This chicken leek soup with your choice of noodles offers up a wholesome and hearty meal with some unusual twists in the flavor department.

If you’re standing in front of the fridge, staring blankly at that leftover chicken—especially on a chilly winter night—a pot of soup might be just the thing. This, however, is not your grandmother’s chicken noodle soup. We’re going to spice up the broth with some surprising aromatics, toss in sautéed leeks, and maybe get creative with the noodle selection. Soba or udon, anyone? I’ll share the basic recipe with you, as well as some optional add-ins to jazz it up if you like. 

This chicken leek soup with your choice of noodles offers up a wholesome and hearty meal with some unusual twists in the flavor department.

Gathering the Ingredients

We’ll start by assembling everything you need to make this delectable dish.

  • Cooked shredded chicken: It might be from a sous vide whole chicken or any other cooked bird you have on hand. This recipe is designed to use up the leftover chicken.
  • Leeks: Aim for leeks that are firm and crisp, with long, white stalks and abundant green leaves. It’s important to clean them thoroughly, as dirt tends to lurk within their layers.
  • Carrots and celery: They are essential players that bring depth, color, and added nutrients to your soup.
  • Spices and herbs: Star anise and black peppercorns infuse the soup with savory warmth, and thyme and bay leaf add their earthy notes. A sprig of fresh parsley to garnish the soup is a final splash of color and nutrients.
  • Chicken broth: This is the foundation of your soup. Preferably homemade but store-bought works as well. We’ll discuss the broth in more depth in just a moment. 
Chicken Leek Soup with Soba Noodles - Ingredients

Now let’s move on to the next step: sautéing the leeks and vegetables. 

Sautéing the Leeks and Vegetables

Sautéing before putting the vegetables in the soup to simmer brings out the flavors and textures in your ingredients. By gently heating the leeks and vegetables in a little butter, we can coax out their natural sweetness, adding depth to our soup.

Leeks are the sophisticated cousins of onions, with a milder and sweeter taste. Once sliced, we’ll be ready to work our magic in the pan. Start by removing the root and the dark green part from each leek; give the remaining white part a good rinse under running water. Slice half of one leek thinly, then the remainder into thicker ½-inch coins.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, we’ll sauté the thicker slices of leek, carrots, and celery together. When the leeks are tender and translucent and the carrot and celery somewhat tender, it’s time to move on to the next step: preparing the broth. 

Sautéing vegetables for chicken leek soup

Preparing the Broth

The broth is the foundation of our chicken leek soup.  I like to start with the cooking juice I reserved after cooking a whole chicken sous vide, but any chicken broth will do. I’ve found a few different ways to season the broth. 

First, you can infuse it. Start by toasting the anise seed and black peppercorns briefly in a dry, hot pan, then add the broth. Then, add the aromatics—the thyme and bay leaf—and simmer for ten minutes so the flavors can fully infuse the broth. Strain the finished broth to remove the seasonings as you pour it into the soup pot.

If you have a small cheesecloth bag on hand, you can put all the seasonings into that, and add it with the broth to the soup pot as soon as the vegetables are sautéed, leave the bag in the pot to simmer until you are ready to serve.

With the broth prepared, we’re now ready to move on to the next phase of our chicken leek soup: simmering. 

Simmering the chicken leek soup

Simmering the Soup

As the soup gently simmers and the flavors meld, the aroma will fill your kitchen.

During this phase, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on the pot. The simmer should be gentle, allowing the soup to cook slowly and evenly. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a slow, steady simmer, not a vigorous boil. 

Chicken Leek Soup with Soba Noodles

Cooking Noodles, Adding Chicken, and Serving

Adding noodles to the soup is a delightful way to enhance its heartiness and turn it into a complete, filling dish. Whether you prefer classic egg noodles or opt for something more adventurous like udon or soba noodles, they will bring a satisfying texture and depth to the soup. I chose soba noodles, and I prepared them in a separate pot, following the directions on the package. 

Now it’s time to assemble the soup! Remove the anise, bay leaf, and peppercorns from the broth, stir the vegetables in, and simmer for a few more minutes until they are fully tender. Finally, turn off the heat and add the shredded chicken. It will warm up in the hot soup. 

Once the noodles are cooked, it’s time to serve. Place a serving of the soba noodles into each bowl and ladle the soup, including all the chicken and veggies, over them. 

But why stop here? Let’s explore a few optional enhancements that can elevate your chicken leek soup to new heights.

Chicken Leek Soup with Soba Noodles

Optional Enhancements

For those who enjoy a bit of heat, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce will add a kick to your chicken leek soup. 

To add a heartier element, you can introduce some cooked grains or legumes. Cooked rice, quinoa, lentils, or beans can give your soup a more substantial character as well as add an extra dose of protein and fiber.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different garnishes to add visual appeal and a finishing touch. A sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, a handful of croutons, or even some chopped green onions can add a burst of flavor and a pleasant crunch. 

StreetSmart Cooking Tips 

  • Cook the noodles in the simmering broth: You may want to cook the noodles in the simmering broth so they can absorb some of its rich flavor rather than preparing them in a separate pot. Just pay attention to the cooking time required for the type of noodle you’re using.  
  • Don’t throw away the darkest green parts of the leeks: You can set aside the darker green parts of the leeks, wash them well, and use them to season future batches of soup broth or chicken bone broth.  
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Chicken Leek Soup with Soba Noodles

Chicken Leek Soup with Soba Noodles

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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This chicken leek soup with your choice of noodles offers up a wholesome and hearty meal with some unusual twists in the flavor department.


  • 2 large leeks, cleaned, roots and green parts removed
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or cooking juice from sous vide chicken plus water)
  • 35 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 servings of soba noodles
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • Fresh parsley to garnish


  1. Prepare leeks and other vegetables: Thickly slice 1 1/2 of leek whites into ½-inch coins; thinly slice the remaining leek white; set thinly and thickly sliced leeks aside separately; peel carrots and cut into ½-inch coins; thinly slice celery stalks.
  2. Cook the vegetables: In a Dutch oven or a soup pot, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the thickly sliced leek coins (save the thinly sliced leek for garnish), carrots, celery, a pinch of salt, and black pepper, and sauté until the vegetables start to get tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside. 
  3. Infuse chicken broth (optional, see notes): Wipe the pot clean. Toast star anise and whole black peppercorns over medium-high heat in the dry pot until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth (Be careful, it’s hot!), followed by fresh thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the spices to fully infuse the broth. 
  4. Cook soba noodles: As the broth simmer, cook soba noodles on another burner according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside. 
  5. Finish up the soup: Discard the star anise, whole black peppercorn, thyme, and bay leaf. Add the vegetables back into the pot to simmer until the vegetables are fully tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken, and simmer for another 2 minutes to warm up the chicken. Taste and add salt, if needed.
  6. Serve: Divide the soba noodles into four serving bowls, ladle the chicken soup over the noodles, and garnish with thinly sliced leek whites and parsley leaves


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 538
  • Sugar: 9.3g
  • Sodium: 1370.4mg
  • Fat: 15.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 66.3g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Protein: 36.2g
  • Cholesterol: 78.6mg

About the Author

Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of the Complete Sous Vide Cookbook. She believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she aims to make meal prep easier than ever and help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.