Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup with Caramelized Leeks

Every year I like to make a new soup recipe that celebrates the wonderfully fresh produce of Spring.  I’ve said many times that I eat soup year round and I mean it!  It’s so comforting and healthy…hmmm…I wonder who invented soup?  I’m going to have to google that and I’ll let you know by the end of this post.

Meanwhile, here’s what I made for you this week….

Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup with Caramelized Leeks | Simply Fresh Dinners

Last year’s soup  was a tomato based vegetarian dish so I decided to use some of the same veggies but switch it up and add some chicken, fresh dill, pasta and the ingredient that puts it over the top – caramelized leeks.  These tasty little rounds of ‘leek bacon’ (a reader called them that when he saw it on Instagram) are perfect for soups because they are milder and sweeter than your average onion yet still have that punch.  The inspiration for this soup came from Country Living.  They have amazing soups and salads on their site!

The only tricky thing is cleaning the leeks because dirt can get trapped between their many layers.  A good way to clean leeks is first to take off the dark green top part (right above the light green part, where it starts to angle away from the main body) and then soak the leeks in water for about 10 minutes and then rinse them.  This’ll usually do it.

Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup | Simply Fresh Dinners

According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, “With their unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. There’s research evidence for including at least one serving of an allium vegetable in your meal plan every day. If you’re choosing leeks, make your individual portion 1/2 cup or greater, and try to include at least one cup of chopped leeks in your recipes”.

I used rotisserie chicken for this because after all, who has time these days?  In my opinion, a rotisserie chicken can be considered an 8 out of 10 on the paleo scale because the ingredients on the label listed some preservatives (sodium phosphate) but no hydrogenated oils or terribly offensive ingredients.  This shortcut will allow you to have this soup ready in 30 minutes with only 10 minutes of prep.  Gotta love it!

Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup with Caramelized Leeks | Simply Fresh Dinners

 Ok, so after a little googling, here’s what I found out about soup from The Food Timeline….

“Food historians tell us the history of soup is probably as old as the history of cooking. The act of combining various ingredients in a large pot to create a nutritious, filling, easily digested, simple to make/serve food was inevitable. This made it the perfect choice for both sedentary and travelling cultures, rich and poor, healthy people and invalids. Soup (and stews, pottages, porridges, gruels, etc.) evolved according to local ingredients and tastes. New England chowder, Spanish gazpacho, Russian borscht, Italian minestrone, French onion, Chinese won ton and Campbell’s tomato…are all variations on the same theme.

Soups were easily digested and were prescribed for invalids since ancient times. The modern restaurant industry is said to be based on soup. Restoratifs (wheron the word “restaurant” comes) were the first items served in public restaurants in 18th century Paris. Broth [Pot-au-feu], bouillion, and consomme entered here. Classic French cuisine generated many of the soups we know today.”

So the next time you’re dining out, you can tell your friends that you’re all there because of ‘soup’!  I knew there was a reason I loved it.  Cheers, everyone


Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup with Caramelized Leeks
Author: Robyn
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 leeks, chopped into thin rings
  • freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt
  • 7 cups organic chicken broth
  • 1 clove garlic (I used 2 but most would prefer just 1)
  • 1 1/2 cups wide noodles (gluten-free are easy to find)
  • 3 cups sliced rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1.5 cups asparagus, cut on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add leeks in single layer, keeping rings intact. Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until golden – about 10 – 12 minutes. Careful – they can cook quickly if you’re not watching.
  2. In a 5 quart pot, bring stock and garlic to a boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente. About 10 minutes. Toss garlic away.
  3. Add most of the leeks, saving a few for the garnish. Add chicken, peas, asparagus and dill, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Garnish each serving with additional leeks and dill.



  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    April 16, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Oh this sounds so good my friend! Alliums are indeed a wonderful source of healthy nutrients and leeks? DELISH! Carmelized, OK, now that sounds extra good! Another fabulous idea for dinner before it starts to get too hot here (and that will be a while!)

