Making homemade chicken soup from scratch is easy. Place the ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, then simmer. The longer you simmer, the richer the soup.
Are you sure you want to make this recipe? It’s a risky endeavor. Once you’ve made this soup from scratch, you will NOT be able to ever go back to canned. There’s simply no comparison!
Known as the “Jewish Penicillin,” it turns out that homemade chicken soup really is good for you. So if the mediocre flavor of the canned stuff was not enough to put you off it, consider that it probably doesn’t have all these wonderful benefits.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this flavorful soup. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Fresh chicken: For the richest and most flavorful broth, use bone-in and skin-on chicken pieces.
Vegetables and herbs: Onion, garlic cloves, carrots, celery, and parsley.
Kosher salt and whole black peppercorns: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the soup could end up too salty.
But isn’t it a lot of work?
No! It’s so easy to make homemade chicken soup from scratch. You literally dump a few ingredients in a large stockpot, then pretty much leave them alone for three hours. The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
1. Simply place everything in a large stockpot and cover with water.
2. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 3 hours.
3. Strain the solids through a colander. That’s it! The soup is ready.
Can I eat the chicken and the vegetables?
That’s up to you. The longer you simmer the soup, the richer and tastier it will be, and the drier the chicken will end up.
I usually just throw the chicken out – you can safely assume that most of its goodness has gone into the rich broth anyway.
If you can’t bring yourself to throw it out, try using it in a recipe such as these chicken patties.
The same goes for the vegetables – at this point, they will be limp and lifeless, their goodness transferred to the soup.
If you want to eat vegetables with your soup (such as carrots, for example), it’s best to add them to the soup about 30 minutes before it’s done, to keep them tender-crisp.
Should I remove the fat layer?
I don’t. I think it’s delicious. But many people do remove it. If you want to remove it efficiently, it’s best to chill the soup first. Once it’s chilled, you can easily remove the congealed fat layer from the top.
What to serve with homemade chicken soup?
My Israeli grandma used to serve it with egg noodles, similar to the ones pictured here (directions for making those are included in the recipe card below).
My Dutch grandma served it with tiny cooked meatballs. And my mother in law serves it with cooked white rice.
But you don’t have to add a starch to the soup. It’s wonderful just as it is. If you must, consider adding some plain cooked shirataki noodles (omit the butter and Parmesan).
Or do as my friend Irina does and cook a thin omelet, cut it into thin ribbons and add that to your soup.
You can also turn your homemade chicken soup into a very flavorful egg drop soup.
How long does it keep?
This soup keeps well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 5 days. You can also divide some of it into individual portions and freeze them in 1-cup containers.
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Homemade Chicken Soup
- 4 lb. chicken pieces, bone-in, skin-on
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 2 large carrots
- 2 stalks celery, cut into thirds
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt (not table salt)
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 3 quarts water
- Place all the ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot. Bring to a boil.
- Skim the foam layer from the top, reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer for 3 hours.
- Strain the solids through a colander. If you can’t bring yourself to discard the meat, keep it and use it (without the skin) in these chicken patties.
- Serve the chicken soup immediately. Or cool completely, refrigerate overnight, and the next day, remove the fat layer from the top before reheating.