Creamy Leek Soup with Chicken & Sweet Potato (a simple “Award Winning” Soup)

While it’s still soup weather…   Well, it’s soup weather somewhere, I suppose. Here in the Midwest, it’s been wonderfully weird. A nearby town set a record a few days ago when the temperature hit seventy-eight degrees! It’s February. That’s weird. That’s wonderful! So many areas of the country received winter’s full blast while we were just – chilly. It has to get mighty warm for us to give up on nourishing, yummy soups at our house, though.

This soup was born of necessity – and that’s another post for another day. Having taken yet another serious step forward in improving my food choices, I’d adapted many of my old recipes into grain-free, sugar-free versions. One day, oozing with inspiration and having one of those “if I were the perfect soup, what would I be like?” mind excursions, I hatched a plan. It must have been one of my super-duper, genius, over-the-top, brainy days, because after a trip to the store and a little time at the stove, I rolled my eyes and patted myself on the back. All my past kitchen flops had been compensated for and I knew I had a winner.

I needed a winner. I had a reputation to uphold. Each year our church sponsors the Souper Bowl of Sharing. Soups are judged and the top-rated soups receive the coveted “Golden Ladles”. I’d received three consecutive Golden Ladles, so why not go for a fourth? Besides, all proceeds go to the area food bank. They deserve a great soup, right?

Golden LadlesMy own high praise of this soup comes to you from a life-long sweet-tater-hater.  I’ve only embraced the rock-hard, ugly roots in the last few years.  I think it happened in a daring restaurant experience when I lost my head, blurting out, “I’ll have some of those sweet potato fries.”  I’ve been experimenting with them ever since.

I filled my slow cooker with a triple batch of this soup and, yes, I took home another golden ladle!

Souper GirlSo many people have asked me for this recipe. I think you’ll love it. If you can’t have dairy, I weep for you. I don’t know how you’d alter this and come up with anything close if you try to avoid the cream.

A few notes before we start –

1. If you haven’t worked with leeks, they look like giant green onions. However, their oniony taste is delightfully delicate! They pick up a lot of sand and grit while growing, though, which is why the recipe says to halve lengthwise. This will enable you to fan the layers apart and rinse all the dirt out. Then, just pull all the layers back together, lay flat side down and slice into thin ribbons. Use all the white part and a good portion of the green, but not any parts that look extra tough. The green parts will soften well during cooking.

2. I place the chicken in my slow cooker or a large skillet, season it with salt & pepper, and cook on LOW for a while ahead of making the soup. (Your chicken will be tough if cooked too fast.) When it’s thoroughly cooked, I place it on a cutting board and use one of the handy-dandy Pampered Chef dealy-bobs featured in the photo below.. It shreds it to perfection in no time! I get my Pampered Chef items here.  If you don’t have one, just slice across the grain, then pull apart.

3. Do not confuse sweet potatoes with white potatoes when it comes to cooking time. Cubed sweet potatoes cook FAST! The best way I’ve found is to take a large knife and slice off a 1/2″ slab. Then, turn the sweet potato over onto the flat surface you’ve created and slice the whole thing into more 1/2″ slabs. Stack a few together, cut into 1/2″ strips (like French fries) and then into cubes. Sweet potatoes are solid and difficult to cut when raw, but don’t let them fool you. Once cubed and put into the boiling broth, I’d advise giving them the taste test after about five minutes.

4. I invented “Faux-broth” as a  substitute for chicken broth one day when none of the stores nearby had chicken broth without sugar in it. Again, I let my mind wander. (It’s not always dangerous.) I threw together a series of things that I would have used if I were seasoning, for instance, a chicken for roasting. I feel a little silly, I must say, for sharing a recipe for water with herbs in it, but I’ve used it over and over again.  Anyhow, if you’re out of broth, this “flavored water” will get you by in a pinch. It would also be helpful in lowering the calories in the soup.  The first time you make this soup, I’d advise using real chicken broth. Then, you’ll know how it’s meant to taste. (That’s what I used for the soup contest – and I won – I’m just sayin’.)

