The Perfect Starter Cornish Hen Soup Recipe For Dinner Parties

Indulge in the sumptuous taste of Cornish Hen Soup. This soup is comfort in a bowl crafted with tender Cornish hens, fresh vegetables, and aromatic herbs. A family favorite or an elegant dinner party choice, it’s a culinary delight for any occasion.

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Cornish Hen Soup Recipe

Savor the rich flavors, embrace the warmth, and celebrate an actual gourmet experience. With a hint of nostalgia and a touch of sophistication, this Cornish Hen Soup recipe promises to excite your palate without fail. 

Join us on this culinary journey and discover the secrets to creating this exceptional dish. The kitchen is calling; it’s time to answer with a spoonful of pleasure.

What Is A Cornish Hen Soup Recipe?

Cornish Hen Soup is a refined dish from young, succulent Cornish hens simmered with fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices. This soup offers a rich, flavorful broth and tender meat, creating a comforting and elegant meal. 

Perfect for a cozy family dinner or a sophisticated gathering, Cornish Hen Soup brings gourmet dining to your table, allowing you to relish a restaurant-quality experience at home.

History Of Cornish Hen Soup Recipe

Cornish Hen Soup originates from the culinary traditions that emphasize using whole, young chickens, known as Cornish hens. Though the history is not well-documented, this dish likely evolved from classic chicken soups, taking a luxurious twist. 

Cornish hens, first bred in the 1950s in the U.S., offered a more tender option. This soup quickly found favor among gourmet chefs and home cooks alike, turning into a symbol of elegance and a cherished recipe in various cuisines.

Interesting Facts About The Cornish Hen Soup Recipe 

  • Cornish Hens: Not specific to Cornwall, Cornish hens are a hybrid chicken known for their tender meat.
  • Versatility: Adaptable to various cuisines, this soup can embrace flavors worldwide.
  • Portion Size: Cornish hens are small, making them perfect for individual servings, adding a touch of elegance.
  • Nutritional Value: Rich in protein and essential nutrients, Cornish Hen Soup is tasty and healthy.
  • Cooking Techniques: Various methods can be employed to craft this soup, from slow-simmering to pressure cooking.

What Makes The Cornish Hen Soup Recipe Special?

  • Tender Meat: Cornish hens are known for their succulent, delicate texture, enhancing the soup’s quality.
  • Elegant Presentation: Individual servings make for a sophisticated dining experience.
  • Culinary Fusion: It suits various cultural palates and is adaptable to different flavor profiles.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Packed with vitamins and minerals, it’s a wholesome meal that nourishes.
  • Versatile Occasions: Perfect for family dinners and formal gatherings, fitting various moods and events.
Cornish Hen Soup Recipe

Ingredients List 

Rock Cornish hens1
Vegetable oil2 tablespoons
Celery, chopped5 stalks
Carrots, diced3 large
Onion, chopped1
Garlic, minced6 cloves
Potatoes, peeled and cubed3
Chicken broth1 (48 fluid ounce) can

Ingredient Tips

  • Cornish Hens: Select fresh or properly thawed hens for the best flavor and texture.
  • Vegetable Oil: Opt for high-quality oil, such as olive or canola, for a richer taste.
  • Celery & Carrots: Use fresh, crisp vegetables for added freshness in the soup.
  • Onion & Garlic: Chopping them uniformly ensures even flavor distribution.
  • Potatoes: Choose waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold for better consistency and flavor.
  • Chicken Broth: A low-sodium broth allows better control over salt content; homemade is a great option.

Can You Vary Cornish Hen Soup Recipe With Other Ingredients?


  • Replace potatoes with low-carb vegetables like cauliflower.
  • Use a keto-friendly broth or bone broth.


  • Use ghee instead of vegetable oil.
  • Exclude potatoes or substitute with sweet potatoes or other paleo-friendly root vegetables.


  • Ensure the chicken broth is certified gluten-free.
  • Avoid adding any thickening agents containing gluten.


  • Replace vegetable oil with approved fats like coconut oil.
  • Use Whole30-compliant chicken broth.
  • Exclude any non-compliant vegetables.



  • Follow the vegetarian adjustments.
  • Add more plant-based protein like tofu or chickpeas.
Cornish Hen Soup Recipe

Recipe Directions 

  • Embark on a culinary adventure with our Cornish Hen Soup recipe. Begin by delicately removing the gizzards and cutting the hen into pieces. 
  • Watch as the hen turns golden brown in a fragrant sauté with vegetables. 
  • The stage is set for perfection as chicken broth blankets the ingredients, simmering until tender. 
  • Finally, the hen is deboned, and its succulent meat is reintroduced to the soup. Each spoonful tells a tale of flavors meticulously woven together. 
  • Experience comfort and taste in every bowl—a symphony of ingredients that promises satisfaction beyond measure.
Cornish Hen Soup Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Add herbs like thyme, rosemary, or bay leaves for a unique flavor twist.
  • Incorporate wild rice or noodles for a heartier version.


