Ham, Potato and Leek Soup

Warm, creamy, filling soup with russet potatoes, fresh leeks, and chopped ham.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks to make 4 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only (see How to Clean Leeks)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 large russet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 cups ham, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cream, half and half, or chicken stock
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chives or dill, chopped


1 Cook leeks in butter: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until leeks are soft but not browned.

2 Add broth, potatoes, white pepper, simmer 25 min: Add chicken broth, potatoes and white pepper. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Reduce heat. Cover and simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.

3 Purée the soup: Using an immersion blender, or a standing blender working in batches, process until smooth. (If using a standing blender, do not fill your blender more than a third full with hot soup.)

4 Add ham, cream, seasonings: Stir in the diced ham and enough cream, milk, or half and half, or stock to thin the soup to desired consistency.

Season to taste with salt. Garnish with parsley, chives or dill.

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  • Angie

    Outstanding! Followed recipe exactly; couldn’t be better!


  • Mary

    Delicious and easy soup, but I did make some changes. I added a little garlic and a pinch of cayenne. I did not use cream or ham but added some sharp cheddar cheese.

  • Mary

    Great and easy soup. Added celery. Also used home made ham stock.

  • John

    Was lacking 1/2 &1/2 and cream so used evaporated milk and just before serviciing added 1 cup of sour cream.

  • Sandy Murphy

    Soup is really good! Pretty simple. I wish I had of read about adding the garlic. I think that would add to the flavor :-)
    The ONLY negative would be too much pepper. But I am not a big fan of pepper to begin with I am also not too sure why some say it came out a bit thick.mine was thin. I will most assuredly make this soup again.

  • Tenors Mom

    Great recipe. I added two garlic cloves. At the end I added two tbs butter, some cream and instant roasted garlic mashed potatoes (Betty Crocker) to thicken. Everyone went wild. I suppose I should call it creamed leek and potato soup with garlic. Whatever you call it , it tastes great!!

  • Rainy

    Since we have leftover ham (bone included) would making ham stock for the liquid be over-ham-ification?

  • kelhappy1

    This was really good! I had leftover ham for Christmas, so this was perfect. I topped it with shredded cheese. It was easy and inexpensive to make. It taste like it took all day to make.

  • Janet

    I love this soup. Leeks have been popping up on sale where I live and I just made a pot last week. Since I love the smoothness of this soup but like having chunks I take 1/2 the soup and puree it and then blend back with the rest. I’ve also added minced garlic at the same time as the leek and chopped parsnip (wow what a flavour) wile adding the potato. What an awesome simple recipe. I was happy to see it on your blog.

  • Terri Denis

    I harvested leeks from my garden this morning and served this soup tonight. We liked it very much.

    I diced the leeks very small and took a potato masher to the pot rather than puree the soup. I used fresh chives and parsley. I didn’t have any cream so I drizzled a little milk over each bowl.

    I’ll be making this again.

  • Marie Nachman

    This was excellent. Leftover ham is always a problem – I forget to make ham salad and really don’t like split pea soup, so this was a great find. I was looking for a leek soup and this used all items already in the fridge and freezer. I loved the smoky taste the ham added and it was easy to blend up using an immersion blender right in the stockpot. “2 yums up” from my dinner table!

  • Marsha

    Delicious! Made as written but next time think I might go lighter on the leeks and heavier on the potatoes. Real comfort food.

  • Lisa

    Made this again tonight, it has become a family favorite and is actually requested! :) The weather here in Central Florida was perfect for it…chilly and rainy. Great night for a great soup! My family says “Thanks!”

  • Erin

    I never review recipes, but this was DELICIOUS! I made it almost exactly as stated except I used red skin potatoes with their skins because mine we about to go bad.

    The whole family loved it, even my 1-year-old.

  • caycee

    I made this the other night and it was great I left out the leeks, and only creamed 2/3 the potatoes so it was chunky, and it was still amazing. My pickey kids ate it and wanted seconds the baby loved it too. I am saving this one its easy and everyone loved it.

