On a chilly winter evening, nothing warms the soul like a bowl of homemade chicken soup. Although it may seem like an unassuming dish, chicken soup has been a staple in kitchens for generations, serving as a symbol of comfort during times of sickness and heartache. Not only is it deliciously warming, but it has also been proven to have medicinal benefits, with studies showing that it can help boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.
But not all chicken soups are created equal. The perfect chicken soup should be rich, flavorful, and packed with wholesome ingredients that make you feel good from the inside out. In this recipe, I’ll be sharing my go-to method for making chicken soup that’s both delicious and nourishing, perfect for warming up on a cold winter day or serving to guests at your next gathering.
So grab your apron, sharpen your knives, and get ready to dive into this soul-warming bowl of goodness. Trust me; your taste buds – and your soul – will thank you.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There’s nothing quite like a warm bowl of chicken soup to comfort your soul and nourish your body, and this Chicken Soup for the Soul recipe is sure to do just that. From its hearty mix of chicken pieces, peas, carrots, broccoli, and leeks to the satisfying addition of pasta, each ingredient in this recipe combines to create a delicious and comforting meal.
But what truly sets this recipe apart is the use of fresh parsley, nutmeg, and allspice berries to enhance the flavor profile with subtle yet powerful notes of fragrance and taste. Add in some sea salt, white pepper, garlic, cloves and bay leaves for a well-rounded taste.
Not only is this recipe deliciously satisfying, but it also offers numerous health benefits thanks to its wholesome ingredients. The homemade chicken broth provides a powerful source of collagen and essential minerals while ingredients like carrots and broccoli offer plenty of vitamins C and K.
And let’s not forget about its versatility – swap the pasta for rice or quinoa, add some beans or lentils for extra protein, or even use different types of vegetables according to your preference! This recipe can be adapted to suit any dietary requirements or preferences.
Whether you’re feeling under the weather or seeking some warm nourishing food on a cold day, this Chicken Soup for the Soul Recipe will offer you just that – food love that 101 stories have been written about.
Below is the ingredient list you will need to make this soul-warming chicken soup. Don’t worry about gathering all of these kitchen ingredients at once. Use what you have and improvise!
Chicken Soup for the Soul Recipe
- 2 pounds, chicken pieces (a combination of cut-up chicken and chicken carcasses)
- 8 cups, water
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 3 ribs celery chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 whole leek, washed and roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 parsley sprigs
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 4 Allspice Berries
- 4 cloves
- 4 cups, chicken broth or stock
- 2 cups, water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- a pinch of nutmeg and white pepper
Add or substitute any of these ingredients to make your perfect recipe:
– broccoli florets
– pasta noodles
To maximize the benefits of this homemade chicken soup recipe, I recommend using real chicken (preferably organic) rather than cat food or dog food. Play with the recipe and make it to fit your dietary preferences. Enjoy!
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have gone through the ingredients, it’s time to dive into the recipe itself! Here’s how to make this delectable Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Start by washing and chopping all vegetables: 1 large carrot, 1 large parsnip, 1 leek, 1 medium onion, and 1 rib of celery. If you want a bit more green in your soup, also add in some chopped broccoli florets (1 1/2 cups), and a handful of fresh parsley. Make sure everything is chopped into small, bite-size pieces.
Step 1: Cooking the Chicken
In a large pot or Dutch oven, add 2 pounds of chicken pieces (use a mixture of bone-in thighs and drumsticks) and cover with 4 cups of chicken broth (either homemade or store-bought). Add in some aromatics – a few cloves of garlic, some sprigs of fresh parsley, a couple of bay leaves, some allspice berries, and some cloves. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about an hour.
Step 2: Straining and Deboning
Once the chicken has cooked through, remove it from the broth and set it aside to cool. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into another large pot or bowl. Discard any solids.
Remove the chicken from the bones, discarding any skin, bones, cartilage or connective tissue. Cut chicken meat into small bite-sized pieces.
Step 3: Adding Vegetables and Pasta
Return the broth to the pot used to cook it, adding back in chicken meat together with chopped vegetables (carrot, parsley, parsnip, broccoli floret). Cook until vegetables are almost fully cooked but still have a bit of crunch (12-15 minutes). If you’re adding pasta (optional), add cooked pasta at this stage too (1 cup dry pasta will give approximately 2 cups cooked pasta).
