Nothing beats homemade chicken soup when you are not feeling well. This recipe for chicken soup is made from scratch the old-fashioned way, loaded with antioxidants and immune-boosting properties, and is downright comforting!
No time for from-scratch chicken soup? Try out my Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup. It comes together with a few shortcut ingredients but is still delivers on flavor and beats a canned soup any day!
From Scratch Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is exactly what the doctor orders when illness strikes.
Okay, maybe not what the doctor orders, but chicken soup is certainly what moms and grandmas insist will make anyone feel better.
But we are not talking about canned chicken soup. We are talking about chicken soup completely from scratch. It is comforting, soothing, and loaded with immune-boosting properties.
In fact, we refer to this soup as healing chicken soup. The rich bone broth is soothing for a sore throat. The chicken is easy on the stomach and gives your body the protein it needs to help heal. Plus there are a few surprise ingredients that amp up the flavor and pack in extra nutrients, making this recipe the BEST recipe for Chicken Soup.
Just like any good chicken soup, this recipe is made with chicken, a rich broth, carrots, onions, and seasonings. But there are a few ingredients you don't want to substitute or shy away from when you are looking for a chicken soup recipe that packs in the most flavor and healing properties.
- Chicken: A whole chicken is a must for this recipe. A whole chicken will make the richest, most nutrient-dense broth ever.
- Garlic: I add in lots of garlic to make this chicken broth. Garlic is known to have medicinal properties. Plus it adds incredible flavor.
- Jalapeno: The jalapeno may sound surprising, but that bit of subtle heat helps to clear up congestion. I remove the seeds and ribs so that the spiciness is not overpowering.
- Vegetables: Instead of packing this soup with noodles, I add potatoes and sweet potatoes. They are still easy on your stomach, but pack in a bit more nutrients than noodles alone. But I do include instructions for making this chicken soup with noodles as well if that is what you would prefer.
- Soy Sauce: This is another unconventional ingredient in chicken soup, but soy sauce adds an amazing depth of flavor that can not be topped.
- Lemon Juice: If you want to really let your soup SING with flavor, finishing with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is key. It really helps to add brightness and freshness to the soup.
Two Tips for the BEST Chicken Soup
- Be sure to SIMMER the soup, not boil. You want to bring your soup up to a simmer, not a rapid boil. The slow simmering will help the chicken soup stay clear and really develop a flavorful broth as the chicken cooks.
- As the soup simmers, use a spoon or a strainer spoon to scoop out scum as the soup comes to a simmer. Scum is the name given to the cloudy material that floats to the top of the broth as the soup simmer. Removing it will help your broth be much more clear.
- Start with a whole chicken. Remove the innards and then place the chicken into a large stock pan. Pro-Tip: If you have a large stock pan with a strainer insert, now is a great time to use it, as it will make straining your broth much easier!
- Add in the onions, bulb of garlic, bay leaf, jalapeno, peppercorn, and salt. Cover with cold water.
- Slowly bring the soup up to a simmer over medium heat and then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer.
- Once the chicken is tender and falling apart, remove the chicken from the stock, along with the onions, bay leaves, jalapeno, garlic, and peppercorns. The easiest way to do this is with a strainer insert. If you do not have one, simply remove your chicken and place it on a cutting board, and then strain the broth to remove the remaining ingredients.
- At this point, you have two options. Proceed with cooking the chicken soup or refrigerate the stock for a few hours or overnight. This allows the fat to collect and harden on the surface of the soup, making it easy to discard the excess fat. I prefer to do this, as the broth is less greasy.
- When ready to proceed with the recipe, bring your stock back to a simmer and add in the carrots, potatoes, and soy sauce. Simmer until just tender.
- While your vegetables are simmering, shred or dice up your chicken. You will only need 2-3 cups of meat for this soup. Use the remaining chicken in any Leftover Cooked Chicken Recipes. You can also freeze the extra meat for up to 3 months to use for dinner another night.
- Once the vegetables are tender, add in the chicken and simmer until just warmed through.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Finish the soup with the juice from 1 lemon. Just a bit of that fresh flavor really lets the soup sing.
- Pair this Homemade Chicken Soup with whole wheat rolls or homemade Italian bread for a hearty and healthy meal.
- Gluten-Free Modifications: If you need this soup to be gluten-free that your soy sauce is gluten-free or use coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce or omit completely.
- Chicken: Feel free to use chicken pieces versus a whole chicken. Just be sure they are bone-in and preferably skin on for the most flavor and nutrient-rich broth.
- Adding Noodles: If you would like to add noodles into this soup, do so after 10 minutes and then continue to simmer until the noodles are tender.
- Storage: Store chicken soup in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
More Delicious Soup Recipes
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Baked Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
- Italian Wedding Soup
This Chicken Soup is perfect to enjoy whether you are sick or healthy! The flavor is absolutely incredible! If you enjoyed it, I would love for you to leave a comment below.
Homemade Chicken Soup
- 1 (3-4 pounds) whole fresh chicken giblets removed
- 12 cups water
- 2 onions halved
- 1 head of garlic cut in half, horizontally
- ½ jalapeno seeded
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon peppercorns or 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large russet potatoes scrubbed and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 2 large sweet potatoes scrubbed, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 3-4 large carrots peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 lemon
- Place chicken, onions, garlic, bay leaves, jalapeno, salt, and peppercorns in large stock pot. Cover with fresh water.
- Bring the stock to a simmer over medium heat. As the soup simmers, scoop scum off the top of the soup as it forms and discard.
- Adjust the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and falling apart.
- Remove chicken and place on cutting board. Discard onions, garlic bulb, bay leaves, and peppercorns. You can choose to strain the broth, or simply use a spoon to fish out the ingredients from the broth.
- Optional: Refrigerate broth for few hours or overnight to let fat consolidate and harden on the surface of the soup. The cold fat will easily be able to be scooped off the surface of the broth.
- Bring the broth back to a simmer. Add in potatoes, carrots, and soy sauce and cook until vegetables are tender about 20-30 minutes. Note: If you would like to add noodles into this soup, do so after 10 minutes and then continue to simmer until the noodles are tender.
- Shred chicken meat, discarding bones and skin. Add in 2-3 cups of the shredded chicken and reserve the remaining chicken to use for other recipes. Add meat back into soup, cooking until just heated through.
- Squeeze with the juice of a fresh lemon. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve.