Chicken Soup with Leeks, Onions and Fennel

by Dorothy Reinhold on February 24, 2013

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The best soups result from the serendipity of scanning the kitchen and seeing what needs to be used up, right?

I was going to make a simple chicken leek soup, but a fennel bulb impulsively bought at the farmer’s market and a sprouting red onion whispered my name from the veggie drawer, and the frugal cook in me knew that my leek soup was going to have to include them.

Chicken Soup with Leeks, Onions and Fennel on Shockingly DeliciousIt’s smart to listen to your inner frugal cook. She will guide you well. This soup was so, so, SO, SO good!

Recipe: Chicken Soup with Leeks, Onions and Fennel

Chicken Soup with Leeks, Onions and Fennel on Shockingly DeliciousSummary: A simple, classic chicken soup enhanced with caramelized, elegant leeks and fennel hits the spot for lunch or dinner.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (6-ounce) package Melissa’s Cleaned and Sliced Leeks
  • 1 fennel bulb, feathery leaves and root removed and bulb sliced thinly
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 red potatoes, skin left on, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons Organic Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
  • ½-1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add leeks, fennel and onion and saute for 10-12 or so minutes, until vegetables begin to brown and caramelize.Leeks, onions and fennel on Shockingly Delicious
  2. Add celery, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves, water and chicken base, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chicken, stir, cover pot and simmer for another 20 minutes.Chicken Soup with Leeks, Onions and Fennel on Shockingly Delicious
  3. Stir in parsley and a few grinds of pepper, and serve, along with hot sauce for those who like to zip things up.
  4. Serves 6.


Inspired by my friend Lindsay Albert, whose Chicken, Leek and Potato Soup was beloved when she made big pots of it for our elementary school.


Sliced Leeks from Melissas ProduceMelissa’s Cleaned and Sliced Leeks, available in a 6-ounce package, are the best thing since sliced bread! Whole leeks are a chore to clean, dry and chop, since they are often sandy between all those layers of leek. With this package, which contains the equivalent of about 2 leeks, all the hard work has been done, and you simply open and toss them in the pot. They’re new in Southern California as of last month, and can be found here at Vons, Bristol Farms, Jon’s Markets, Mother’s Market, Gelson’s, etc. Melissa’s Leeks will be distributed nationally in the coming months. Suggested retail is $3.49-$3.99.

Better Than Bouillon

Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken BaseBetter Than Bouillon is my new not-so-secret ingredient for soups. When I want to get the soup in the pot quickly, I use the organic line of Better Than Bouillon — concentrated stock made with real vegetables and natural ingredients. They’re USDA certified organic, and have 95% certified organic ingredients by Quality Assurance International, are fat free, and non-irradiated. Organic Better Than Bouillon comes in beef, chicken, mushroom, turkey and vegetable flavors, and at a price of about $7.95 per jar, it’s a good value since each jar makes about 9 ½ quarts (84 cents a quart, a price I can’t match with any stock in a can or carton). To me, the flavors are clean and pure. I recommend it! Get your soup on!

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 55-60 minutes total
Number of servings (yield): 4-5
Culinary tradition: USA (General)
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan February 24, 2013 at 8:40 am

This is a fabulous, hearty soup! A great change from your usual chicken noodle!


Krayl @AnAppealingPlan February 24, 2013 at 8:22 am

I used the Chicken Soup base for the first time this week as well. I will be using it much more.


Dorothy February 24, 2013 at 10:45 am

I just loved it. Such a pure, clean chicken-y flavor! A keeper.


Krayl @AnAppealingPlan February 24, 2013 at 8:20 am

I used the Chicken Soup base for the first time this week as well. I will be using it much more. I totally agree.


MLuisa My cute bride (@Mycutebride) February 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

I love that you didn’t peel the potatoes!! The soup looks great, I’ve just have luch but you made me hungry again!


Dorothy February 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

I rarely peel potatoes for any dish! How about you?


Jennie @themessybakerblog February 24, 2013 at 7:40 am

Dorothy, this soup looks absolutely wonderful. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Pinned!


Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts February 24, 2013 at 7:29 am

It looks so hearty, and comforting! Perfect soup weather here today!


Arlene @FlourOnMyFace February 24, 2013 at 7:19 am

I love a little shot of hot sauce in my soups also! Great recipe thanks for sharing!


Dorothy February 24, 2013 at 8:17 am

My husband puts hot sauce on EVERYTHING!


Jen @JuanitasCocina February 24, 2013 at 7:15 am

I love colorful soup…I want to taste it with my eyes too! YUM!


Dorothy February 24, 2013 at 8:17 am

Agreed! Color is everything!


Diana @GourmetDrizzles February 24, 2013 at 7:13 am

This looks incredible! I adore leeks and fennel, and actually have never seen the presliced leeks. Thanks for the tip, and the recipe! 😉


Dorothy February 24, 2013 at 8:18 am

The washed and sliced leeks are brand new! Look for them…they made this soup a breeze to prep.


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers February 24, 2013 at 7:12 am

I am so loving the flavors in your soup! I just made fennel and onion pork this week, but now I want to try it your soup!!


Shannon @VillageGirlBlog February 24, 2013 at 7:04 am

Yum! This soup looks amazing. I love the leeks and potatoes and I bet the fennel added a great flavor. Thanks for sharing.


Lane @ Supper for a Steal February 24, 2013 at 6:02 am

I’ve never seen already sliced leeks. Sometimes shortcuts are necessary, will have to look out for them.


Dorothy February 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

The washed and sliced leeks are brand new, and boy did they make this easy. I am hooked!


Stacy February 24, 2013 at 4:09 am

I tend to do the same thing too, Dorothy, and the soup transforms as I browse through the vegetable drawer. You were absolutely right to trust your inner frugal cook! I’m sure the fennel and the onion added beautiful flavors to an already lovely soup.


Dorothy February 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

Browsing the veggie drawer and pantry is one of the pleasures of a well stocked kitchen, isn’t it?


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