Rustic Potato Leek Soup with Vegan Basil-Parsley Pesto


Creamy potato leek soup is a traditional Italian dish that’s simple, yet sophisticated. This version shuns dairy cream, but it’s infused with olive oil for richness. The recipe also includes an easy vegan pesto for the perfect finish.

Rustic Dairy-Free Potato Leek Soup Recipe with Easy Homemade Vegan Basil-Parsley Pesto for a Plant-Based Taste of Tuscany

Potato Leek Soup with Pesto for a Plant-Based Taste of Tuscany

Tuscans are particularly fond of soups. They are usually made with fresh ingredients, and have a focus on vegetables and herbs. They do sometimes contain cream or cheese, but it’s not hard to find a good dairy-free soup. Extra-virgin olive oil is the pride of Tuscany, and they use it liberally for richness in recipes, like this potato-leek option.

The soup itself is warm and hearty, for a fulfilling dish in the cooler months. The pesto does use fresh herbs, but basil and parsley are typically easy to find anytime of year. And you might like to swap in some other herbs to play with the flavor. We’ve liked mint or oregano.

This is a cheese-free pesto, but it isn’t missed. The combination of salt and nuts (or seeds!) provides a wonderful flavor base. But if you want a cheesier finish, you can add a little nutritional yeast. I would start with just a tablespoon or two in the pesto.

Rustic Dairy-Free Potato Leek Soup Recipe with Easy Homemade Vegan Basil-Parsley Pesto for a Plant-Based Taste of TuscanyThis potato leek soup recipe with photo was shared with us by

Special Diet Notes: Potato Leek Soup with Pesto

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, plant-based, and optionally vegetarian.

For a nut-free pesto topping, substitute sunflower seed kernels for the nuts.

Rustic Potato Leek Soup with Basil-Parsley Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe makes a thick and hearty soup. If you want a creamier finish, feel free to add more broth until it reaches your desired consistency.
Serves: 6 serings
Potato Leek Soup
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium to large leeks, white and light green parts only, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional to taste
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (for vegan)
Basil-Parsley Pesto
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil
  • 1 packed cup flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts or ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1 medium to large garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Potato Leek Soup
  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-low heat. Add leeks, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add potatoes and broth. Cover and increase heat to medium. Bring soup to a low boil, uncover, and cook for 30 minutes. Decrease heat to medium-low if the soup bubbles up too much.
  3. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth, or let cool for 15 minutes and puree it in batches in your blender.
  4. Taste and add more salt, if desired.
  1. Put the basil, parsley, olive oil, nuts, garlic, and salt in your food processor or blender. Pulse until combined, but still a little chunky.
  2. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and spoon pesto on each serving.

Key Pantry Supplies: Potato Leek Soup with Pesto

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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