Comforting Irish Potato & Leek Soup Recipe

As I sat down to enjoy a warm bowl of Clinton Kelly’s Irish Potato and Leek Soup, memories of rolling green hills and cozy pubs filled my mind. This soup is the perfect comfort food for a cold winter day or any day you need a taste of Ireland in your life.

The recipe is simple yet flavorful, combining tender potatoes and leeks with savory bacon and earthy parsley. The addition of cheddar cheese and half-and-half make it creamy and indulgent while the bay leaf adds depth to the broth.

What sets this recipe apart from other potato leek soups is the attention to detail in creating a delicious base stock. Without a good tasting stock, your soup can become bland or even gummy. Luckily, Clinton Kelly’s recipe ensures that your soup will be bursting with flavor.

Whether you’re serving guests or looking for a comforting meal at home, this Irish Potato and Leek Soup is sure to hit the spot. So grab a bowl, snuggle up by the fire, and let the flavors take you on a trip to the Emerald Isle.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Clinton Kelly's Irish Potato and Leek Soup
Clinton Kelly’s Irish Potato and Leek Soup

Are you in the mood for a bowl of warm and comforting soup that is full of flavor? Then look no further than Clinton Kelly’s Irish Potato and Leek soup recipe. This soup is like a warm hug on a cold day, and it’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters.

What makes this recipe so special? First, the combination of leeks and potatoes makes for a creamy and smooth texture that is simply divine. The addition of bacon, cheddar cheese, and parsley adds depth of flavor and savory notes that’ll have your taste buds dancing with delight. The half-and-half and milk give the soup its creamy consistency while keeping it light enough to enjoy as a starter or even as a main dish.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also easy to make. You only need a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. The steps are straightforward, so you won’t be intimidated even if you’re new to cooking. Plus, the substitution variations make it easy to cater to your preferences.

Moreover, this cozy soup will warm your soul not just with its flavors but also with its heartiness. It’s perfect for any time of year but especially suited for fall and winter months when you need something comforting and soul-soothing.

In conclusion, give Clinton Kelly’s Irish Potato and Leek soup recipe a try today, and I guarantee you’ll love it! It has everything- flavor, texture, ease-of-use- that’ll make it the perfect addition to your recipe collection.

Ingredient List

 Cozy up with a bowl of this hearty Irish Potato and Leek Soup.
Cozy up with a bowl of this hearty Irish Potato and Leek Soup.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make Clinton Kelly’s Irish Potato and Leek Soup Recipe:

Main ingredients:

  • 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 leeks (white and light green parts), chopped and rinsed well
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • Cheddar cheese, grated

Note that if you are using store-bought chicken stock, make sure to get a good-quality one as it will greatly affect the flavor of the soup. Also, it is important to rinse the leeks very well as they tend to have dirt and sand in between the layers.

The Recipe How-To

 Perfectly creamy and flavorful, this soup makes for the ultimate comfort food.
Perfectly creamy and flavorful, this soup makes for the ultimate comfort food.


  • 3 bacon slices, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese, for serving
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, about five minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.

  2. In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks, chopped onion, minced garlic cloves, and chopped celery stalks. Season well with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring often until tender, about ten minutes.

  3. Add the chopped potatoes, bay leaf, and stock to the pot. Season again with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are very tender, about twenty-five minutes.

  4. Remove bay leaf from pot then transfer soup to a blender (or use an immersion blender). Puree soup until it’s smooth.

  5. Return soup to the pot and stir in two cups of milk or half-and-half until well combined.

  6. Reheat soup over medium-low heat until hot.

  7. Divide soup among bowls and top with the cooked bacon, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and chopped fresh parsley.

Substitutions and Variations

 Fresh leeks and potatoes are the stars of the show in this delicious recipe.
Fresh leeks and potatoes are the stars of the show in this delicious recipe.