  • Include seasonal vegetables like squash or peas to reflect different times of the year.
  • A splash of heavy cream or coconut milk adds richness for a creamier texture.


  • Fresh parsley, chives, or cilantro add color and freshness.
  • Crumbled bacon or sautéed mushrooms give an extra savory touch.
  • A sprinkle of grated Parmesan or a dollop of sour cream can elevate the soup to new culinary heights.

Scaling The Recipe 

Scaling Up

  • Multiply the ingredients proportionally to the desired number of servings.
  • Use a larger pot to accommodate increased volume.
  • Adjust cooking times slightly, as larger quantities may take longer to boil or simmer.

Scaling Down

  • Reduce the ingredient quantities proportionally to fit the smaller serving size.
  • Use a smaller pot to ensure proper cooking.
  • Monitor the cooking time closely, as less amount may cook faster.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

  • Fresh Herbs: Parsley, chives, cilantro, or thyme can add color and aromatic freshness.
  • Lemon Zest: A sprinkle of lemon zest can give a zesty and bright accent.
  • Croutons: Homemade or store-bought croutons add a satisfying crunch.
  • Cream Drizzle: A swirl of heavy or sour cream provides a luxurious look and taste.
  • Grated Cheese: Parmesan or another hard cheese can be grated over the top for a savory touch.

Can I Make Cornish Hen Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Brown the Hen: In a skillet, brown the hen pieces in oil on all sides.
  • Add Ingredients to Slow Cooker: Transfer the browned hen and all other ingredients into the slow cooker.
  • Cook: Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Finish: Remove the hen, debone, and return the meat to the soup. Season to taste and serve.

Instant Pot

  • Sauté the Hen: Using the Sauté function, brown the hen pieces in oil on all sides.
  • Add Ingredients: Add the remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot.
  • Pressure Cook: Lock the lid, set the valve to sealing, and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
  • Natural Release: Allow a natural pressure release for 15 minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure.
  • Finish: Remove the hen, debone, and return the meat to the soup. Season to taste and serve.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: Quick and easy, especially when time is limited.
  • Availability: Many varieties (low-sodium, organic, etc.) are available at most supermarkets.
  • Consistency: Manufactured to have a consistent flavor.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor Control: You can tailor the taste using fresh herbs, vegetables, and seasoning.
  • Quality Ingredients: You know exactly what’s in it and can opt for organic or specific sources.
  • Waste Reduction: Utilize leftover bones and vegetable scraps.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?

  • Meat: Chicken, turkey, or duck can be substituted for a Cornish hen.
  • Fish: Add firm fish like salmon or cod for a seafood variation.
  • Pasta: Noodles, rice, or orzo can be included for added texture and heartiness.
  • Vegetables: Seasonal vegetables like squash, peas, mushrooms, or kale can be used.
Cornish Hen Soup Recipe

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Recipe

Making soup can be an enjoyable and rewarding process. Here are some essential tips and tricks:

Prepping Tips

  • Chop Uniformly: Ensuring ingredients are the same size helps them cook evenly.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh herbs and vegetables enhance flavor.
  • Prepare in Advance: Having all ingredients ready (mise en place) streamlines cooking.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Start with Sauté: Browning meats and sautéing vegetables develop flavor.
  • Simmer, Don’t Boil: Gentle simmering helps flavors meld without overcooking.
  • Taste as You Go: Regular tasting helps you adjust seasoning throughout cooking.
  • Consider Cooking Time: Different ingredients require varied cooking times; add them accordingly.
  • Use a Timer: To prevent over or under-cooking, set a timer according to the recipe.
Cornish Hen Soup Recipe

Nutritional Values 

Cornish Hen Soup provides an excellent balance of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The Cornish hen contributes lean protein, while the vegetables add fiber and essential nutrients like Vitamin A and C. This wholesome soup can be a nutritious part of various dietary plans.

What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?

Considering the mentioned ingredients and their typical quantities, a rough estimate might range from 350-450 calories per serving. For an accurate calorie count, inputting the exact amount of each ingredient.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Cornish Hen Soup

  • Gluten: Using store-bought chicken broth with gluten or adding pasta may not suit those with gluten sensitivity.
  • Meat-Based: It’s unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans due to Cornish hen and possibly non-vegetarian broth use.
  • Low-Carb/Keto: Potatoes and some root vegetables may be too high in carbs for strict keto dieters.
  • Allergies: Those with allergies to specific vegetables or sensitivities to ingredients in store-bought broth should be cautious.
  • Sodium: Commercial chicken broth may contain high salt levels, affecting those on low-sodium diets.

