How to Make Chicken Soup From Scratch

February 29, 2012 1 Comment by Beth

Chicken Stew

The other day, someone inquired why I bother making soup from scratch.  Obviously, it’s easier to open up a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle than spend your morning cutting up a whole chicken, chopping vegetables, waiting for the stock to taste just right, ect.  I didn’t have a great answer right away, but after thinking about it for a while, I came up with three good reasons why it is worth your time and energy to make soup from scratch.

1. Your kitchen/house will smell AMAZING!

The aroma of chicken, vegetables and thyme simmering aaway is so comforting. Time is definitely the most magical ingredient in homeemade soup.  When I was working on my chicken soup, my roommate told me that the smell reminded her of grandma’s house.  That was one of the best compliments I could have ever received.

2. You know EXACTLY what you are eating

Have you ever really looked at the label on a can of soup?  hwenever there is a plethora of ingredients that I can neither identify nor pronounce, I beocme a bit skeptical.  When you make something from scratch though, YOU are in control of what  goes into your food.  There are weird preservatives or coloring agents- just good, natural ingredients.

3. The bragging rights

People are always impressed when you say you made something from scratch.  It is definitely something to be proud of because it show you have the perseverance and skill to put together something delicious.  While I do not  cook for this reason, it is definitely a nice bonus : )

Chicken Stew

The following recipe is pretty basic, but I know it can be intimidating when looking at a whole chicken and figuring out your plan of attack.  I suggest watching this how-to video by Gourmet’s food editor, Ian Knauer to guide you through the process.

I hope this inspires you to try making your own soup from scratch.  Yes, it takes a little extra time, but your body will thank you in the future!

Chicken Soup from Scratch

adapted from my Mom and Better Homes and Gardens

Ingredients for Stock

  • 2 1/2
pounds bony chicken pieces (backs, necks, and wings from 2 chickens)
  • 3 
stalks celery with leaves, cut up
  • 2 
carrots, cut up
  • 1 
large onion, cut up
  • 2 
sprigs parsley
  • 1 
teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4
teaspoon pepper
  • 2 
bay leaves (optional)
  •     6 
cups cold water

1. In a large pot, place chicken pieces, celery, carrots, onion, parsley, salt, thyme, pepper, and bay leaves. Add water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours. Remove chicken.

 2. To strain, pour broth through a large sieve or colander. Discard vegetables and seasonings. If desired, clarify broth.* If using the broth while hot, skim fat. (Or chill broth, then lift off fat.)

3. When bones are cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and reserve meat for the soup later.

Ingredients for Soup

  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 2-3 carrots chopped
  • 2-3 stalks of celery (leaves removed) chopped
  • 2 cups of the chopped/shredded chicken meat from your stock
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • lots of fresh thyme!

1. Let all your ingredients simmer together in your fresh chicken stock until the vegetables are tender- about 25-30 minutes.

(All of my amounts are not exact.  I chose not to add egg noodles because I wanted to fill my soup with mostly vegetables and chicken.  Feel free to change this recipe to your liking!)


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One Comment

  1. Mom
    6 years ago

    When I made soup this week, I used your idea of shredding the chicken rather than cutting it into pieces. It gave it a different look and made for a ” thicker” soup, which I liked.
    Next time I’ll have to try your idea of adding chili powder.
    Still love your photos!


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