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Creamy Potato Soup

Bacon, garlic, leeks and plenty of cheese add huge flavor to this classic, creamy potato soup recipe.

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creamy potato soup with leeks, bacon , green onions and white cheddar cheese

The Best Potato Soup Recipe Is Also One of the Easiest

Ultra creamy and extremely savory, this bacon-loaded cheesy potato soup recipe is what we turn to when we need to be warmed up on a cellular level. Old-fashioned potato soup is comfort food at its very simplest, and our recipe doesn’t mess with anything that you love about this gloriously filling, seriously hearty soup. All we’ve done is punch up some of the flavors that are already classic—salty bacon, rich heavy cream, and sharp white cheddar stirred in at the end ensure that this cream of potato soup is anything but bland. Come in from the cold and dive into a big bowl of thick, creamy potato soup.

ingredients laid out for creamy potato soup with leeks, bacon, chicken stock, butter, flour, cheddar cheese, garlic, salt

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Classic Potato Soup Ingredients, Plus A Few Extras

In place of regular yellow onions, leeks make for a sweet, earthy base for our potato soup recipe. We love how delicate they are, and how they let the creamy, starchy flavor of potatoes shine—after all, this soup is nothing if not all about how much we all love potatoes, right? In addition to salt and pepper, here are all of the ingredients you’ll need to make our potato soup recipe:

  • Bacon

  • Butter

  • Leeks

  • Fresh garlic

  • All-purpose flour

  • Russet potatoes

  • Broth

  • Whole milk

  • Heavy cream

  • Sharp white cheddar cheese. The sharper the better! You only need a little, so if you can spring for something really sharp and salty, your potato soup will be that much more delicious.

bacon pieces cooking in a soup pot
leeks and garlic cooking in butter and bacon fat in a soup pot
leeks, butter, chicken stock, potatoes, milk, salt and pepper in a soup pot
leeks, butter, chicken stock, potatoes, milk, salt and pepper in a soup pot

How Do You Make Potato Soup Thicker?

Different recipes use different tricks to make potato soup thick and creamy, and we basically use all of the tricks to make sure that this potato soup recipe results in a satisfyingly thick soup that’s almost chowder-like in texture. Here’s what gives our cheesy potato soup its heft:

  • Butter + flour. Also known as a roux—a classic technique for thickening soups and sauces. When you sprinkle the flour over the butter in our recipe, it’ll be along with the leeks, but the viscous magic will happen nonetheless.

  • Heavy cream. Always a sure fire way to get that absolutely rich texture we really crave from cream of potato soup.

  • Cheese. Lots of people simply finish their potato soup with a sprinkling of cheese on top at the very end. Well, we say that’s a missed opportunity! Not only does the cheese melt into the soup and thicken it, but it adds a ton of sharp, salty flavor.

  • Potato starch + blender. Potatoes are hefty all on their own, of course, and puréeing some of them (but not all) helps to make the cream-laden soup extra dense and hearty. It’s a technique we also use in our Caldo Verde soup recipe.

homemade potato soup with bacon, cheddar cheese in a soup pot
old fashioned potato soup with bacon, cheddar cheese, leeks and green onions in a soup pot

How Do You Make Potato Soup From Scratch?

  1. Fry the bacon pieces and set them aside, but leave the bacon fat in the pot. Seriously, leave it there.

  2. Melt the butter into the bacon fat. Have zero regrets! Sauté the leeks and garlic in that butter-bacon fat mixture.

  3. Roux time! Stir some flour into the mix and let it cook for just a minute.

  4. In go the potatoes, broth, milk and heavy cream.

  5. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about ten minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

  6. Use an immersion blender to purée about half of the soup. Or, you can carefully transfer about half of the soup to a blender and purée it, then add it back to the pot.

  7. In go the bacon, salt, pepper and cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is melty.

  8. Serve!

creamy potato soup with bacon, cheddar cheese, leeks and green onions in a soup pot

What To Serve With Creamy Potato Soup

In our dreams, we drink this straight from a hollowed out loaf of Sourdough Bread. If you’re looking for a more refined meal idea, serving this creamy potato soup as a starter to a meal would be a real winner. We’re thinking more classics like Baked Pork Chop and Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner or Steak Bites would be a great follow-up. You could also make some simple vegetables to serve on the side like Broccolini or a Roasted Beet Salad with Chèvre Green Goddess Dressing.

Tools You’ll Need

More Creamy Soup Recipes To Try

loaded potato soup with bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions in a bowl
loaded potato soup with bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions in a bowl

Is Potato Soup The Ultimate Sweater Weather Food?

Clearly, yes. At least, we’re convinced. If you make our potato soup recipe, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Creamy Potato Soup

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 253

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large leeks, trimmed, leaving white and light green parts only, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced for serving

Method

  1. Place the bacon in a large pot. Set the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon crisps and the fat is rendered, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate, reserving the fat in the pot.

  2. Add the butter to the bacon fat and cook until melted. Stir in the leeks and garlic and cook until leeks are softened, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir until incorporated, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the potatoes, chicken stock, milk, and heavy cream. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft.

  4. Transfer half the liquid to the base of a blender, let cool briefly, and blend until smooth. Return the blended soup to the pot. (Alternatively, transfer half the liquid to a bowl. Use an immersion blender to blend the remaining liquid in the pot until smooth. Return the unblended soup to the pot.) Stir in the bacon, salt, pepper, and cheese until melted.

  5. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with green onions, pepper, and cheese before serving.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories253
  • Protein8 g
  • Carbohydrates29 g
  • Total Fat12 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol35 mg
  • sodium261 mg
  • Total Sugars5 g

Creamy Potato Soup

Questions & Reviews

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  • Brodi

    If you do not have cream can you use milk in place of?

    It won't get quite as thick with milk.

  • hallie j holland

    how can i thicken it if i don't had the cheese?

    There isn't a great alternative for cheese in this recipe.

  • Grace

    Love this recipe! Do you think it would do well in the freezer? Cooking for one and didn't cut it in half.

    We haven't tried it but it would probably do fine! Thaw completely and reheat slowly to avoid the cream separating.

  • Ronni

    When you get done and put the soup in leftover containers and put it in the refrigerator will it get thin in texture? And if it does then what ?

    Hi Ronni, it shouldn't get thin in texture. If it separates at all just slowly reheat, stirring often.

  • Kalin Nelson

    hi! i was wondering if it would be possible to substitute the leeks for onions, and if so, how much? thanks so much

    You could. We would recommend 1 - 1.5 medium onions.

  • Katie

    Excellent, velvety creamy texture, the leeks and bacon add so much flavor. I added a few dashes of Tabasco before serving, delicious

    Thanks Katie, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Jann Forrest

    I love Potato soup. Made it with chopped onions (did not have leeks) and cheddar cheese. About 1/2 hour before ready to serve I always add 1 Cup Sour cream. I may reduce this if the number of servings is small. Otherwise, it would overpower the taste.

    Glad you loved it Jann!

  • Sandy A.

    Wonderful recipe! Chose to use leftover T-day heavy cream. Tried with our first ever pressure canned potatoes & first ever vacuum sealed frozen potatoes so went together super quick! Used gouda & havarti cheeses instead of Cheddar. This recipe will be a regular!

    Thanks Sandy, so happy you enjoyed it!

  • Kelly Baker

    I've made a few different potato soup recipes, and this has been by far my favorite! Such a great comfort food :)

    Thank you Kelly! We are so happy that you loved this one!

  • Christina Towler

    I've made this recipe countless times, it's definitely a family favorite. So good!

    Thanks Christina, so happy to hear it!