Leek & Potato Soup (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Oh hey there! I’m super excited to share this soup with you guys because it’s been my favorite soup since I was, I don’t know, 7 or so years old?

A top down view of a vegan and gluten-free leek and potato soup in a white porcelain bowl on a white, cloth napkin.

I didn’t realize how inappropriate it was at the time, but since childhood I have known this soup as Cocky Leeky Soup. It wasn’t until I told AJ I was going to make him some Cocky Leeky Soup and he gave me the weirdest look that I had any inclination that the name was inappropriate. He pretty much said “ew, no, I don’t want that.” So I tried to explain it… You know, Cocky? As in potato?

Oblique view of two bowls of leek and potato soup on blond wooden table with three crusty slices of artisan bread with a wooden spoon.

Wait a minute. As I look this up to see what the heck the connection is between “cocky” and “potato,” I’m not finding a single thing. I was pretty darn sure that cocky had to do with potato. It has to. Right? Someone tell me I’m right. Otherwise my childhood just got a lot more weird.

Oblique view of a two bowls of dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, super creamy leek and potato soup sitting on white, cloth napkins.

Anywho! Back to the inappropriately named soup. It was from a restaurant called Rutabegorz in Old Town Tustin. Super cute, with old wooden tables and the most uncomfortable chairs you’ve ever sat on in your whole life (the things you remember…).

The food was entirely delicious and, while they did have plenty of healthy options (my mom took us there, so, duh), they also had a burrito thing called the heart attack and their delicious, delicious Cocky Leeky soup. It tasted like they used about a gallon of cream per bowl of soup and a stick of butter to boot (pretty much Foodal’s ultra creamy recipe for potage parmentier), so us kids were rarely allowed to get it.

Top down view of two white porcelain bowl full of leek and potato soup that's vegan, gluten free and dairy free. The bowls are sitting on a light colored wood table with slices of bread, a silver table spoon, and large wooden spoon.

But! Then I made my own. And who knew that potatoes, when cooked until falling apart in some vegetable broth and then blended all together, could be so smooth and creamy, without any of the cream? Well I sure didn’t!

A close up of a spoon full of vegan leek and potato soup.

I was so impressed by the authenticity of this soup as compared to the “original,” that I’m starting to doubt they put any cream in there at all. I mean, I’m sure they did, but hey, I can dream. So I now hold a grudge against my mother for not letting us ever buy the oh-so-healthy Cocky Leeky soup that definitely had no cream or butter in it at all. (But not really because I can’t hold a grudge to save my life.)

So I made this soup once, and AJ was a convert. As long as I don’t call it Cocky Leeky Soup, because that’s just not very appetizing.

Oblique close up view of a white porcelain bowl full of a vegan-friendly, dairy-free, gluten-free leek and potato soup.

Last time I made this I had the brilliant idea of saving the potato skins and baking them up into chips to serve on top. Hello Amazing! They are so easy, and really add an extra dimension to the soup. Make sure not to skip these! And plus, the skin is where all the nutrients are anyway, so they’re healthy. Of course.

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Close up view of a bowl of vegan, dairy-free, gluten free Leek and Potato Soup

Leek & Potato Soup (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Raquel Smith
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


A creamy, dreamy potato & leek soup recipe, the healthy way! So smooth and creamy, you’d never guess it was vegan. This is quick enough to make on a weeknight and feeds a crowd – or makes great leftovers!


  • 2 large leeks, white & light green parts only, sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 6 medium-large red potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 4 cups light-colored vegetable broth
  • 23 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Peel the potato, trying to keep the peels in rather large chunks (but they don’t have to be huge). Set the peels aside; do no throw away. Chop the peeled potatoes into small 1 cm cubes. Prep the leeks and onion.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the leeks and onions and sautee about 5 minutes, until they start to brown a bit. Add the potatoes and herbs and cook for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the vegetable broth and enough water to cover the potatoes by about 1/2-1 inch.
  4. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender.
  5. Transfer about 2/3 of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth or use an immersion blender and cream it in the pot. Add back to the soup pot and mix together. If you like your soup completely smooth, blend all of it. We prefer it with a few chunks.
  6. Stir in the salt and nutritional yeast and a bunch of freshly cracked black pepper. Add more salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately, with the potato peel chips.

For the Potato Peel Chips:

  1. While you prep the veggies for the potato chips, heat the oven to 425 and grease a sheet pan. Soak the skins in a bowl of water for 10 minutes, then drain.
  2. Add the olive oil and a big pinch of salt to the skins and distribute with your hands. Distribute evenly on a sheet pan in one layer and bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through, until nice & crispy. Serve on top of the soup.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Comfort Food

Keywords: potato soup, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, leeks, creamy, comfort

What about you? Any other toppings that you’d love to try on this creamy soup? Let us know in the comments below! And if you loved this recipe, please rate it.

And if you loved this soup, these vegetarian recipes will also wet your whistle:

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 6th, 2014. Last updated: January 26, 2020 at 15:00 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).

12 thoughts on “Leek & Potato Soup (Vegan and Gluten-Free)”

  1. Thanks for the recipe! Going to try it tonight…its about 90 degrees here in Orange County but I have a cold! Also — as a big Rutabagorz Fullerton fan, their soup IS dairy free 🙂 and the Cocky part of the soup is for the chicken – theirs isn’t vegetarian. Just thought that might help you feel a little less disalussioned about your childhood! 😀

    • Julie – thank you so much for explaining that!! That makes SO much sense. Sometimes I forget that I wasn’t always a vegetarian, and that I definitely did eat chicken for much of my life. If I did remember that I definitely would have made the chicken connection! I hope your cold gets better quickly! Let me know how the soup turns out for you.

    • My mom also has celiac and I can understand this misconception- because yeast is so commonly associated with making bread, it’s not unusual to follow that line of thought and wonder if the yeast itself contains gluten. The truth is, some types of yeast may contain gluten, but this is uncommon. Always remember to check your food labels, just to be safe.

      The nutritional yeast used in this recipe is not the same as active-dry or baker’s yeast. Nutritional yeast is comprised of deactivated Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and it contains no gluten. Again, always be sure to read those food labels! But I am not aware of any brands of nutritional yeast that contain gluten.


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