Homemade chicken soup from scratch is scientifically proven to be good medicine. This is my mother's good, basic recipe for delicious soup that is nourishing and restorative for both body and soul. The soup is made with a base of collagen-rich homemade bone broth that is loaded with vitamins and minerals from simmering carrots, celery, parsley, onion, garlic, bay leaf, black peppercorns and chicken bones. Then chicken meat, carrots, noodles and a bit of fresh dill are added to the soup at the end.
1 whole chicken
2 quarts water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
A pinch (less than 1/8 teaspoon) ground turmeric
1 bunch parsley, rinsed
1 medium onion, cut in half, skin on
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 cup egg noodles (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 sprig fresh dill ( you can also use parsley, thyme or chives)
- Rinse chicken under cold running water until the water runs clear.
- Place chicken, 2 quarts cold water, bay leaf, peppercorns, turmeric, parsley, onion, garlic, carrots and celery in a a stock pot big enough to hold a whole chicken plus 2 quarts of water.
- Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. While the soup is boiling, skim the scum that rises to the surface. You need to do this a few times. When there is less scum, turn down the heat to a low simmer, cover with a lid and let it cook for about 30 minutes.
- For the best flavor don't over cook the chicken meat. If you prefer your chicken meat to taste like chicken meat and not soggy shreds, add it back at the end. Use long tongs to remove the chicken from the soup as soon as the meat is cooked through and no longer raw, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large platter to cool. Let the chicken cool for about 20-30 minutes. Keep the soup simmering while the chicken cools. When chicken has cooled, remove meat from the carcass. You can use your fingers, two forks or tongs for this. Set aside meat, cover and refrigerate. Then put the carcass back into the soup and simmer for 1-2 hours to extract the gelatin, flavor and nutrients from the bones and cartilage. Chop or shred meat into bite-sized pieces, cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
- Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer set over large bowl or pot. Use the back of a ladle to press down on vegetables to squeeze out as much stock as you can. Discard solids. Return broth to clean dry pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat.
- Keep the fat in the soup! Sometimes called schmaltz, schmaltz is the chicken fat rendered while cooking chicken. I don't know who came up with the lame idea to strain chicken fat out of broth just to throw it away (probably the same people who want you to throw away egg yolks), but that's where all the delicious flavor is. Unless you are straining the fat to use in other recipes, don't be wasteful. Leave the fat and flavor in the soup.
- Add chicken meat, sliced carrot, and egg noodles to the stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve by garnishing with freshly snipped herbs.
Tip: After ladling hot soup into bowl for serving, use scissors to snip dill fronds over soup for a decorative, aromatic garnish.
Note: If you omit egg noodles, then a serving of soup is 5 grams total carbs.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Boil
- Cuisine: American