  • Chloe

    This was a great recipe! I made it last night. Like one of the other readers I used 2% milk and it turned out perfectly.

  • Kelly

    I made this on the weekend and used 2% milk instead of cream. It turned out wonderful! Thanks for another great recipe!


  • Mandy

    I made this soup tonight for dinner, following the directions to a “T”…Delicious! Even my picky eight-year-old enjoyed this.

  • rose

    Made this last night – what a great way to use up ham! I only used one potato (but full amount of leeks) and probably used a 1/3 cup half/half instead of 1/4. Delicious! Someone in our house who does not like leftovers is even taking soup for lunch. Thanks for the updated post!

  • Jasmine

    Very nice, I did that Yesterday & it was very yummy. My hubby licked the plate clean. The only think I did differently was that I didn’t add the cream or Half & Half to keep it kinda healthy & we still enjoyed it. Do you think if we added the cream it would be even tastier? Oh & one last thing, it came out kinda thick & not soup like, is it supposed to be this way?

    Yes, if you add the cream it will be tastier. And creamier. It is a rather thick soup, but if it is too thick for you, you can always thin it down a bit with a little more stock, some water, milk, or some cream. ~Elise

  • Tres Amie

    Ham broth from a ham bone also makes a wonderful Peanut Soup. I have only ever seen recipes with chicken broth for peanut soup, but I think the ham broth gives it a much deeper dimension, along with celery and onion.

  • Sarah

    Could you use Welsh onions or negi as they’re called in Japan in place of the leeks? Would it be a straight one-for-one substitution or would I have to use less b/c of the stronger negi flavor?

    No idea, have never cooked with Welsh onions or negi. If you do try it, let us know how it works out for you. ~Elise

  • Renee

    When you posted this recipe last year I made it, and it was delicious! I think I’ll try it again using chicken this time instead of ham.

  • Maya

    Elise – would this work with whole milk instead of cream? Thanks!

    Since the cream is optional anyway, yes. But since milk is thinner than cream, I would substitute some of the stock for milk. ~Elise

  • Dianna

    Mmmmm…this looks delicious. I’m glad the forecast is for cold weather tomorrow, because it looks like I know what we’re having for dinner. I want to try something new with that ham bone left over from Easter. Any suggestions?

    You can use a ham bone in split pea soup, lentil soup, or white bean soup. ~Elise

  • sarah

    I thought this recipe was very good. I tweaked it a bit and added a little more broth, some buttermilk and a little bit of extra half and half…this made the mixture more creamier and less grainy from the potatoes. This recipe is really good with homeade buttermilk (crisco recipe) biscuits.Its really good if you dip the biscuits in it like a biscuits and gravy kinda thing….Next time i think i will add whole potatoes and whole leeks to it, to make it a heartier meal.

  • Noelle!

    This recipe was fantastic! We had a ton of Easter Ham left, and this was a great different recipe to use it in. We are garlic people, and added 3 cloves at the same time as the potatoes, we also added some green onions and parsley right before the Puree, to give it a fresh feel for a nice summer soup! It was great! Thanks!

  • Kitty

    What type of cream should I use to cook potato soup?

    Regular or heavy whipping cream. ~Elise

  • AuntieMurray

    I made this last night and it tastes fabulous. Made it just as stated, didn’t use half and half but did garnish with a bit of shredded Parrano, a good Dutch Gouda. My husband actually closed his eyes with pleasure as he ate it. This one’s a keeper, like so many of Elise’s recipes in our house.

    Elise – you rock. Thank you for all you do.


  • Mel

    I made this recipe last night, but used vegetable broth and omitted the ham to make it vegetarian. It was delicious!

  • Trig

    Leek and potato soup is always a great favourite in my house and my dad likes to add chopped ham. Try it with coriander instead of the parsley. A good thick l&p soup can handle loads of coriander and survive.

    Dad doesn’t like it pureed – Sainsbury’s recently changed their rustic l&p soup into a smooth blended one that he says tastes like baby food (how does he know?). I tend to agree with him that a partial blend – a quick burst in the blender – gives the best result.