Chicken Soup

by Jun 29, 2023


Chicken Soup

makes about 2 quarts of chicken broth for soup


Phase 1 soup broth/stock

  • 2–4 carrots, quartered
  • 2 celery ribs, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered (outer skin removed, inner ok)
  • turnips or other root vegetables (not beets) you might have around optional
  • 4 sprigs Italian parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4–8 chicken pieces with bones or 1 whole chicken
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt

While you're chopping, for Phase 2 soup

  • ½ onion diced set aside
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced or diced set aside
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Additional add-ins for Phase 2 soup

  • shredded chicken from Phase 1 broth/stock
  • sautéed carrots and onion
  • cooked rice, noodles, pearl couscous
  • 1 3-inch strip lemon zest


Phase 1 soup broth/stock

  1. Chop vegetables and plunk into a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot. Add the herbs, chicken, black peppercorn, and salt. Water should come a couple inches above ingredients, but if you have more you can always cook the broth longer to concentrate the flavors.

  2. Bring to slow boil and simmer for 60–90 minutes. At 45 minutes, remove the chicken pieces if you want to shred meat to add back into the soup, Phase 2. Let cool slightly so you can handle the pieces (or whole bird), pull off the meat, and set aside for later. Add the bones back to the simmering pot and keep going. There's no magic at 60–90 minutes, you can simmer as long as you want. When done, let cool a bit then strain out the solids for the composter.

  3. While soup is cooking, melt butter in a frying pan and sauté the carrots and onions for Phase 2 soup until softened, just a few minutes.

Phase 2 Soup

  1. Wipe out the pot and return the broth to it. Add the strip of lemon zest, heat to boiling then reduce heat to a simmer, add the sautéed carrots and onions, cooked rice/noodles/pearl couscous, and shredded chicken. Heat through and serve.

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • You could boil the couscous (or rice or noodles) directly in the strained broth, but it makes the soup starchy and soaks up your broth.  I prefer to cook those things separately then add them to the broth.
  • Make the broth in advance and store in the refrigerator or freezer for making soup very quickly at a later time.
  • Keep broth refrigerated for 3–4 days, otherwise freeze it. If you freeze in canning jars, make sure to leave at least an inch head space or the jar may burst. Not fun. I prefer to cool the broth in a jar and then pour into a plastic freezer bag or container. If you lay the broth bag on a sheet pan, it will freeze flat. 

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