How many calories in a bowl of potato and leek soup?

A bowl of hearty, comforting potato and leek soup can be a delicious and nutritious meal, but like any food, it’s important to pay attention to portion sizes and calories. In this article, we’ll explore how many calories are typically in a bowl of potato leek soup and provide some tips for lightening it up if you want to cut down on calories.

Quick Answer

The number of calories in a bowl of potato leek soup can vary greatly depending on the recipe, ingredients, and portion size. On average, one bowl or about 1 cup of homemade potato leek soup contains around 200-300 calories. Restaurant or pre-packaged potato leek soups often contain more calories, sometimes upwards of 400-500 calories per serving.

Calories in Homemade Potato Leek Soup

For homemade potato leek soup, a typical recipe calls for ingredients like potatoes, leeks, broth or milk, and butter or oil. By choosing low-calorie cooking methods and lighter ingredients, you can make this soup with as little as 200 calories per 1 cup serving.

Here is the breakdown for a 1 cup serving of a homemade potato leek soup recipe with around 200 calories per serving:

  • 150 calories from 1 medium chopped potato
  • 30 calories from 1/2 cup chopped leek
  • 15 calories from 1 tsp butter
  • 60 calories from 1/2 cup nonfat milk

The exact calorie count may vary depending on the specific ingredients and amounts used. For example, using heavy cream instead of nonfat milk would add more calories from fat. Adding bacon or other ingredients would also increase the calories.

Ways to Reduce Calories in Homemade Soup

Here are some easy ways to lighten up a homemade potato leek soup:

  • Use reduced-fat or low-fat milk instead of heavy cream
  • Skip adding butter or oil
  • Use vegetable or chicken broth instead of full-fat milk or cream
  • Increase vegetables like leeks and reduce amount of potatoes
  • Use smaller potatoes which have fewer calories per serving
  • Rinse potatoes after chopping to remove some starch
  • Skip added salt and flavor with herbs and spices instead

Calories in Canned & Restaurant Potato Leek Soup

Many canned, pre-packaged, and restaurant-prepared potato leek soups tend to be higher in calories than homemade versions. Here are some typical calorie counts:

  • 1 cup canned condensed potato leek soup: 300-400 calories
  • 1 cup prepared bottled potato leek soup: 300-450 calories
  • 1 bowl restaurant potato leek soup: 400-600 calories

Prepared potato leek soups often contain added thickeners like flour or starch which can increase the calorie count. They also may be made with higher fat dairy products like cream. Restaurant versions tend to have larger portion sizes with more potatoes and cream, driving up the calorie count per bowl.

Comparing Calories in Different Soup Styles

Soup Style Calories (per 1 cup serving)
Homemade with nonfat milk 200 calories
Canned condensed 300-400 calories
Prepared bottled 300-450 calories
Restaurant-style 400-600 calories

As you can see, restaurant and pre-packaged potato leek soups tend to be significantly higher in calories than homemade lightened versions. Making it at home allows you to control the ingredients and portions.

Factors That Impact Calorie Count

The calorie count per serving of potato leek soup can vary based on several factors:

Ingredients Used

Higher fat ingredients like heavy cream, whole milk, or butter will drive up calories rather than lower fat options like broth or nonfat milk.

Portion Size

Larger serving sizes with more potatoes or higher fat dairy will mean more calories per bowl.

Add-ins & Toppings

Mix-ins like bacon, cheese, or sour cream can significantly increase calories. Croutons or crackers on top also add more calories.

Cooking Method

Frying potatoes in oil rather than boiling will add more fat and calories. Not draining cooked potatoes can also add extra calories.

Sodium Content

Restaurant and canned soups often contain very high sodium, which can lead to bloating and fluid retention. Homemade versions can have much less sodium.

Nutrition Facts for Potato Leek Soup

Here is the nutrition breakdown for a 1 cup serving of a typical homemade potato leek soup recipe:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 200
Fat 5g
Sodium 300mg
Carbohydrates 30g
Fiber 3g
Protein 5g

Potato leek soup provides a range of important vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium

It’s a great source of carbohydrates and fiber. Selecting lower sodium versions can help reduce the salt content.

Health Benefits

Enjoying potato leek soup in moderation can provide these benefits:

  • Hydration – The liquid broth helps hydrate the body.
  • Immune supporting nutrients – Vitamin C boosts the immune system.
  • Lean protein – Potatoes and leeks provide plant-based protein.
  • Heart health – The potassium supports healthy blood pressure.
  • Gut health – The fiber feeds probiotics in the digestive system.
  • Anti-inflammatory – Nutrients may help reduce inflammation.

Risks & Concerns

There are a few potential downsides to eating potato leek soup to be aware of:

  • High sodium – Many prepared soups are very high in added sodium.
  • Higher calories – Restaurant versions tend to have more calories from larger portions and higher fat ingredients.
  • Allergies – Leeks are in the onion family so people with allergies may need to avoid.
  • Acrylamide – Frying or overcooking potatoes may produce a compound linked to cancer risk.

Choosing homemade soup made with fresh ingredients and low-sodium broth can help reduce these risks.

Tips for Serving

Here are some tips for lightening up potato leek soup:

  • Top with fresh herbs like chives instead of croutons or crackers to cut carbs.
  • Flavor with garlic, paprika, ground celery seed, or white pepper instead of salt.
  • For creaminess, blend part of soup then stir back in instead of using heavy cream.
  • Enjoy as a starter instead of a main dish in smaller portion sizes.
  • Pair with a salad for added nutrients and fiber.
  • Swap starchy russet potatoes for lower carb varieties like Yukon gold or red potatoes.

Simple Homemade Potato Leek Soup Recipe

Here is an easy homemade potato leek soup recipe for about 4 one-cup servings:


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 medium potatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and cook 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Pour in broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15-20 minutes until potatoes are very tender.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in thyme, milk, salt and pepper.
  5. Blend soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender. Top with chives.

This simple homemade potato leek soup has about 200 calories and 10g net carbs per one cup serving.

The Bottom Line

A bowl of potato leek soup can make a warm, comforting meal, but calories and portions need to be kept in mind. Homemade lighter versions clock in around 200-300 calories per one cup serving. Pre-packaged and restaurant preparations are often higher in calories, sodium, and larger portion sizes. Make it at home and flavor with herbs instead of salt for the healthiest option.

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