Warm, comforting, loving, beautiful. Those are the words that describe my Mom’s chicken soup. Now this is her recipe but I must say I made a slight change in the recipe, because back then we of course made it with noodles. But why add noodles to such a hearty and incredibly healthy dish. Oh wait I did, but I went with zucchini noodles. Which in my opinion are actually better taste wise in this. They give the soup a bit of extra freshness that matches the beautiful flavor of the dish incredibly well. Plus zucchini noodles are really fun to make if you have a spiral vegetable slicer. I love mine so much and I use the heck out of it.
Something about this soup is so amazing, its a little hard to explain. But I shall attempt to explain it. When you come inside from the harsh cold and into the warm house the gorgeous and hearty smell of this soup fills your lungs like the warmest blanket on cold feet. Whenever I smell this soup cooking it always makes me happy and puts a smile on my face.
If I’m having a bad day and I walk in the house smelling this, its the most relieving and comforting thing ever. Now don’t get me wrong I love all kinds of soups, especially vegetable soups. Call me biased but I don’t think anything can really beat my moms chicken soup.
Sure its simple, sure its easy, but who cares, because sometimes the simplest easiest recipes are the best. And when I say easy I mean super easy. This is mostly slow cooking the chicken and getting a nice rich and hearty broth. Letting all of that beautiful flavor seep into the water creating an elixir that wraps the tongue in an intoxicating array of flavors that you would never expect from so few ingredients.
Also, try and get the freshest ingredients you can for this because the more fresh the ingredients the better this is going to taste. And like I say practically all the time fresh is always the best. That was not an intentional rhyme by the way, so, I’m not trying to be corny I swear.
The thing I really love about this soup besides how delicious it is, is the fact that its not overwhelming and its very versatile. All of the flavors are fairly subtle and then kind of work together and blend to make a perfect balance of flavor and then they dissolve all into each other. And you can add any extra vegetables if you want towards then end like zucchini noodles, broccoli, mushrooms, or anything you like and it will give it a nice flavor boost and some extra body.
Or you can simply enjoy it as it is and still have it be as satiating and delicious. Not to mention you can make this for an easy family dinner for any family or friends staying over for the holidays or simply surprise everyone in the house with homemade soup on a cold day. It’s kind of a magical thing how happy happy this soup makes people when they hear about it or smell it.
Id recommend trying to start on it before everyone is home if possible so you can see the look on their face when they walk in and smell that gorgeous aroma floating around your house.
- 1 whole chicken 4½ - 6 lb (preferably pasture raised)
- 2-3 quarts water
- 140g (about 3½ - 4 stalks) celery
- 84g (1/3 large) red onion
- 46g (1½ large) carrot
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1-2 sprigs of rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- Clean and cut up whole chicken by seperating wings, breast, backbone, legs and thighs.
- Remove skin from chicken breasts but keep skin on everything else.
- Pour water into large stock pot enough to hold at least 4 quarts and place cut up chicken in water.
- Turn burner on medium high heat.
- Once water reaches boil turn to medium to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes and then add onion, celery, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes, then add thyme and carrots.
- Simmer on low for another 30 minutes.
- Once meat falls off bones skim as much of the fat that has risen to the top( this is very important, if you don't do this you will have greasy textured soup)
- Once you have skimmed as much fat off the top transfer chicken with a slotted spoon to a separate bowl to debone, once deboned, return chicken meat only, to the pot and add rosemary sprigs.
- Simmer at low heat for 10-20 minutes
- Serve with zucchini noodles or whatever other add-ins you like.
Oh so yummy !! Can’t wait to try this 🙂
How many pounds should the chicken be?
And where do you buy the zucchini noodles( sounds interesting )!
Slim Palate says
Hi Ashley, the chicken we used was a really big chicken from a local farm and was about 6 pounds. But you could use a chicken that’s about 4 1/2 pounds and still get great results.
As for the zucchini noodles, I’m not really sure that you can buy them but you can make them at home. I make mine with a spiral vegetable slicer. Here is the vegetable slicer I use: http://amzn.to/WKt8IN
I absolutely love that thing to death and it really comes in handy. Let me know how it goes.