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Taste soup periodically to check if seasoning needs adjustment. Season with salt (to taste) as well as some nutmeg and white pepper. Garnish each bowl with some chopped fresh parsley before serving.
And there you have it – homemade soup that is sure to warm your soul!
Substitutions and Variations
The beauty of homemade chicken soup is that it’s a blank canvas for your culinary creativity. You can mix and match ingredients according to your preference, omit what you don’t like or add more of what you love – the possibilities are endless! In this section, I’ll offer some substitutions and variations that you can try to make this recipe even more delicious.
First, let’s talk about the vegetables. While I’ve listed peas, carrots, leeks, and broccoli in the ingredient list, you can swap them out for other vegetables that you have on hand or prefer. For example, you can add diced parsnips or turnips for a slightly sweeter flavor, or add chopped spinach or kale for extra nutrition. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding sliced mushrooms or diced zucchini.
Next up is the pasta. I’ve used small pasta shells in this recipe because they’re cute and easy to eat, but feel free to use any noodle shape you like. Egg noodles would be a classic choice for chicken soup, but you could also use thin spaghetti broken into smaller pieces or even rice noodles for a gluten-free option.
If you want to switch things up from the traditional chicken soup flavor profile, you can experiment with different herbs and spices. Replace the parsley with cilantro for a Mexican twist or try adding some fresh thyme or rosemary for an earthy flavor. A pinch of nutmeg and allspice berries can give your soup a warming feeling while white pepper adds subtle heat without overwhelming the tastebuds.
Finally, if you’re looking to make this recipe even healthier or more filling, you can substitute some of the ingredients with other grains or proteins. Instead of pasta, use quinoa or brown rice for a grain-free option. Add some cooked lentils, chickpeas or cannellini beans for plant-based protein. You can also swap out some of the chicken with shredded turkey meat if that’s what you have on hand!
In conclusion, don’t be afraid to experiment with substitutions and variations when making this recipe – it’s all about making it your own and finding what works best for your taste preferences!
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving and pairing this chicken soup for the soul recipe, there are a variety of options that will make your soup soul even more satisfying.
To start, consider serving freshly baked bread or crackers alongside the soup for a satisfying crunch. Alternatively, you can add more texture and protein by serving the soup over cooked rice, quinoa or noodles.
If you want to brighten up the flavor profile of your chicken soup for the soul, consider adding a dash of lemon juice to each bowl before serving. This simple addition adds a fresh zing that complements the warmth of the soup.
In terms of pairing, this chicken soup for the soul pairs well with a light-bodied white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. The acidity and herbaceous notes of these wines will complement the savory notes of the soup perfectly.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option that complements this dish well, consider pairing it with an herbal tea or fresh squeezed juice. Both options provide the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity that pairs nicely with this soul-warming recipe.
Overall, serving and pairing this chicken soup for the soul recipe is all about creating a balanced and satisfying meal. With a little bit of creativity and experimentation, you can easily turn this cozy homemade chicken soup into something truly special.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
If you’re planning on making this soul-warming Chicken Soup for the Soul recipe in advance of a get-together, there are some things you can do to ensure the soup stays as fresh and delicious as possible.
First, you can make the soup up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve the soup, reheat it on low heat while stirring occasionally until it reaches your desired temperature.
For longer storage, you can freeze the soup for up to 2 months. Before freezing, allow the soup to cool completely and then transfer it into individual or family-sized portion containers. When reheating from frozen, let the soup thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat it on low heat in a pot with a lid.
Now, if you’ve got leftover soup that’s already been served and stored properly – here are some ways you can repurpose it in other dishes! You can use chicken and vegetables from leftover broth to make pot pies or serve them over mashed potatoes or rice for a comforting meal. Another great way to use up leftover chicken soup is by cooking quinoa, couscous or other grains separately and then topping them with hot soup for an easy grain bowl.
Overall, with these tips, you’ll have no problem prepping this dish ahead of time, storing it properly and reheating it for an easy and delicious meal any day of the week!
Tips for Perfect Results
Making a soul-warming chicken soup is a comforting and fulfilling experience, however, it does require some effort and attention to detail to get it just right. Here are some tips that will help you achieve the perfect texture, flavor, and aroma for your chicken soup for the soul recipe:
1. Homemade Chicken Broth: The first step in making a flavorful chicken soup is starting with a homemade chicken broth. Making your own broth using fresh ingredients is key to achieving maximum flavor, and it also allows you to control the amount of sodium and other additives that go into your soup.
