This chicken soup with farro and leeks is a comforting, rich chicken soup that’s perfect for a chilly day.
It’s no secret that I love chicken soup. There’s nothing better on a crisp autumn night than rich, homemade chicken broth. This chicken soup with farro and leeks is loaded with aromatics and wholesome farro for a filling and comforting dinner.
How to make this chicken soup with farro:
For this recipe, I make homemade chicken broth first using chicken leg quarters, a whole head of garlic, and the green tops of the leeks. If you want to save time, pick the meat from a store-bought rotisserie and use store-bought chicken broth. From there, you can skip the broth-making portion of the recipe.
What you need
- Chicken: Use bone-in, skin-on thighs or chicken leg quarters. You can also use a whole, small chicken if you like.
- Aromatics and vegetables: This recipe uses leeks, garlic, shallots, carrots, celery, and potatoes. It’s finished with fresh dill. Get creative with the vegetables and aromatics in this if you like. A few sprigs of fresh thyme would be a wonderful addition. You can also mix and match the vegetables. Add frozen corn, peas, or green beans if you want more vegetables.
- Farro: Pearled farro is a wonderful grain that cooks up pretty quickly. You can swap in almost any grain that you have on hand, like barley, quinoa, or white or brown rice. If you have pearl couscous, you can add it toward the end of cooking since it only takes 10–15 minutes to cook up.
How to make it
- Step 1: Start with the broth. Cover the chicken with water and add a generous amount of salt. Throw in the garlic and the green tops of the leeks. Simmer for about an hour. Once the broth is golden, transfer the chicken to a bowl and discard the leeks. Transfer the garlic to another bowl–don’t throw it out!
- Step 2: Shred the chicken and then pop the garlic out of the paper. Mash the garlic into a paste. Wipe out the pot and return it to the stovetop.
- Step 3: Cook up the soup aromatics and add the garlic paste and chicken to the pot. Pour in your homemade chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the farro and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender and the farro is cooked.
- Step 4: Finish up the soup by adding fresh dill and a splash of lemon juice.
Chicken Soup with Farro and Leeks
- Large pot
- Fine mesh sieve
- 2 leeks, trimmed, scrubbed, and green parts separated from the white parts
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or leg quarters
- 8–10 cups water
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, peeled and diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
- 3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- ¾ cup pearled farro, rinsed
- ½ cup loosely packed dill, roughly chopped; plus more for serving
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper
Prepare the leeks:
- Thoroughly rinse the white and green parts of the leeks. Bundle the green parts together and tie them together with kitchen twine. Set aside. Halve the white parts of the leeks lengthwise and thinly slice.
Make the broth:
- Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with 8–10 cups water. Add the bundled green parts of the leeks and the garlic. Season liberally with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Skim off any foam or scum that floats to the top of the broth.
- Remove and discard the bundled leeks. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Transfer the head of garlic to a small bowl.
- Return the broth to a low boil and cook for 20 minutes to reduce the liquid to about 6 cups. Taste the broth and add more salt if you like. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and wipe out the pot.
Prepare the chicken and garlic:
- Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones and shred it with your hands or dice it into small pieces, depending on your preference. Carefully pop the garlic from the paper and mash it into a paste with a fork.
Make the soup:
- Heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in the pot. Add the shallots, carrots, celery, white parts of the leeks, and potatoes. Cook for 8–10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the garlic paste and chicken. Cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the farro, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes until the farro is tender and the potatoes are fork-tender. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Finish the soup:
- Stir in the dill and lemon juice and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with more dill. Serve with lemon wedges if you like. Enjoy!