Zoë @ LaBlogotana says
Yum! You’re doing well with your new camera – everything looks delicious!
Although the recipe will only take about an hour and a half to cook, I have a pressure cooker and love using it for things like this. Do you have an opinion on pressure cookers vs slow cookers vs “normal” cookers? I know some people swear by one and hate the other, and I was wondering which side of the fence you land on?
PS – love the use of the red onion – I’ve never tried that but I’ll be sure to give it a go the next time I make chicken soup!
Slim Palate says
Hey Zoe, and thank you for the kind words on my photography. I just got 2 new lenses this Christmas so the upcoming pics should be looking even more nice.
As for my opinion on cooking method for this recipe its best suited you just cook this the regular way you would with soup. In a pot with some water in it. Now I must say I have never tried using a pressure cooker for something like this but it sounds very interesting. So opinion wise I kind of fall in the middle. But going off my knowledge of pressure cookers, I will give you the best info I can.
While pressure cookers and slow cookers are great and I absolutely love them, especially slow cookers, I must say that cooking the chicken with the water traditionally over a flame and in a pot for soup is the best way to go. I like the tradition behind keeping it on a good old burner in a sturdy pot. Simply because that’s what this recipe resembles to me. But that’s just for this recipe, because don’t get me wrong I LOVE slow cookers. They yield amazingly tender and melt in your mouth results with practically any meat including chicken. SO if I had to choose a runner up I would go with a slow cooker. Really for this recipe its all about cooking it slowly to give the chicken and veggies time to release their flavor, and get that chicken nice and tender. Whenever we make it back home, that chicken literally melts away in your mouth.
Hope this helps.
Joshua — so glad you found my site so that I could find my way to yours! You are off to a great start with your blog and everything looks and sounds wonderful. Love the photos as well. Looking forward to reading more of your posts in the new year — all the best!
Slim Palate says
Hey Danny thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate it and im glad you like my photos. I’m looking forward to reading more of yours as well. And thanks for visiting me, it means a lot. We should stay in touch!
Awesome recipe 🙂
Looks absolutely delicious!
Thanks for sharing,
Franchesca Retford says
Your blog is Great and you are adorable. I hope a lot of young people will be inspired by your hard work. I for sure will try your recipes and post them on Facebook as well. Keep up all the yummy good work.
Slim Palate says
Awesome thanks! You can tweet them to me too.
Verdery Hood says
So super yummy!
Verdery Hood says
I was so excited about this soup that I forgot to mention somrthing. My store did not have a whole chicken big enough so I used 4 breast. I used the chicken from 2 in the soup and reserved the rest for chicken saled. Be sure to use fresh thyme. That was one of my favorite things about the flavor.
Wow….. You have touched my heart ! What an amazing and fully Alive young man you are. My hat is off to you. I too, love your blog. Your photography and writing is excellent! I tried your cauliflower tortillas today and my 2 year old and husband ate them up. Your directions were excellent and I am planning yo try your carnitas and chicken soup this week.
If ever you have a book or DVD I’m buying it !!!!
Keep it up my friend, you are changing lives 😉
This soup is amazing!!! It’s especially delicious in the winter months, but it has also become my family’s go to soup when someone is feeling under the weather. I feel like it is so nourishing and yummy and just heals everyone right up! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe 🙂
Hi! I have a question. This is my first time making chicken soup from scratch and I’m not sure if this recipe calls for just the cut up pieces of chicken to go into the pot or the remaining carcass as well. Thanks for your help. So excited to make this soup for my boys!
Slim Palate says
The remaining carcass can go in as well, it will provide more flavor.
This looks like a great recipe! I had to comment to say I LOVE the first pic of your mom. This the the face all the best moms and serious chefs at home make. Great choice! Also, your choice of colors, backgrounds, and photo composition make for beautiful storytelling. I’m glad I stumbled on your site.
adam brower says
Outstanding – the flavor is so intense you will never ever miss the noodles.
yum yum paleo chicken soup. thnx mom