Chicken Soup with Leeks and Wide Noodles

Chicken Soup with Leeks

Photography by Colin Price

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Chicken Soup with Leeks and Wide Noodles

No matter the season, it’s the rare night my family is not excited to find chicken soup for dinner. It’s one of their favourite meals. My trick to making really flavorful chicken soup quickly enough to serve on weeknights lies in simmering boneless, skinless chicken thighs and vegetables together in a flavorful chicken broth. This one-two punch results in a deeply rich soup that earns even Bubbe’s seal of approval. I like using leeks in my soup, but if you only have an onion in the pantry, go ahead and use it. 

2 leeks, trimmed and washed 

3 carrots 

1 celery stalk 

1 lb [455 g] boneless, skinless chicken thighs 

1 tsp dried thyme 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 Tbsp unsalted butter or vegetable oil 

8 cups [2 L] chicken broth 

8 oz [230 g] dried wide egg noodles 

1/2 cup [60 g] frozen peas, thawed 

1/4 cup [10 g] chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 

2 Tbsp minced fresh chives 


1. On a large cutting board, thinly slice the leeks. Peel and thinly slice the carrots. Thinly slice the celery. Transfer them to a large bowl. Cut the chicken thighs into bite-size pieces and season them with the thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and a few grinds of pepper. 

2. Heat a 4-qt [3.8-L] saucepan over medium-high heat and add the butter. When the butter is hot, add the chicken pieces and sauté them, without moving them, for about 3 minutes. Stir in the leeks, carrots, and celery and sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. 

3. Add the chicken broth, 1 tsp salt, and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked and the flavours have blended, about 20 minutes. 

4. Stir in the noodles and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas, parsley, and lemon juice and taste, adding more salt and pepper if it needs it. 

5. Ladle the soup into heated bowls and sprinkle with the chives. Serve. 


IT’S THAT EASY:  Leeks always seem to have a lot of grit trapped in their layers. The best way to get rid of it is to trim away the dark green parts and root end. Cut the leek in half lengthwise and hold it under running water, fanning the layers like a deck of cards. 

EXTRA-HUNGRY KIDS? Pick up some cornbread at the grocery bakery. It’s so good crumbled into the soup. 

ADULT TASTE BUDS? Serve the children’s portions and stir a few teaspoons Thai red chili paste into the remaining soup in the pan. Top the adults’ portions with chopped cilantro.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Chronicle Books.

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