Chicken Potato Soup

Chicken Potato Soup

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Loaded with aromatics like leeks, garlic, and celery, this chicken potato soup will deliver warming comfort on a chilly spring night.

Growing up, potato soup was on regular rotation in our house. My dad says that everyone has their own version of potato soup in West Virginia, and everyone firmly believes that their way is the only correct way. In most cases, though, West Virginia potato soup involves elbows, potatoes, an astronomical amount of butter, and whole milk. I’ve made many variations of this soup, and I’ve posted a few of them on my site. One version has mushrooms, this vegan recipe celebrates celery, and this is my creamy, dreamy version without pasta.

For this take on potato soup, I bring in chicken with homemade broth. You always have the option to skip the homemade broth and use a store-bought rotisserie with store-bought broth. You’ll have dinner on the table in no time. I had some HUGE leg quarters that I found at the grocery store, so I figured it was time to break out the biggest pot I own to make soup.

Chicken Potato Soup Recipe

How to make this chicken potato soup recipe:

This recipe requires time if you’re making homemade broth. If you decide to use a rotisserie chicken, simply skip straight to the “make the soup” part of the recipe. Shred the entire chicken, which should yield 4–5 cups of meat. Use it with 12 cups of store-bought broth; I recommend Better than Bouillon.

What you need

  • Chicken: I used leg quarters, but thighs, a whole chicken, or split breasts will work. For the best flavor, use skin-on, bone-in chicken.
  • Aromatics: I use onion, leek, celery, and garlic. I add dry thyme, though you could throw in a few sprigs of fresh thyme if you prefer.
  • Potatoes: I use Yukon gold potatoes, but any light-colored potato, such as red, gold, or white, will work here.
  • Elbows: When I told my dad about this recipe, he said, “Isn’t it funny how elbows and potatoes just work together?” I think so, too, which is why I stick with them for this soup. You could try it with any short pasta, like orzo or even small shells.
    Finishing touches: I finish the soup with lemon juice and minced parsley. I use the zest from the lemon and combine it with grated Parmesan cheese and more minced parsley. Since this version of potato soup doesn’t use cream or butter, the Parmesan added at the end gives it a lightly creamy finish. Any leftover Parmesan can be added right to the pot of soup before you refrigerate it.

How to make it

  • Step 1: Start with the broth. Cover the raw chicken with water and salt, and add bay leaves. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Step 2: Remove the chicken from the pot. Rapidly simmer the broth for an additional 20 or so minutes until it reduces to 12 cups. Strain the broth and return the pot to the stove.
  • Step 3: Make the soup! Layer in the aromatics, spices, and potatoes. Then add the broth and shredded chicken. Simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  • Step 4: Cook the elbows in a separate pot of boiling water. Drain them and add them to the soup. Finish the soup by adding lemon juice and minced parsley.
  • Step 5: Make the garnish! Combine lemon zest, grated Parmesan cheese, minced parsley, and a big pinch of black pepper.
Grated Parmesan and lemon zest

You’re ready to serve it up! Let the soup cool for a few minutes before ladling it into bowls. Sprinkle that herby, lemony cheese mixture over each bowl.

Add any extra cheese garnish to the pot of soup while it’s still warm before you refrigerate it. It’ll add the perfect amount of creamy brightness to the whole pot. No one can stop you from grating even more Parmesan into the soup, either—just saying!

Chicken Potato Soup with Leeks

I hope you loved this recipe as much as I did! If you make it, please drop a comment below to let me know how it turned out!

Chicken Potato Soup with Leeks

Chicken Potato Soup

Loaded with aromatics like leeks, garlic, and celery, this chicken potato soup will deliver warming comfort on a chilly spring night.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 451kcal



Broth (see note):

  • 3½–4 pounds bone-in chicken leg quarters or use a whole chicken
  • 16 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3–4 teaspoons kosher salt


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled, halved, and sliced into half-moons
  • 1 leek, trimmed, scrubbed, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 ribs celery with leaves; ribs trimmed and diced and leaves minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons dry thyme
  • 1 pounds gold potatoes, peeled and medium-diced
  • 12 cups broth, from above
  • cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested; juice and zest kept separate
  • 1 cup loosely packed parsley, minced; divided
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper


Make the broth:

  • Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with 16 cups water—enough to ensure the chicken is completely immersed. Add the bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Periodically skim the top of the broth to remove foam.
  • Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and transfer it to a large bowl.
  • Turn the heat on the pot to medium-low. Rapidly simmer the broth for an additional 20–30 minutes. It should be reduced to about 12 cups. It’s okay if you have a little more or a little less. Turn off the heat.
  • Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stove. Rinse out the sieve and set it aside for the elbows.

Prepare the chicken:

  • Pick the meat from the bones and dice it or shred it with your fingers. Discard the bones and skin or reserve them for stock.

Make the soup:

  • Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, and celery, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté for 6–8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and thyme and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the potatoes and toss to coat. Add another pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute.

Simmer the soup:

  • Pour in 12 cups of prepared broth and bring to a boil. Add the diced chicken, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Make the elbows:

  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the elbows and cook until 1 minute under al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain through the sieve and add straight to the soup.

Finish the soup:

  • Taste the soup and season to your preferences. Add half the minced parsley and all of the lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.

Make the garnish:

  • Combine the remaining minced parsley with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese, stirring to combine. Add a big pinch of black pepper.

To serve:

  • Ladle the soup into bowls. Spoon the Parmesan mixture on top of each bowl. Any extra Parmesan cheese garnish can be stirred back into the pot of soup before refrigerating. Enjoy!


If you decide to use a rotisserie chicken, skip straight to the “make the soup” part of the recipe. Shred the entire chicken, which should yield 4–5 cups of meat. Use it with 12 cups of store-bought broth.


Calories: 451kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 326mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 17mg
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