Early last week, I felt a cold coming on, and even though the symptoms never got too bad, I took it as a sign that I needed to slow down and take it easy for a few days. The fatigue was the worst part — it felt like rolling out of bed would be the most laborious thing imaginable.
On the day I headed home from work early, I was craving a soup that was thick and chicken-y (always a sure sign that I’m sick). I stopped by the store and picked up a few ingredients to make myself a “get well soon” soup. Along with lots of rest, I’m convinced this is what got me back up on my feet!
This soup is extremely easy to make, even when you’re under the weather. After quickly browning some chicken and sweating vegetables, everything simmers together until soft, then is pureed to velvety smoothness. Try this on a cold, snowy night…or when you’re feeling the effects of the season. Either way, it’s guaranteed to satisfy.
Get the recipe:
Chicken and Potato Leek Soup
Easily serves 6-8; you’ll have enough for a few lunches!
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used probably a 3/4 lb package)
3 carrots, washed very well (peeled if you like), and chopped
4 stalks of celery, cleaned and chopped
1 very large yellow onion, peeled and medium diced
1 large leek, green part and root tip removed, white and very pale green part cleaned and chopped
3 medium Russet potatoes, washed VERY well, and diced (I like to leave the skins on but you could remove if you wanted)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 qt chicken stock
1 qt water
4-5 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
1/2-3/4 cup milk (can substitute 2% too)
–kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large, heavy bottomed pot (I use this one, which is 4 qts), heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Remove the chicken and set it on a small plate. Season the chicken well with salt and pepper, then add to the pot once hot. Allow to brown on the first side, about 3-4 minutes, then flip the meat and brown the second side. Remove the meat from the pan and set it back on the plate.
Add the chopped carrots, celery, onion, leeks and potato to the pot, season well with salt and pepper, and stir. Allow to cook for several minutes, until the onions begin to soften and the mixture is very aromatic. Add in the lemon juice, and stir to release any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour in the chicken stock and water, add the thyme leaves, then season the soup well with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork or knife. Be sure to taste the broth of the soup at this point to ensure that it doesn’t need more salt.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to the desired consistency — I like it pretty smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, can you puree the soup in batches in either a blender or a food processor. Be careful not to overfill the vessel, as burns from hot soup are no fun! Pour all the soup back into the pot if you’re using a blender or food processor.
Dice the chicken into bite sized pieces and add it and any accumulated juices into the soup, and stir in the milk. Let the soup cook over very low heat for another ten minutes, to ensure the meat has cooked through. Don’t let it boil at this point — we’re just looking to reheat it.
Ladle into bowls, garnish with a bit of chopped thyme or parsley, and serve.
Note: If you wanted to make this soup vegetarian, it’s very easy! Just omit the chicken, and use vegetable stock instead. Make it vegan with the use of a nut milk!
And for the record, I took these photos using leftover soup, once I was feeling better. :)