    MERCI!!!!!! Hope to talk again soon! Anita

  • Reply
    mila furman
    April 16, 2015 at 10:21 am

    This is so lovely!!!! I really love the flavors in here! Leeks always makes me feel like spring!
    mila furman recently posted…Simple and Gourmet Steak Dinner…Bacon Wrapped Sirloins with Burst Tomatoes and Balsamic PearlsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debbie Harris
    April 16, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Oh yum, Robyn! As I’ve said before, I could eat soup every day though my husband isn’t all for that.
    This recipe looks delicious, but I have to confess, I never use leeks. 🙁
    Looks like I need to start.
    Yes, those rotisserie chickens are the way to go.
    Right now it is snowing so a good bowl of this soup would tastes great.

    Have a wonderful day,

    • Reply
      April 16, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      You’d love leeks, Debbie. They have that onion taste but milder and the health benefits are great.
      I got an email from Stephanie saying it was snowing – I can’t believe it! You definitely need some soup 🙂
      Hope your day has been fabulous, my friend.
      Robyn recently posted…Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup with Caramelized LeeksMy Profile

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    April 17, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Aaahh, the colours of spring! Need this where Julie is now, and Alesah will have to wait till it gets cold in Manila :D. Nonetheless, this soup recipe goes into our list 🙂

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx
    Gourmet Getaways recently posted…Coconut Oil – Myth or MystiqueMy Profile

    • Reply
      April 17, 2015 at 9:19 am

      Thanks so much, Ladies! Don’t you just love the fresh produce in Spring after we thaw out from the deep freeze of winter? Always such a pleasure when you visit.
      I must check out your findings on coconut oil – I’m definitely confused by all the mixed info on it!
      Robyn recently posted…Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup with Caramelized LeeksMy Profile

  • Reply
    April 17, 2015 at 8:50 am

    This soup looks so good, Robyn! And the photos are gorgeous. I grew leeks in my garden last year for the first time. They are delicious so I can just imagine what carmelizing them would do for this soup. Yum! Hope you are enjoying spring! Have a great day. 🙂
    Marie recently posted…Cucumber Mango SalsaMy Profile

    • Reply
      April 17, 2015 at 9:17 am

      It’s the first time I’ve caramelized them, Marie, and they were fantastic! Thanks for the sweet comments – working on the photography and it’s nice to see it improving.
      I’m off to check out your salsa – sounds like the perfect warm weather treat!
      Robyn recently posted…Spring Chicken Vegetable Soup with Caramelized LeeksMy Profile

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    April 17, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Robyn,
    Your soup looks amazing, I wish I could reach through the screen and have that bowl of soup! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday this week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted…Full Plate Thursday 4-16-15My Profile

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
    April 18, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Yum– I love soup. This looks like a great one to add to the rotation. Leek bacon– will have to try that!
    Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine recently posted…Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with a Cookie Dough CrustMy Profile

    • Reply
      April 18, 2015 at 7:17 am

      I know what you mean, Michelle, my mind is now racing with leek bacon potential, lol. Thanks so much for popping in 🙂

  • Reply
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life
    April 18, 2015 at 8:18 am

    What a gorgeous soup, Robyn!! I can’t wait to try this! Sending foodie love your way!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Delicious Salads at #FoodieFriDIY no 42My Profile

  • Reply
    April 18, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Hi Robyn, Don’t you just love rotisserie chicken? I’ve used it for so many different things over the years to save time and energy. What a great idea to use it for soup. I like the caramelized leeks, it looks pretty and and not so overpowering on the flavor. I’ll need to try that, I’ve only caramelized regular onions. I love peas and asparagus, they’re my favorite veggies and so easy to add to so many recipes.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Hi Robyn,
    Sounds delicious. I love chicken and asparagus. This sure sounds like a tasty soup that would be so nutritious. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted. Have a healthy happy weekend!
    Marla recently posted…Real Food Friday #84 – Come Share Real FoodMy Profile

  • Reply
    April 19, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Hello gorgeous! I love seeing your masterpieces.Thank you for bringing such great things to our party. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm.. Lou Lou Girls

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    April 23, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Your recipe is featured this week on Full Plate Thursday.  Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted…Full Plate Thursday 4-23-15My Profile

  • Reply
    April 23, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Robyn,
    Just a note to let you know that I have chosen your post as one of my features for this weeks Real Food Fridays that goes live every Thursday @ 7pm EST. Thanks for sharing with Real Food Fridays blog hop.

  • Reply
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