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You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make this homemade chicken vegetable soup recipe from scratch! And you’ll discover just how much more delicious the homemade version is; not to mention, it’s packed with nutrition.

simple chicken soup recipe in bowls on wooden table

Growing up, my mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup was one of my favorite comfort foods. It was everything a winter meal should be: hearty, nutritious, and warming from the inside out.

My mom always adds noodles to her soup. However, I skip them here because I think the soup is filling enough without them. And let’s be real, if I’m going to eat carbs, it’s going to be in the form of a croissant or a bagel or something I really consider worth the carbs, lol. But not noodles in my soup!

Pro Tip: If you want to add noodles, cook the noodles to al dente separately before adding them to this soup. Otherwise, if you cook the noodles in the soup it’s easy to overcook them, and it changes the texture of the broth because of the noodles’ starch.

front view of bowl of best chicken soup recipe with dill and lemon

The Best Simple Chicken Soup Recipe

Every time I make chicken soup from scratch, I ask my mom how to make it. It’s super easy to make, but I only make it maybe once or twice a year. And I want to make sure I don’t forget something important from mom’s recipe.

And every single time I ask my mom how to make this, she tells me to start with a whole raw chicken. I always want to cut corners so I ask about rotisserie chicken or chicken breast. And every single time she tells me NO!

The Most Important Tip For The Best Flavor and Most Nutrition

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According to my mom, there’s no cutting corners. If you want the best chicken soup recipe, you need to start with a whole chicken, bones and all. Don’t be intimated, the process is easy!

Making this soup with a whole chicken lets you build on the flavor, and it yields a rich, nutrient-dense broth.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

Chicken Stock Ingredients

  • Chicken – To make chicken stock, you’ll need a whole, raw chicken (ideally, look for pasture-raised chicken, and if you can’t find that, then go for organic if possible). We’re using a whole chicken (including the bones, not just the meat) because we’re making chicken stock, not chicken broth. Clean the chicken by removing the excess fat and giblets (such as the heart, liver, gizzard, etc.). Sometimes you’ll find a small pouch in the bird’s cavity that contains the giblets, so make sure to check inside the bird. Experts say to avoid rinsing raw chicken because it can lead to cross-contamination, but if my chicken looks bloody I rinse it (and then clean the sink area with bleach after). (You can read more about washing raw poultry on USDA and decide for yourself what’s best for you.)
  • Organic yellow onion – We don’t use just the onion here. For a gorgeous golden-colored chicken stock, we also add organic yellow onion peels to the liquid.
  • Garlic – Garlic adds savory depth of flavor. I use organic garlic and leave the peels on to make the stock.
  • Celery – You can substitute with celeriac (aka celery root) if you don’t have celery. This adds another layer of flavor to the stock. You can also add a couple carrots as well.
  • Fresh herbs – I love adding fresh thyme to chicken stock, but rosemary, marjoram, oregano, and parsley are also delicious.
  • Salt and black pepper – Don’t skip on these simple seasonings, especially the salt! They’re what transform an ordinary stock into flavor-packed liquid gold.
  • Bay leaf – Dried bay leaves are commonly added to soups, broths, and stocks to give them a little boost of savory complexity. Bay leaves are also frequently made into tea. However, in addition to flavor, bay leaves are also used medicinally to support a healthy immune system (you can read more about the health benefits of bay leaves on WebMD and Flushing Hospital Medical Center.)
  • Water – To make stock, we simmer everything in water. I like to use filtered water, but if you have good tap water where you live, go ahead and use that.

Chicken Soup Ingredients

  • Chicken stock – First we make the chicken stock, and then we use the liquid and cooked chicken to make a traditional chicken soup.
  • Carrot, celery, onion, and garlic – We already used these nutrient-packed vegetables to make our homemade chicken stock, and now we’re chopping up more to add to this chicken vegetable soup recipe.
  • Cooked chopped chicken – We use the chicken meat from the whole chicken that we boiled to make the chicken stock. No waste!
  • Salt and black pepper – These basic spices elevate the flavor of our soup.

Instructions

There are only two general steps to making this soup.

Step 1: Make the Chicken Stock

In this step we’re boiling a whole chicken, so we’re simultaneously making homemade chicken stock and cooking the chicken for the soup.

how to make homemade chicken stock
  1. Add all ingredients to a 5-quart soup pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then cover the pot, turn the heat down slightly so it doesn’t boil over, and cook 90 minutes.

Step 2: Make the Stock Into Soup

Once you have a flavorful chicken stock, you can easily make it into soup.

chopped vegetables for soup

It’s just a matter of chopping vegetables and letting them cook in the stock.

cooked chopped chicken ready for soup

Then add the cooked, chopped chicken at the end when the vegetables are tender just to heat the chicken through.

