It was a wet, dreary summer day when I decided to make this potato leek soup. I had plenty of time, so I started it from scratch in the morning, making the stock from three frozen chicken thighs I had been saving and the vegetables that were on hand in the fridge. The chicken thawed and cooked right in the stock and, after about two hours, I had a lovely broth and flavorful cooked chicken ready to go for this soup. You could just as easily use store-bought stock and left over chicken–or no chicken at all–to have soup in less than an hour.
Mild, yet deeply satisfying, this soup features layers of flavor and texture. The baby red potatoes are sweet and creamy with a very thin, edible skin, that, when blended, left pretty flecks of pink throughout the finished soup.
This soup is a meal in itself, but we also made Grilled Three Cheese Sandwiches to go with it because, you know, people are hungry and they are so irresistible. We also used the leftover soup later in the week as a gravy for rotisserie chicken: zero work, immediate yumminess!
Creamy Potato Leek and Chicken Soup
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 large leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced and well washed
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 5 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 pound new potatoes (we used red), chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 1 sprig of thyme, washed
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- meat from 3 cooked chicken thighs, torn into bite-sized pieces (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- small bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped (for serving)
Set your stock to warm in a sauce pan over medium-low heat.
In a large soup pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is crisp and the fat has rendered out. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside (drain on paper towels). Add the onions, garlic, and celery to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Deglaze the pot with the white wine, scraping up any fond that has accumulated.
In a small bowl mix the flour with enough hot stock to make a smooth, pourable paste. Pour the flour mixture into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Then, add all the remaining stock, the potatoes, and thyme sprig. Season well with salt and pepper–this is your opportunity to infuse the potatoes with flavor! Bring the pot to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
Turn off the heat on the soup pot. Remove the thyme stem. Then, working in batches, blend about 2/3 the soup with the cream. We did this with the hand blender in the pot we used to heat the stock, but you can also transfer the soup to a regular blender. Process until smooth. Return the blended soup to the pot, add the chicken, and stir well to combine. Reheat over low heat (do not boil it!) until the chicken is warmed all the way through.
Serve sprinkled with bacon and parsley–and the wine you cooked with of course!