Chicken potato soup is seriously cozy

Chicken Potato Soup Is Seriously Cozy
Kelli Foster/TNS

One sip of this creamy chicken potato soup hugs you like a warm, cozy sweater.

One sip of this soup is like getting wrapped in your warmest, coziest sweater. Between the thick chunks of vegetables, tender cubes of potato, juicy shreds of chicken (take your pick of boneless breasts or thighs), and thick, creamy broth, it truly doesn’t get more comforting than chicken potato soup.

As the temps begin to dip, this is a family-friendly soup to keep on repeat all through fall and winter.

Should I boil potatoes before adding them to soup?

Nope! The potatoes will cook directly in the pot of soup until tender, so there’s no need to cook them separately. There are a couple important things to remember about buying and prepping the potatoes.

  • Use Yukon Gold potatoes. There are a lot of potato varieties to choose from, and for this soup, waxy Yukon Golds are the best choice. Unlike starchy Russet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes keep their shape well during cooking.
  • Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. This is just the right size so that the potatoes are cooked through and tender, without being too soft. Cutting the cubes to the same size also ensures they’re all cooked evenly. Yukon Gold potatoes also have a thin, tender skin, so there’s no need to peel them.

Do you cook chicken before adding it to soup?

The answer is no again. Everything cooks in one pot, and the chicken (regardless of whether you start with breasts or thighs), gets poached directly in the broth. You’ll start by sautéing the aromatics, then, after adding the potatoes and broth, the chicken is added to the pot. Bring the soup to a simmer, then continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through. If using boneless chicken thighs, this will be about 10 minutes; for boneless chicken breasts, you’ll need 12 to 18 minutes.

How do I thicken chicken and potato soup?

The thick and creamy broth is a big part of what makes this soup so irresistibly cozy. Here, all-purpose flour is the secret to thickening the broth. You’ll sprinkle it over the vegetables, let it cook for just a minute, then pour in the broth and milk. As the broth simmers it will slowly begin to thicken.

Chicken Potato Soup

Serves 6 to 8, Makes about 2 1/2 quarts

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium stalks celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (3 medium or 2 large breasts, or 5 to 6 thighs)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (3 medium or 6 small)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (32-ounce) box low-sodium chicken broth (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk

1. Prepare the following vegetables, adding them each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Dice 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups). Peel and halve 2 medium carrots lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup). Cut 2 medium celery stalks crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup). Finely chop 3 garlic cloves.

2. Season 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs all over with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion mixture, 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 bay leaf, and the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups, no need to peel).

4. Add the potatoes to the pot and stir to combine. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute to cook the floury taste out. While stirring constantly, pour in 1 (32-ounce) box low-sodium chicken broth and 2 cups whole or 2% milk. Add the chicken in a single layer. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a lively simmer, stirring occasionally.

5. Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, the chicken is cooked through, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers at least 165 F, about 10 minutes for thighs or 12 to 18 minutes for breasts.

6. Remove the pot from the heat. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and shred into bite-size pieces.

7. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Return the chicken to the soup. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

Recipe note: An equal amount of store-bought precooked rotisserie chicken can be used in place of the boneless, skinless chicken breasts of thighs.

(Kelli Foster is a senior contributing food editor for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to editorial@thekitchn.com.)