Senior Anne Kreuser is spending her fall semester studying abroad in London and working at a PR firm.

I’ve left my squishy queen sized bed behind.  I’ve forgotten about the way the crisp, autumn air makes Polk Place smell on a morning walk to class. I’ve turned in the familiar for an exciting semester studying and interning abroad in London.  And after being here for only a week, I’m missing all that is home in North Carolina.  A venture to the expansive Borough Market under the London Bridge brought me home with a bag full of groceries, and I ran to the one place that will always make me feel at home: the kitchen.

Here’s a recipe that reminds me of my mom’s home cooking, and is easy enough to whip up in about 30 minutes.  Make sure to have some reusable containers handy; the longer this soup sits, the better it tastes!

Chicken soup with leeks and potatoes

2 chicken breasts with bone and skin
4 leeks, cleaned and sliced
5 yukon gold potatoes, cut in half inch cubes
1 carrot, chopped
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 quarts of chicken stock
1/4 c. of crème fraiche or heavy cream
2 T. olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Slather the chicken with  1 T. oil, salt and pepper, and roast in a 350° oven for about 25 minutes, or until the juices run clear.  When cooked, remove the meat from bones and discard skin. Chop into bite sized chunks.

Fill a pot with cold water and add potatoes.  Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, place remaining oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Saute onions and carrots for about 5 minutes, until softened.  Add garlic and leeks and season generously.  Sautee until soft, about 10 minutes.  Add chicken stock and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add chicken and potatoes.  By this point, the leaves of the thyme should have separated from the woody stems– remove them.  At this stage, you can transfer to reusable containers or right to a bowl.

Just before serving, stir in a dollop of crème fraiche or heavy cream to add richness.  Pair with a slice of crusty bread to mop up the goodness, and you’ll be transported back to home in no time!

For vegetarians: Simply nix the chicken and substitute vegetable stock.  For a more filling soup, consider adding egg noodles or cous cous.

– Anne Kreuser