This chicken and vegetable soup is a cold-fighting super star. If your mom ever brought you a steamy bowl of love when you were sick, you know the healing powers of chicken soup. Not just a comfort food staple, chicken soup has scientifically proven properties that make us feel better when we’re ill.
According to an article by Northwestern, chicken noodle soup contains a host of healing properites including:
steam that breaks up mucus
carrots, celery, and onions that are high sources of vitamin C and other nutrients that help cure colds
protein from chicken that help build and restore tissues, like muscles, to keep you strong and fighting
collagen, minerals, and fat from the broth that speed up recovery
Along with it’s cold fighting powers, a well made chicken soup is delicious and satisfying to the soul.
Follow the technique outlined in this recipe for a rich bone broth that’s as delicious on its own as it is in this soup. I kept the stock clean and un-muddled by simmering the chicken alone prior to adding aromatics. A gentle simmer for a couple hours lets you extract tons of collagen and minerals from the bones before you add extra vegetables for flavor. I also remove the meat from the chicken halfway through cooking to ensure cooked but juicy poached chicken in my soup. Lastly, I omited the noodles from traditional recipes but you can add cooked egg noodles to the soup if you prefer.
Whether you’re fighting a cold or anxious about the U.S. elections, we can all use some comfort these days. Boost your mood and your immune system with this chicken and vegetable soup!
Here are some other comforting soups and stews you might like:
3–4 pound whole chicken broken down into drumsticks, thighs, and breasts (I use the organic chicken family pack from Trader Joe’s. It contains 2 breasts and 4 drumsticks with skin and bones intact.)
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 medium yellow onion, large diced
5 carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
5 stalks celery, cleaned and chopped into large pieces
3 bay leaves
1 handful fresh parsley stems (set the leaves aside to garnish the soup)
For the soup:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
5 carrots, peeled and diced
5 stalks celery, cleaned and diced
1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced and cleaned
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Fresh parsley leaves, chopped (as much as you want for garnish)
Several fresh lemons for serving
Make the stock:
Wash the chicken pieces, with bones and skin left intact, and place into a large stock pot.
Pour enough filtered water into the pot to cover the pieces of chicken.
Add the salt and bring the water to a slow boil and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 2 hours.
While the chicken is simmering, occasionally skim off any foam that rises to the top of the pot and discard.
After 1 hour, check the chicken for doneness. An instant read thermometer should register 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken. If the chicken is done cooking, remove the pieces of chicken from the pot.
Remove the skin from each piece of chicken and discard.
Take the meat off of the bones. Chop the meat into cubes and set aside for the soup.
Return the bones and cartilage to the stock pot, add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery to the pot and simmer for 60 minutes.
Add the bay leaves, parsley stems, and kosher salt and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
Turn off the heat and strain the stock into a large vessel that can hold the hot stock. Discard the vegetables and chicken bones/cartilage that were in the stock. Set the strained stock aside.
Make the soup:
Clean your soup pot, or use another pot, to heat the oil over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes
Add the carrots, celery, and leeks to the pot and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are just starting to soften. About 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and thyme, cook until fragrant. About 2 minutes.
Add the cut up chicken pieces to the pot along with all of the stock that you set aside earlier.
Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender but still have a bite and the chicken is warmed through. Taste and adjust salt as necessary.
Ladle the hot soup into deep bowls and add as much fresh lemon juice and parsley as desired.