Old-Fashioned Chicken Soup is the ultimate comfort food. There's no need to eat the junk in a can when you can make your own healthy chicken soup in under two hours.
Every culture around the world has their own version of chicken soup for good reason. A good chicken soup is loaded with collagen, vitamins, and minerals and can be used to prevent illness, not only cure the common cold.
What You Need
- 1 whole chicken
- Yellow Onions
- Leek (important ingredients)
- Bay Leaves
- Apple Cider Vinegar
What Size Pot Should I Use?
To make my soup, I use a 7 or 8-quart stainless steel pot, which makes 10 cups of soup. If you have a big stockpot, use that to get even more soup. The cooking time is the same. You can add some more water to the pot. You can even add a few extra chicken breasts for the last half hour of cooking.
How to Make Chicken Soup
- Bring water and chicken to a boil. Boil for ten minutes; skim foam from the top of the pot.
- Add remaining ingredients. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 ½ hours with the cover ajar to allow steam to escape.
- Remove chicken and carrots from the pot. Shred or dice the chicken. Slice the carrots into ½-inch coins—strain soup through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the celery, parsley, dill, onion, and leek.
- Refrigerate the soup overnight. Remove the layer of fat that rises to the top.
- To add more veggies, bring a few cups of the soup to a boil in a small pot. Add a few raw carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes; add a few chopped onions. Cook another minute or two until softened.
- Combine chicken, veggies, and soup. Heat and serve!
The soup tastes better the day after it's made. You can make your pot of soup, let it cool on the stovetop. Then, shred the meat, disjoint the chicken into 8 pieces, and slice the veggies you're keeping, placing them in a separate storage container.
Or, you can take the whole pot of soup and place it in the fridge to chill. In several hours, and the fat will rise to the top and harden. The fat can be spooned off, and you can heat the soup and vegetables the next day.
Why is Apple Cider Vinegar in the soup?
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar draws the nutrients from the chicken bones. You will not taste it in the end product.
A Healthy Chicken Makes a Healthy Soup
Also known as Jewish Penicillin, chicken soup is not only hydrating, but it is full of collagen and calcium from the chicken bones and nutrients from the vegetables and herbs. Purchase the least processed chicken you can find. Organic or pasture raised chickens are best. Healthy chickens are free to roam and fed a diet of grasses, weeds, seeds, insects, and worms. Their feed is free of pesticides and insecticides and the better chickens are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids than their conventional counterparts.
How to Store Chicken Soup
The soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Freeze in portion-sized sealed storage containers for up to three months.
If you like this recipe, try this:
Homemade Beef Bone Broth, is also a nourishing and delicious soup and beverage!
Old-Fashioned Chicken Soup
FOR THE SOUP
- 1 whole chicken, 3-4 pounds rinsed and cleaned out
- 12 cups water
- 6 carrots peeled and quartered
- 3 celery stalks roughly chopped
- 2 yellow onions peeled and quartered
- 1 leek cleaned well, roughly chopped, white and light green parts
- ½ bunch fresh dill
- 10 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or 15 whole peppercorns.
- 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
OPTIONAL: ADDED VEGETABLES FOR SERVING
- 6 carrots peeled and sliced or diced
- 5 stalks celery ½ inch slices
- 2-4 small yellow onions peeled and sliced thin
- 6 dill sprigs stemmed and chopped (for garnish)
TO PREPARE THE SOUP
- Place chicken in a 7 or 8-quart soup pot. If the neck is inside the chicken, add it to the pot. Remove the liver and reserve for another use. Fill the pot with water leaving 2 inches at the top. Bring water to a boil over high heat.
- Boil for 10 minutes. Skim the foam that rises to the top, lifting it out with a large spoon, and discard.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients. Turn down the heat to medium-low, or to a gentle simmer. Set the cover ajar (covered ¾ of the way) over the pot to allow some steam to escape and let it cook 1-½ hours, checking every 15 minutes to make sure the water isn't boiling.
- Remove the chicken and carrots; set aside. Discard the rest of the vegetables.
- Remove the legs and thighs from the chicken. Tear apart with your fingers into bite side pieces; set aside. Remove the breast meat from the bones. You can dice the breast meat or shred it with a fork.
- The soup can be strained through a fine-mesh strainer or a large piece of cheesecloth to remove the little pieces that have collected on the bottom of the pot. Chill the soup in the covered pot or large bowl, preferably overnight. When cool, skim the hardened layer of fat from the top of the soup.
TO SERVE THE SOUP WITH EXTRA VEGGIES
- Bring a small pan of water or a few cups of the soup to a boil. Add carrots and celery. Boil five minutes and add onions. Bring back to a boil and cook another minute. Remove pan from the heat.
- Heat the soup with some chicken in a medium-sized pan. Season to taste with additional salt.
- Ladle soup and chicken into serving bowls. Add chicken and cooked vegetables. Garnish with fresh dill. Serve hot.
The nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and it comes from online calculators. Although we try to attempt to provide accurate information, these figures are estimates only.