As a chef, I am always looking to switch things up and put my own spin on recipes. This recipe for Clinton Kelly’s Irish Potato and Leek Soup is no exception. Here are some substitutions and variations to consider:

– Vegetarian: To make this soup vegetarian, simply omit the bacon and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

– Cheese: While cheddar cheese is a classic addition to this soup, feel free to experiment with different types of cheeses. For example, swapping in smoked gouda or gruyere can offer a new depth of flavor.

– Milk vs. Half-and-Half: If you are looking for a lighter version of this soup, you can substitute the half-and-half with milk. However, keep in mind that using milk may result in a less creamy consistency.

– Potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes are perfect for this recipe because they hold their shape when boiled. However, feel free to experiment with different types of potatoes to find out what you prefer.

– Seasonings: While parsley is commonly used as a garnish in this soup, other herbs such as thyme or rosemary can be added during the simmering process for added depth of flavor.

– Toppings: I love using croutons or even homemade Irish soda bread as toppings for this soup. Diced scallions or chives can also add a pop of color and flavor.

No matter how you customize it, this Irish Potato and Leek Soup recipe is sure to be a hit. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen!

Serving and Pairing

 Don't forget the crispy bacon topping for an extra layer of deliciousness.
Don’t forget the crispy bacon topping for an extra layer of deliciousness.

When it’s time to serve my Irish Potato and Leek Soup, I like to sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley over the top for a pop of color and added flavor. The aromatic herb complements the sweet, earthy flavor of the soup nicely.

This soup is hearty enough to be a meal on its own, but if you’re looking to pair it with something else, a slice of crusty bread on the side would make an excellent addition. You could also crumble some crispy bacon or shredded cheddar cheese on top of the soup for extra texture and richness.

For a beverage pairing, I recommend a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio to cut through the creamy texture of the soup. A hoppy beer like an IPA or an amber ale would also pair well with the savory flavors of the soup.

Overall, my Irish Potato and Leek Soup is a versatile dish that can be served as a comforting lunch or dinner, or even as an appetizer for a dinner party. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different pairing combinations to find what works best for your taste buds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Soothe your soul on chilly days with this warming soup.
Soothe your soul on chilly days with this warming soup.

The Clinton Kelly’s Irish Potato and Leek Soup recipe is perfect for making ahead of time, as it tastes even better the next day! After cooking, let the soup cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 1 month.

When reheating, place the desired amount of soup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often until heated through. Be sure not to bring the soup to a boil as this might cause it to become gummy.

If you prefer to reheat individual servings, you can use a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 1-2 minutes until hot. Before serving, don’t forget to give it a good stir and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

This soup is quite versatile and can be stored in different containers according to your need. You can store it in Tupperware boxes or mason jars if you want portable portions for lunch at work. Always remember that how long the soup will last in the fridge depends on the quality of ingredients used during its preparation. Nonetheless, your potato-leek soup needs good and tasty stock as this is what makes all the difference.

Overall, the make-ahead process is quite effortless, and storing or reheating requires little effort too. This savory potato leek soup recipe is perfect for busy days when you want a quick yet wholesome meal without sacrificing on flavor!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This simple yet satisfying soup is a staple in Irish and British cuisine.
This simple yet satisfying soup is a staple in Irish and British cuisine.

As an experienced chef, I know that even the most straightforward recipes can be tricky to get right. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your Clinton Kelly’s Irish Potato and Leek Soup turns out perfectly every time.

Firstly, use Yukon gold potatoes for their natural creaminess and buttery texture. They hold together well during cooking but will still break down to create a thick, velvety base for the soup.

Next, be sure to cook the vegetables – onion, leeks, celery, and garlic – until they are soft and golden brown. This process creates depth of flavor and adds complexity to your soup.

When adding the liquids, start with a good-tasting stock. Homemade chicken or vegetable stock is ideal for this recipe, but store-bought is also fine. If you don’t have any stock on hand, use water instead of store-bought stock.

Stirring often is crucial when making a potato-based soup since it is prone to sticking and scorching at the bottom of the pan.

One common mistake when making this soup is overcooking it. Overcooking will cause the soup to become gummy or lose its texture entirely. Make sure not to cook your soup for longer than the recipe recommends as it could potentially lead to an unpleasant result.