OK – Let’s make AWESOME, prize-winning soup! And, don’t get your under-drawers in a bunch over the butter and heavy cream. Fat doesn’t make you fat – carbs do. Sugar does. This soup is satisfying. Besides, as I often tell Smuffy – nobody’s forcing you to eat four bowls.

Let me restate a portion of my disclaimer. (See the sidebar for the whole thing.)   It is my promise to properly disclose any items which may have been given to me for consideration, are sponsored, or contain affiliate links. Some links on my site may be affiliate links for which I could receive a commission for your click-through and/or purchase. I only feature brands and companies that I have used and genuinely love. All opinions are completely my own.  As of the published date of this post, I received no commissions/payments for any items mentioned or featured in photographs contained in this post.

Below the recipe, you’ll find a link to a free printable which includes both the soup and the faux broth.

Creamy Leek Soup Ingredients

Creamy Leek Soup with Chicken & Sweet Potato

1 large leek, halved lengthwise & cleaned well, then sliced into 1/8″ ribbons

1/4 cup butter

1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, seasoned, cooked & shredded.

2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 ” cubes

2 cups chicken broth (with NO sugar)

2 cups heavy cream

In a medium skillet, cook & stir leeks in butter until very soft over medium heat.  

Meanwhile, bring broth (or faux broth) to a boil.  Add cubed sweet potatoes.  Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till just tender (5-10 minutes).  Add leeks (with butter), cooked chicken and heavy cream to the pot.  Heat thoroughly. 

Great with fresh, homemade biscuits & a salad! Makes 7-8 cups.

Enjoy the awesomeness!

A word of caution about food safety:  If the grateful recipients of your awesome soup present you with a Golden Ladle, examine it carefully.  You might want to keep it “just for show”.  I’m highly suspicious of a spray paint job!

Bowl of Creamy Leek SoupDon’t forget your two-for-one free printable!  If you’d like for your faux-broth to be smooth (minus the visible bits of herb), you can always put your dry herbs in a small processor and spin until powdery.

Creamy Leek Soup Printable BannerQuestions? Comments? If you make the soup, let me know how you liked it! Any fabulous recipes you’ve invented on a brainy day?

More “Golden Ladlel Winners” coming up, so be sure to SUBSCRIBE!

4 thoughts on “Creamy Leek Soup with Chicken & Sweet Potato (a simple “Award Winning” Soup)

  1. Had you noticed the cream wasn’t listed in the ready to print recipe?

    The soup I made was next thing to radically different from yours, BUT I came up with a delicious soup. I used dairy-free margarine for butter, and I used a can of coconut milk with the cream of coconut still in it for the heavy cream. Then I decided, since C&R didn’t have leeks yesterday, I might as well be hung for a sheep as a goat, so I used a sweet onion in place of the leek. I did come up with a delicious soup. I would never have tried that combination without your recipe. For anyone wondering why I didn’t just make the soup your way: I cannot have eggs, dairy, or wheat to eat. I need to adapt almost any recipe I find. I just wish I could have it made by the original recipe, as I love butter and cream.

    Barb: Thank you for the recipe. What I made isn’t your recipe, but you gave me a direction to go that worked well. Please keep publishing your recipes. If there are others I can adapt that work as well, I will have a whole new cookbook soon.

    1. Yikes! Glad you noticed my boo-boo. Some days, or most days, a girl needs all the help she can get. I’ll fix it!

  2. Love soups. This sounds like it deserves two gold ladles all by itself.
    I am sensitive to dairy, so I have become very good at adapting recipes.
    No. Nothing. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can match real butter and real cream,
    but perhaps I can come up with an “acceptable” recipe for those of us who must
    not indulge in the “Real Thing.” I’m sure looking forward to trying.
    I do appreciate you doing recipes, as I love to cook.

    1. This won the Golden Ladle at last year’s event. This year, as I was helping serve soups, a young man came by my table where I stood behind a half dozen or so crockpots. I could tell he was searching for something. He said he was looking for the sweet potato soup. When I asked him to describe it, I found out it was this soup and that he’d been waiting for a whole year to eat it again. His roommate vouched for the fact that he talked about “that sweet potato soup” all the time! Hope you can come up with a suitable version.

Comments are closed.