Tips to Make Flavorful Soup

I have a few tips for making the absolute best flavorful soup:

  • Start with a whole chicken. Boil it in water with aromatics to make chicken stock for the soup. Using a whole chicken with the bones in addition to the meat is where the depth of flavor comes in. And then add the cooked chicken to the soup.
  • Add aromatics. When you’re cooking the soup, make sure to add aromatics like onion, garlic, and bay leaf. And also add fresh herbs, like rosemary or thyme.
  • Don’t skimp on the seasoning. Just because we’re only using salt and black pepper to season our soup doesn’t mean it won’t be packed with flavor. The key to a soup that doesn’t taste bland is to add enough salt.
  • Freshen up the flavor at the end. Garnish the soup with more fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley. And a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving brightens it up.
close up front view of traditional chicken soup in blue and white bowl

Is Homemade Chicken Soup Good for You?

We’ve all heard that chicken soup is the natural remedy for the common cold, right? Well, it’s so rich with vitamins, minerals, and protein that it’s thought that chicken soup actually does boost your immune system!

I’m not a doctor and if you’re sick you should see a doctor. But a bowl of homemade chicken soup is a great way to nourish yourself. (Read more about chicken soup on UPMC Health Beat and Healthfully.)

More Homemade Soup Recipes to Try

traditional chicken soup recipe

Let’s Connect

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Homemade Simple Chicken Soup Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Yields: 10 servings
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make this simple homemade chicken vegetable soup recipe from scratch! And you’ll discover just how much more delicious the homemade version is; not to mention, it’s packed with nutrition.

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Ingredients
 

Chicken Stock:

  • 4 pound whole organic chicken cleaned and giblets removed
  • 1 large organic yellow onion unpeeled and quartered
  • 4 cloves organic garlic unpeeled and cracked
  • 2 celery ribs quartered
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 1/2 cups water

Chicken Soup:

  • 8 cups chicken stock that you just made (add enough water to the stock to make it 8 cups)
  • 1 pound carrots sliced
  • 1 celery head about 8 to 10 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 2 large yellow onions diced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced or crushed
  • 4 cups cooked chopped chicken use the chicken from making the stock
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs such as dill or parsley, for garnish
  • Fresh lemon wedges for garnish

Instructions
 

For the Chicken Stock:

  • Add all ingredients to a 5-quart soup pot or Dutch oven.
  • Bring to a boil, and then cover the pot, turn the heat down slightly so it doesn’t boil over, and cook 90 minutes.
  • Cool, and then remove the chicken and strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve. You should have at least 1 liter of chicken stock. To make this chicken soup, you’ll need 2 liters (about 8 cups) of liquid, so add enough water to the chicken stock so you have 8 cups.
  • Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat off and chop it into large chunks to use in this soup.
  • Save the carcass (the skin, bones, fat, any meat that’s stuck to the bones) to make chicken bone broth (or freeze them to make bone broth later).

For the Chicken Soup:

  • Add the chicken stock and enough water to make 8 cups total to a 5-quart soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. Bring to a boil, and then cover the pot, turn the heat down slightly so it doesn’t boil over, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add the chicken and let it cook 2 minutes to warm up the chicken, and then remove the soup from the heat. Don’t stir it too much, or the chicken will shred.
  • Taste and add salt and black pepper if desired.
  • Serve with fresh herbs and lemon wedges if desired.

Notes

  • Net Carbs: 7g per serving
  • The Secret to Golden-Colored Stock: For a gorgeous golden-colored chicken stock, add organic yellow onion peels!
  • To Make Chicken Noodle Soup: If you want to add noodles, cook the noodles to al dente separately before adding them to this soup. Otherwise, if you cook the noodles in the soup it’s easy to overcook them, and it changes the texture of the broth because of the noodles’ starch.
  • Fast Version: My mom would kill me for saying this, but if it’s all you have time for, the end result will still be better than soup from a can! In a real pinch, you can use store-bought chicken stock stock and a rotisserie chicken.

How to Make This Soup in the Instant Pot

  1. Add the chicken stock ingredients to an Instant Pot. Reduce the amount of water to 3 cups and keep everything else the same. Cook on “Manual, High Pressure” for 6 minutes for every 1 pound of chicken. So, our 4 pound whole chicken will need to cook for 24 minutes.
  2. Let the pot naturally release its pressure for 15 minutes, and then vent the steam.
  3. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and chop it. Strain the liquid and add enough water to get 8 cups. Or if using leftover chicken or turkey, use 8 cups of chicken stock.
  4. Add the 8 cups of liquid along with the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic to the Instant Pot. Cook on “Manual, High Pressure” for 2 minutes. Once it’s done cooking, vent the steam. (If you want to add noodles, add them along with the vegetables. If you do add noodles, you might need to add more chicken stock later because they tend to absorb a lot of liquid.)
  5. Once the steam is vented, stir in the chopped chicken, place the lid on the pot, and let it sit for 2 minutes to warm the chicken.
  6. Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 734mg | Potassium: 534mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7791IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Chicken Soup Recipe, Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup From Scratch, Chicken Soup Recipe, Chicken Vegetable Soup Recipe, Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe, Simple Chicken Soup Recipe, Traditional Chicken Soup Recipe

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My last review should have read “Excellent Recipe”not Eccentric” recipe. Even my non-keto family members enjoy these biscuits.

  2. 5 stars
    Eccentric recipe! Even my non-keto family members enjoy these biscuits.

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