized leeks, scallions, fresh chives + dill, chili flakes, chive blossoms, hemp seeds etc...
Slow Cooker Method:
- Add all the soup ingredients except the herbs for garnish to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Garnish with the reserved herbs and a drizzle of cashew cream.
Instant Pot Method:
- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot and when the display reads hot add a splash of veggie stock and the leeks. Stir and cook until wilted and start to caramelize at the edges.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, cashews, bay and thyme. Stir in the veggie stock. Put the lid on the pot and set the “ steam release “ knob to the “ sealing “ position.
- Press the “ Pressure Cook or Manual “ button and the “ + - “ button to choose 8 minutes. Let the pot naturally release the pressure for 15 minutes then manually release the remaining steam.
- When the pin in the lid drops you can open it and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Carefully transfer the soup to a blender together with the nutritional yeast if using and puree until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and serve garnished with the fresh herbs.
WFPB + Plantricious
- Omit oil and saute the leeks in a splash of water or veggie stock for compliance.
- Soup Color - If you would like to give your soup a brighter golden color make sure to only use the white and pale green parts of the leeks and add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric into the soup.
- Nut Free - To make the soup nut free you can use a 15oz can of white beans instead of cashews.
- Storage - refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days or freeze in freezer proof containers up to 4 months.
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