Lastly, before serving, taste the soup and adjust seasoning – salt and pepper – as necessary. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, crispy bacon bits or grated cheddar cheese if preferred.

Stay cautious when reheating leftover soups as they might still thicken considerably which may change its texture, consistency or flavors. Add a splash of milk while reheating to help thin it out again and regain smoothness in consistency.

By following these simple tips, your Irish Potato and Leek Soup will undoubtedly turn out deliciously rich with layers of flavors!


Now that you have all the information and steps needed to prepare this delicious Irish Potato and Leek Soup recipe, it’s time to cover some of the most frequently asked questions that may come up during the cooking process. From ingredient substitutions to storage tips, let’s dive into some of the FAQ for this recipe.

Why is my potato leek soup gummy?

Have you ever wondered why your potato leek soup turns out gummy? Well, one possible reason for this is over-dicing the potatoes. While it’s important to ensure that the potatoes are evenly diced to ensure proper cooking, there’s no need to go overboard and dice them into tiny pieces. In fact, doing so can result in the potatoes releasing too much starch into the soup, leading to a gummy texture when pureed.

Why does my leek and potato soup taste bland?

When it comes to making leek and potato soup, it’s important to have an excellent stock that is full of flavor. Adding water instead of stock may lead to a lack of taste in your soup, which is not desirable. Therefore, using a tasteful stock is highly recommended for achieving the best results.

How long can you keep homemade leek and potato soup in the fridge?

The duration in which Leek and Potato Soup can be stored in the fridge is between 2-3 days if kept in a tightly sealed container.

How to make leek and potato soup Mary Berry?

To start off, grab a large saucepan and toss in some butter. Let it melt over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, it’s time to add some leeks. Make sure to stir the mix every so often and cover to soften the leeks. This should take around four to six minutes.
When the time is up, pour in some broth along with a dash of salt and pepper. Mix everything together until it’s well combined.
Once the soup is ready, it’s time to transfer it to a blender. Be careful and avoid any spills. Blend it all together until it’s nice and smooth.
Finally, dish up the soup to individual bowls and enjoy!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Irish potato and leek soup recipe by Clinton Kelly is a traditional Irish dish that is sure to warm your heart and soul. With its creamy texture and savory flavor, it’s a perfect dish for cold winter nights or any time you need a comforting meal. This recipe provides a twist on the classic potato soup with the addition of leeks, bacon, and cheese.

By following the detailed instructions, tips and recommendations provided in this article, you can easily make this soup in your own kitchen. And if you’re feeling adventurous, there are numerous variations that you can try based on your personal taste preferences.

Overall, this recipe offers a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy your favorite ingredients while exploring new culinary horizons. So why not give it a try today? Trust me; you won’t regret it!

Clinton Kelly's Irish Potato and Leek Soup

Clinton Kelly’s Irish Potato and Leek Soup Recipe

From The Recipe posted for safe keeping. Clinton says "For St. Patrick's Day, make this traditional Irish soup – it's so good you'll want to French kiss the Blarney Stone! "
Course Soup
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, Potato, Vegetable
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 bowls
Calories 828kcal


  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks (washed and sliced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, fresh (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 4 slices country bread (toasted golden brown)
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese (Irish)
  • 1 cup bacon (fried crisp and chopped into small pieces)


  • In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, leeks, celery, and garlic, and cook until all have softened and become fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, milk, bay leaf, and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the parsley and half and half. Allow to cool slightly. In batches, puree in a blender.
  • To make croutons, preheat broiler and place cheese slices on toasted bread. Broil until cheese is melted and browned in spots, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Serve soup with Irish Cheddar Croutons and sprinkled with bacon.


Serving: 751g | Calories: 828kcal | Carbohydrates: 89.4g | Protein: 33.4g | Fat: 37.8g | Saturated Fat: 17.4g | Cholesterol: 89.3mg | Sodium: 1250.1mg | Fiber: 5.7g | Sugar: 10.1g

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