Creamy Chicken and Leek Soup with Herb Gnocchi, Watercress Butter and Crispy Chicken Shards

This elegant chicken and leek soup is a must-make for friends at your next dinner party. With just a little effort, it ticks all of the boxes and they will love you for it!


Serves 6-8

Preparation Time

Cook time

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Cook's NoteUse store-bought gnocchi to save time.
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  • 8 free-range chicken thighs with skin on
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 100g butter
  • 200g baby leeks, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 – 2 litres chicken stock
  • 1 cup cream
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Herb gnocchi:

  • 1 ½ cups fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup Gruyère or hard cheese, grated
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs
  • 100g butter (for optional frying)

Watercress butter:

  • 80g watercress
  • 150g butter
  • Micro-greens, to garnish


For the chicken shards, preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and arrange the skin on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and roast in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until golden and crunchy. Remove and keep aside.

For the soup, brown the skinless chicken thighs in 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 50g butter in a Le Creuset 24cm Signature Round Casserole. Add the leeks, remaining olive oil, butter and garlic. Soften for 5 minutes, add the potatoes and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Ladle over enough warm chicken stock just to cover the vegetables and chicken.

Simmer for 20 minutes, then remove the chicken, shred and set aside. Continue simmering the broth for a further 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and leave aside to cool.

Blend in a food processor with the cream until smooth, add more stock if too thick. Pour back into your cleaned casserole and heat to warm through. Add the shredded chicken and season to taste.

For the gnocchi, mix the ricotta, Gruyère, flour, eggs and herbs together in a bowl, then season well. On a floured surface roll out the mixture into 3cm – 5cm thick cylinders. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Blanch in batches in salted boiling water for approx. 5 minutes until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and toss in a little butter to prevent them sticking together. Pan fry in butter to form a crispy crust (this step is optional).

For the watercress butter, blanch and refresh the watercress then squeeze dry. Using a stick blender, blend into the melted butter then season.

Divide gnocchi between the bowls and ladle over chicken soup. Top with a shard of crispy chicken skin and a drizzle of watercress butter with micro-greens to serve.