2. Don’t Overcook the Vegetables: To keep the vegetables in your soup crisp and flavorful, avoid overcooking them. Instead of boiling them until soft, try sautéing or roasting them first. This not only adds extra flavor but also helps to retain their crunchiness.
3. Sauté Your Aromatics: Sautéing onions, garlic, and other spices before adding them to your soup can add a depth of flavor that boiling alone can’t provide. Heating these ingredients in a bit of fat releases their natural flavors and enhances their aromas.
4. Season Carefully: The key to a great soup is balancing your seasoning correctly. Start with just a small amount of salt and pepper, then adjust according to taste as the soup cooks. Remember that some of the salty flavors will be released as the broth cooks down.
5. Add Herbs at the End: Adding fresh herbs like parsley or thyme towards the end of cooking can bring freshness to your dish.
6. Simmer Slowly: The secret to tender chicken meat is simmering slowly for an extended period of time until it’s fully cooked through but not overcooked or dry. Avoid boiling or rapid cooking to ensure your chicken remains tender.
7. Skim Your Soup: While making your homemade chicken broth from scratch, remove impurities such as fat and other excess content that might float on top of your chicken broth using a spoon so that you have pure tasting broth.
Follow these simple yet effective tips so that you can make yourself a grain-free homemade chicken noodle soup recipe on cold nights with soul-food recipes warm enough for any breed of adult cat or dog food who loves ginger Chicken!
In conclusion, this Chicken Soup for the Soul Recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to warm their soul and fill their belly with deliciousness. Not only is it made with wholesome kitchen ingredients, but it’s also easy to make, store and reheat.
The aroma of bay leaves, allspice berries, and cloves combined with the freshness of chopped parsley will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. The tender chicken pieces and noodles, along with the veggies like peas, carrots, broccoli and leeks are a perfect match for any day of the week or occasion.
This recipe is also versatile and can be tweaked to fit your preferences or dietary needs by substituting certain ingredients like using grain-free pasta or adding parsnips instead of carrots. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover chicken carcasses or wings you have lying around.
Overall, this Chicken Soup for the Soul Recipe is a true comfort food that not only warms your stomach but also your heart. So why not gather your loved ones around the table and enjoy a warm bowl of homemade chicken soup together? And who knows, maybe this recipe will be passed down in your family for generations to come as one of the best chicken soup recipes out there.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Recipe
- 2 chicken carcasses, with wings
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 3
- 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 2
- 1 large onion, some of the skin left on (it gives the stock a lovely colour)
- 2 inches of the trimmings of a stalk broccoli
- 2 inches green part of a leeks
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves
- 5 allspice berries
- 1 garlic clove
- 10 parsley sprigs
- 3 grinds white pepper
- 1 couple of scrapes nutmeg
- and a good few pinches sea salt
- 1 cup stelline pasta (little stars)
- 1 white of a leek, sliced
- 1 stalk of a broccoli, diced
- 1 carrot, and parsnip i fished out the stock earlier and cubed
- 2 cups peas
- 250 g chicken pieces, picked of the carcasses after the stock is ready and cut into small bits
- 750 ml strained stock, to cover all the ingredients comfortably (keep the remaining stock for another time)
- 1 large handful of chopped fresh parsley
- First of all I had 2 chickens that I seperated the legs and breasts of to be used another time.
- The Carcass then cut into smaller bits I placed into a large stock pot and covered with my finest water.
- This is brought to a simmer and the foam skimmed of as it rises to the top.
- After about 10 minutes I add the vegetables and spices apart from the stelline pasta, cut leeks, peas and diced broccoli stem.
- This stock now is left to quietly simmer for 2 hours or more (it can be anything up to 24 hours, but who would want to wait that long).
- After 20 minutes I will lift out the carrot and parsnip pieces, cut them into cubes and use them in the finished soup.
- Strain the stock, pick any meat of the chicken and in another pot bring all remaining ingredients for the finished soup to a boil.
- Now it all just needs another 5 minutes of simmering to warm through the vegies, chicken and pasta. Then it's ready to make you feel good!
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Anna is a culinary expert who specializes in grilling delicious BBQ dishes. She also enjoys sharing her recipes and experiences with her foodie community on her blog. She’s the total package for any backyard barbecue!