she cooks…he cleans

Real food, gluten-free meals, and eclectic music!

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Soup

This is a nice, simple soup for a cool evening!  This recipe is part of our feature on U.S. Wellness Meats, “Music and Meals to Warm You Up.  Visit their website for free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, and other great products!

Although I haven’t tried it, coconut milk can probably be substituted for the heavy cream for anyone who is sensitive to dairy.


  • 2 free-range chicken breasts from U.S. Wellness Meats (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
  • 3 tablespoons Kerrygold unsalted butter (grass-fed)
  • 2 leeks, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced, washed thoroughly and dried
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used a mixture of cremini and shiitaki)
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pour the chicken broth into a large, heavy pot.  Rinse the chicken breast halves with cold water, and place in the pot with the chicken broth.  Bring the broth to a simmer, and cook the chicken for 15-20 minutes at low heat.  As the chicken is cooking, periodically skim the foam from the broth and discard.  Move the chicken to a dish to cool.  Pour the chicken broth into a bowl through a fine-mesh strainer, and set aside.  Wipe out the pot with paper towels.

Using the same pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Saute leeks and celery until soft, but not browned, for around 10 minutes.  Add mushrooms and saute for 2 or 3 minutes,, then add the apple cubes and cook for another few minutes until the mushrooms and apples are soft.  Return the strained chicken broth to the pot with the vegetables; stir in apple cider vinegar, dried thyme, and cream.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes, partially covered.

In the meantime, cut the chicken into smaller pieces, then shred each piece by hand.  Cover the shredded chicken so it doesn’t dry out, and set aside.

After the broth and vegetables have simmered for 20-30 minutes, use an immersible hand-blender to puree the vegetables to a finer consistency.  (I like to leave it a little chunky.) Add the shredded chicken to the the soup.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Heat on low for at least 10 minutes.  Serve hot, and enjoy!

Well, this soup ain’t funky at all, but the music selection sure is! Do The Funky Chicken by Rufus Thomas is guaranteed to get your feet dancing. Thomas hit the charts with “Walkin’ the Dog” in 1963, and it was one dance floor hit after another for the Stax Records artist. Do the Funky Chicken!

30 comments on “Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Soup

  1. I think that’s the perfect soup!

  2. Carrie
    December 7, 2011

    This looks really lovely! So comforting. And I’m really interested in that apple flavor in there….such a unique spin for a chicken soup.

  3. Leah
    December 7, 2011

    Your directions don’t include when exactly to add the cream. Before the chicken is added back in at the end? We love potato-leek soup so we are looking forward to trying this soon!

    • She cooks...He cleans
      December 7, 2011

      Oh goodness, thanks for catching that Leah! I added cream to the soup after straining the broth, when adding the cider vinegar and thyme. I will correct that in the recipe! I hope you enjoy it!

  4. Jo
    December 7, 2011

    Looks delicious. Would love for you to share this with us over at

  5. Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen
    December 7, 2011

    This is by far the most tempting soup i have laid eyes on, for a while… And by tempting, i mean, stick my face to the screen and try to go into it. (I’m kidding) I can’t imagine how delicious it would taste with a bit of coconut milk instead.

  6. Kendra
    December 7, 2011

    This soup looks heavenly. I love that it incorporates mushrooms instead of some alternative carbohydrate. Beautiful photographs!

  7. Vanessa
    December 8, 2011

    Nancy, this looks wonderful! I have a leek waiting in my vegetable drawer to be used. Beautiful presentation and can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing! ~Vanessa

  8. primalmami
    December 8, 2011

    I just happen to have all of the ingredients necessary to make this soup in the fridge and I was wondering how I’d use them before they went bad. Thanks so much for the recipe! I’m looking forward to trying it out!

  9. Sindy
    December 12, 2011

    I am a soup fanatic but was in a rut with my flavors and ingredients. This was amazing. I halved the butter,doubled the mushrooms and threw in a handful of kale. AMAZING! The cider vinegar gives this a fresh bright flavor! With the leftovers I added extra broth,more kale,soba noodles and Sirracha for a kick. Now I run the risk of getting in a rut with these flavors…lol. But anyway going to enjoy it!

  10. Sindy
    December 12, 2011

    I also used coconut milk (works great jesica) and did not puree.

    • She cooks...He cleans
      December 13, 2011

      Thanks for the report on the coconut milk! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • Justine
      August 12, 2012

      I 3/4 puréed a little late (changed my mind after adding the chicken). It really took it to another level for me, blending such a great flavor combination together. I left some chunky mushrooms too.. so good!

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  15. thedailygalette
    February 16, 2012

    Making this for dinner tonight! Looks wonderful:-)

  16. Justine
    August 12, 2012

    Loved these flavours! Thank you so much. I am on a Whole30 & was feeling like my usual whole food dishes were bland & boring. I substituted coconut milk for the cream, ghee for the butter, added a few cloves of crushed garlic with the mushrooms & added leftover shredded rotisserie chicken at the end… so delicious & lots of leftovers. This flavor combination is definitely a keeper, & I will be using it as a basis for stews in the pressure cooker too. Thanks again

  17. Melyssa
    February 11, 2013

    I made this last night. For something so easy it was sure delicious. I substituted the cream for almond milk and it still turned out amazing. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • She cooks...He cleans
      February 12, 2013

      I love hearing about successful substitutions – especially for dairy for those people that want to avoid it. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  18. Rosco
    June 2, 2013

    The wiping cream curled when I added it. Did I add it in at the wrong time? I added it in with the vinegar. Had to throw it away.

    • She cooks...He cleans
      June 3, 2013

      Hi Rosco, I’m sorry you had that problem! I have not had any difficulty adding heavy cream to a recipe – but it can be curdled with acids. Maybe the vinegar was concentrated in a spot when you added the cream? Be sure you are using a full-fat heavy cream, and not a “whipping cream” substitute. Also, old cream is prone to curdling when adding to a hot liquid, so be sure your cream is in-date.

      • Rosco
        June 3, 2013

        I did use heavy cream and made sure that the vinegar was stirred before I added the cream. Was I supposed to let the vinegar cook for a bit before adding the cream?

  19. She cooks...He cleans
    June 4, 2013

    No, I think you did it correctly – I have no idea what went wrong there! So sorry that happened. The only way I know to completely avoid the possibility of curdling would be to add the cream at the dead end of the recipe, after the chicken, then just warm it to serving temperature without bringing it to a boil.

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  22. Hyptocraces
    April 27, 2015

    My whole family loved this recipe. Even my 18mo tore into it. It has phenomenal flavor. I wish i had doubled the recipe cause I wanted more more more.

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