This hearty soup has all the elements of a savory, well-rounded weeknight meal. It can be made with a combination of different potatoes like russets, yellow finn, California white, carola, or rose gold—or whatever you have on hand.
- 4 leeks (about 2 pounds), trimmed, split lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- ½ fennel bulb, cored and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
- 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 to 5 cups shredded cooked Smart Chicken (from 1 whole chicken)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- Yogurt or heavy cream for serving (optional)
Place the leeks in large bowl of cold water and move around to wash, then let sit 10 to 15 minutes; the dirt will sink to the bottom while the leeks remain at the top, so make sure the water is deep enough. Carefully remove the leeks and drain.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until sizzling hot. Add the leeks and cook, stirring often, until the leeks are very tender, about 10 minutes. If the leeks begin to brown, reduce the heat to low and continue sautéing. Add the celery and fennel and cook and stir 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
Add the potatoes, broth, chicken, salt, and pepper and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender.
Add the thyme and sage and stir to mix. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes in the liquid; this will help thicken the soup. Serve warm, topped with a dollop of yogurt or swirl of heavy cream for additional creaminess.