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.
Once you’ve made homemade chicken soup from scratch, you will NOT go back to canned chicken soup. There’s simply no comparison.
Is homemade chicken soup really healthy?
Known as the “Jewish Penicillin,” it turns out that there IS something truly healthy and healing about homemade chicken soup. Apparently, homemade chicken soup has anti-inflammatory effects.
So if the mediocre taste of the canned stuff was not enough to put you off it, consider that the canned stuff probably IS inflammatory.
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.
How long does it keep?
Homemade chicken soup keeps well in the fridge for about 5 days. You can also divide some of it into individual portions and freeze in 1-cup containers.
Can I eat the chicken and vegetables?
What to do with the chicken after you cooked the soup? 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 the chicken out, try using it in a recipe such as these chicken patties.
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. If you want to remove it efficiently, it’s best to chill the soup, then you can easily remove the congealed fat layer from the top after a few hours, or the next day.
What to serve with homemade chicken soup?
My Israeli grandma used to serve it with egg noodles, similar to the ones pictured here. 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 very flavorful egg drop soup.
Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe
- 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.