Gluten Free Chicken Soup with Caramelized Leeks - Danielle Walker

I have dozens of different chicken soup recipes, but this one — Gluten Free Chicken Soup with Caramelized Leeks — has become my new go-to. It’s very similar to my Healing Chicken Soup from Eat What You Love, and another here on the blog, but the addition of the richly flavored caramelized leeks and all of the fresh herbs make it so bright and delicious.  

Chicken Leek and Potato Soup

This soup is the ultimate healer (thanks to bone broth, garlic, and lemon) and its the perfect thing to reach for when there’s a bug going around or my gut is off. It also contains caramelized leeks (more on those in a moment), potatoes (white-fleshed sweet potatoes work too), celery, carrot, onion, and loads of fresh herbs. It is hearty and filling while being easy to digest. 

Above shot of ingredients for chicken leek soup including carrots leeks parsley and potatoes on a counter

Caramelized Leeks

The caramelized leeks are what make this soup special. Caramelization is a slow cooking process over low-medium heat that browns the naturally occurring sugars in the leeks. The color deepens and as it does, the flavor deepens as well and becomes nutty and a bit sweet. This process elevates the flavor of the whole soup, so don’t skip it! 

Shredded Chicken in Instant Pot 

I take the extra step of cooking my chicken in the Instant Pot first. It creates delicious and tender shredded chicken with literally zero effort. Just pop in water and chicken and set it for 35 minutes. SO easy. No Instant Pot? No problem. Just scroll down to the recipe and you’ll find stovetop instructions as well. 

above shot of three bowls of chicken leek soup on a counter

Now, I prefer shredded chicken in soups like this, but you can also cube your chicken and simmer it along with the vegetables. You can also use ready-made bone broth if you want or need to speed things up. 

Can you freeze chicken soup 

This is the soup I make for every friend in the hospital, and any time someone needs a meal dropped off. And of course, as always, I portion off two single servings to store in old ghee jars. I then pop them in the freezer for when someone in the house gets sick, or my stomach just wants something comforting and easy to digest. So yes, my Gluten Free Chicken Soup with Caramelized Leeks freezes beautifully! 

Instant Pot Chicken Soup Recipes 

If you love Instant Pot chicken soup recipes, here are a few more to try!

Instant Pot Mexican Chicken Soup 

Above shot of intant pot mexican chicken chowder in a bowl on a white table cloth on a wood table

Instant Pot Thai Coconut Soup 

above shot of instant pot thai soup in a gray bowl with a spoon in it sitting on a white counter

Paleo Minestrone Soup

above shot of two bowls of paleo minestrone soup sitting on a white counter

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Watch me make Gluten Free Chicken Soup with Caramelized Leeks on Instagram! 



Gluten-Free Chicken Soup with Caramelized Leeks

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4.7 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Danielle
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes - 1 hr 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, boneless and skinless 
  • 6 cups water 
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
  • 1 yellow onion, minced 
  • 3 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced 
  • ½ pound celery, diced 
  • 4 Yukon potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (Le Saunier De Camargue brand Fleur de sel is the absolute best in this)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • ½ cup fresh chopped Italian parsley 
  • 3 tablespoons thyme leaves 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill 
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 


  1. Add the chicken and water to the pot of an Instant Pot. Secure the lid and set the valve to seal.
  2. Cook on manual high pressure for 35 minutes, or cover and simmer stove top for 1 hour. Release the pressure and remove the chicken.
  3. Discard the skin and the bones and shred the chicken with 2 forks. Set aside.
  4. Strain the liquid through a mesh sieve into a bowl. Set aside.
  5. Heat the oil in the pot on high sauté mode for the Instant Pot, or medium-high on stovetop.
  6. Saute the onions for 3 to 5 minutes, until they’re nearly translucent. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the leeks. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until well browned.
  7. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, and potatoes. Saute for 3 minutes longer, then add the reserved broth and chicken, and season with salt and pepper.
  8. For Instant Pot – secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 1 minute. For stove top, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the parsley, thyme, dill, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Freeze in individual portions for 6 months. Refrigerate for 7 days. 


Gluten Free Chicken Soup with Caramelized Leeks

above shot of three bowls of chicken leek soup on a counter


  1. Marjorie Wax says:

    Made a big batch of this last week – didn’t add the carrots and celery but it was delicious! And every day we heated it back up it was even better! Thanks for another great recipe using my chicken bone broth

  2. Linda says:

    This soup was excellent flavor.!!! Might want to change the prep time. It took me 3 hours to chop all the veggies, defat the chicken thighs and simmer them for the allotted time. AND nowhere in the body of the recipe does it say when to cook the 6 cloves of minced garlic.

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks for the note about the garlic – fixed! Sorry the timing wasn’t spot on for you. Perhaps your chicken pieces were very large and took a long time to cook? Next time, you could chop into smaller pieces before simmering to speed the process.

  3. Joye says:

    Soooo delish!!! I just finished making it and had a big bowl for my lunch! Lots of prep, but once done, it was a breeze! I used my instant pot. Don’t know how much will make it to the freezer, as I want it for dinner, too!! The lemon and the dill was just the right combo!!! Thank you!!!! Yum!

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