My Chicken Soup Recipe Is Better Than My Grandma's

Best Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe
My homemade chicken soup recipe isn’t usually something that I’m thinking about during the summertime. I love soup, but it’s generally reserved for cold, rainy weather, when I’m looking for something warm and hearty to perk me up during the short days of winter. This week, though, I was felled by one of my top ten pet peeves: the summertime cold virus. I woke up to aches, pains, and one of the worst sore throats I’ve ever experienced – all while it’s 90 degrees outside. Gross!

After a throat culture confirmed that I did not have strep, I dug up my old homemade chicken soup recipe and made a gallon’s worth, enough to last me a few days. I swear, this is the best thing to eat when you’ve got a cold – packed with ick-fighting ginger, garlic, and vegetables, chicken soup will cures whatever ails you. I muster my energy and make enough to feed myself through the inevitable week of sore throats and runny noses. If I’m planning ahead, I make a gallon and freeze some for emergencies.

If you’re preparing this dish during the winter when celery and bell peppers are out of season, replace them with winter root vegetables, such as parsnips and turnips. Otherwise, feel free to use frozen veggies if that’s all you have on-hand. The best thing about chicken soup is that it’s relatively forgiving when it comes to ingredients.

A note on noodles: I’ve never been a fan of noodles in my chicken soup (even when I was a kid… is that weird?) but if you want to use them, go right ahead. I find that the little Vietnamese Maifun noodles work really well for this, otherwise use your favorite rice pasta in fun shapes. Just prepare the noodles ahead of time and add them to the chicken broth at the very last minute to keep them from getting soggy.

My Best Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Looking for the best homemade chicken soup recipe? This one is rich and hearty, full of vegetables and tender chunks of chicken. Better than my grandma's!
  • Ingredients for chicken broth:
  • 1 3-4 round chicken, cut into six pieces
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk (not the whole bunch!)
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 cups water

  • Ingredients for chicken soup:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, diced
  • 1 carrot, chopped into half-rounds
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch of chard, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked rice noodles (optional)
  1. Method for chicken broth:
  2. If you prefer a less fatty soup, remove skin and outer fat layer from chicken.
  3. In a large soup pot, add chicken, carrots, celery, ginger, and onion. Pour 8 cups of water into the pot and stir gently to mix everything together.
  4. Over a medium heat, bring the chicken both to just a simmer. Lower heat and simmer gently while covered for one hour.
  5. Remove chicken from broth and allow veggies to keep cooking in the liquid. Allow chicken to cool for a few minutes, and then using your hands or a pair of forks, remove all of the meat from the bird and place in a bowl. Return bones back to the broth and let simmer for another 15 minutes. Set bowl of chicken meat aside.
  6. Once broth is done, strain using a cheesecloth or fine sieve, reserving broth and discarding all vegetables and bones. Wipe the soup pot clean for the next set of steps.

  7. Method for chicken soup:
  8. In the soup pot you used to make the chicken broth, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add ginger and garlic, cooking for 1 minute and stirring constantly. Add the carrots, celery, pepper, chard, and green onions one at a time, cooking and stirring for one minute each before adding the next.
  9. Pour chicken broth into soup pot and give the whole thing a big stir. Heat until it reaches a simmer, then lower the flame to medium-low and allow to cook for five minutes.
  10. Add parsley and tamari, stirring occasionally, cooking until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper, adding more to taste. Add noodles, if you’re using them, and let sit for a minute before serving. Serve in hot bowls, garnished with a bit of parsley.

If you like this homemade chicken soup recipe, here are a few others:

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Comments from other ninjas:

  1. Lana says

    You must have a very forgiving grandmother! But if I were to post something of mine with a similar title including my mother. she’d pout for weeks! And my soups ARE better then hers, which I have to keep as a secret.
    Anyway, our family recipe is very similar to yours. I just never used ginger. Instead, I use parsnips (just a half) and a parsley root, if i can find it. Next time I am going to try it with ginger – sounds interesting. And who does not like ginger?
    Greetings from California!

  2. Casey@Good. Food. Stories. says

    Those good Whole Foods chickens were on sale today, so I snagged one and figured I’d just roast it – NOPE! It’s going into what I can tell will be a killer soup.

    And yes, I’m SUPER proud of you for using the trussing tutorial.

  3. Fran says

    I have a rule — must have homemade chicken soup/stock, saltines, Jell-O and ginger ale or sparkling water in the house to ward off germs/illness. The best part of this nut-job obsession is that when I do get sick, I have all the things needed to help me through, so it’s a win-win no matter.

    I inevitably end up using the chicken stock as soon as it’s made so it’s a constant cycle of boiling a chicken in a pot for me. Can’t go wrong with that either because it makes the house smell so good and comforting.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  4. Kerry says

    I hope you are feeling better by now.
    reading your winter soup recipes reminded me to ask you: do you know a soup named Russian veg? I’ve it enjoyed a few places it in Ireland, nevet seen it elsewhere. Carrots, potatoes, and parsnips, I think, not sure what else might be in it. Turnips?
    If you know more about it, like to hear.

  5. Alexandra says

    It has turned cold in the mornings and evenings already, so this soup will hit the spot! I’m not buying canned soup until they get the BPA out of the lining, so I think I will freeze a batch of your chicken soup for winter ….

  6. The Writer's [Inner] Journey says

    The added element of ginger is something I would not have thought of. I bet it adds a wonderful flavor. Hmmm!

  7. Jennifer Margulis says

    I love soup too. I just made some French carrot soup a few nights ago with the IMMERSION BLENDER that I bought because one of the recipes on this blog suggested using one. (That is an exercise in how not to get burned! But it worked. So fun!!). I usually just throw a bunch of stuff into a pot when I make chicken soup. Now I’ll have to try this though and do it the right way. Looks like an awesome recipe.

  8. Ruth Pennebaker says

    In Texas, we’re dreaming about cool weather, so I’m envious. I love soups, too, and this looks delicious. I’m saving it for when the temperature goes below 90.

  9. MyKidsEatSquid says

    As soon as the weather turns even a little cool I love to make soups–and cookies:) Your recipe reminds me of my mother’s. I love the additions of chard, ginger and red pepper. I hope you’re feeling better!

  10. Kris Bordessa says

    The ginger and tamari are interesting additions. I have to say, though, it would never in a million years occur to me to use an actual recipe to make soup. Little of this, little of that, tada!

  11. Sheryl says

    I’ve been thinking a lot about soup, since winter is coming :( And I love it. This recipe is definitely going to lead off my soup-making. Love the addition of ginger…would never have thought of that.

  12. Eli says

    I was wondering what a round chicken was? :-) Actually, is that a typo?

    I just discovered your site and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. Been eating gluten free for about 8 weeks so I’m now tired of brown rice and beans and ready to expand my recipe collection. I found your cabbage rolls recipe and my mouth began to water!

    Keep ’em coming!


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