Health Benefits Of The Cornish Hen Soup

  • Protein: Cornish hen provides essential proteins, aiding muscle growth and repair.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Vegetables like carrots and celery are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like potassium.
  • Hydration: The broth base contributes to hydration, especially during illness or cold weather.
  • Low in Fat: The soup can be a low-fat option by controlling the oil and avoiding cream.
  • Immune Support: Garlic and onions are known for their immune-boosting properties.
  • Digestive Health: The high fiber content from vegetables supports healthy digestion.

Nutrition Table

Cornish Hen Soup Recipe

How Can I Make Cornish Hen Soup Recipe Lower In Sodium?

  • Use Low-Sodium or No-Sodium Broth: Opt for store-bought broths labeled as low or no-sodium.
  • Make Your Broth: Creating a homemade broth lets you control the salt content completely.
  • Limit Added Salt: Be cautious with adding table salt or salt-containing seasonings.
  • Enhance Flavor with Herbs and Spices: Utilize fresh herbs, garlic, lemon juice, or other spices to boost flavor without relying on salt.
  • Read Labels: If using packaged or canned ingredients, look for low-sodium options.

How Can I Make Cornish Hen Soup Recipe Lower In Sugar?

  • Choose Low-Sugar Broth: Opt for broths without added sugars or sweeteners.
  • Avoid Sweet Vegetables: Limit or omit vegetables higher in natural sugars, like carrots.
  • Check Labels: If using canned or processed ingredients, look for ones without added sugars.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Utilizing fresh herbs, meats, and vegetables ensures no hidden sugars.
  • Avoid Sugar-Based Seasonings: Steer clear of sauces or seasoning mixes that may contain sugar.

How To Serve The Cornish Hen Soup At Its Best?

  • Appropriate Bowls: Serve in warm, deep bowls to keep the soup hot longer.
  • Garnish: Add a sprig of fresh thyme, parsley, or a sprinkle of cracked pepper.
  • Side Dishes: Offer crusty bread, a side salad, or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.
  • Adjust to Taste: Provide lemon wedges, hot sauce, or additional herbs for guests to season as desired.
  • Wine Pairing: Consider serving with a glass of white wine like Chardonnay for an elegant touch.
  • Serve Promptly: To retain warmth and flavor, serve the soup immediately after cooking.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Cornish Hen Soup Recipe

  • Crusty Bread or Rolls: Great for dipping and absorbing the delicious broth.
  • Green Salad: A light, crisp salad with vinaigrette adds freshness.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal veggies like Brussels sprouts or asparagus add texture.
  • Grain Salad: Quinoa or barley salad with herbs complements the soup’s flavors.
  • Cheese Platter: A selection of cheeses with crackers offers a rich counterpart.
  • Steamed Rice: A simple side that pairs well with the savory soup.
  • Herbed Couscous: Delicately flavored with herbs, it’s a delightful accompaniment.
Cornish Hen Soup Recipe

How Long Can We Store The Cornish Hen Soup Recipe?

  • Refrigerator: In an airtight container, the soup can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Ensure it’s cooled to room temperature before refrigerating to preserve texture and taste.
  • Freezer: For extended storage, freeze the soup in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bags for up to 4-6 months. Consider portioning into individual servings for convenient reheating.
  • Reheating: Thaw frozen soup in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove or microwave, stirring occasionally.

Can I Make The Soup In Advance?

  • Refrigerator: You can cook the soup a day or two ahead and store it in the fridge. The flavors often meld and improve with a little time.
  • Freezer: For longer preparation in advance, freeze the soup in portion-sized containers. It can last for several months.
  • Reheating: Gently reheat the soup on the stove or microwave, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed before serving.

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Freeze for Later: Portion and freeze leftovers for quick future meals.
  • Create a New Soup: Add new vegetables, grains, or beans to transform it into a different soup.
  • Stir into a Casserole: Use as a base for casseroles, adding rice, pasta, or other proteins.
  • Make Pot Pies: Use individual or family-sized pot pies as a filling.
  • Create a Sauce: Reduce down and thicken with cornstarch or flour for a sauce over meat or vegetables.
  • Serve Over Grains: Pour over cooked rice, quinoa, or noodles for a quick, hearty dish.
  • Lunch Portions: Divide into lunch-sized servings and reheat for easy work or school lunches.

Special Tools/Equipment Needed

  • Large Pot or Dutch Oven: For cooking the soup and allowing the flavors to meld together.
  • Sharp Knife and Cutting Board: To cut the Cornish hen into pieces and chop the vegetables.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate measurements of ingredients, especially the liquid and seasonings.
  • Wooden Spoon or Ladle: To stir the ingredients without scratching the pot.
  • Strainer or Colander: Useful for washing vegetables or straining homemade broth.
  • Tongs or Fork: To remove the hen from the pot for deboning.
  • Blender or Immersion Blender (Optional): A blender can be used to puree some or all of the soup if you prefer a smoother texture.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can Cornish Hen Soup Be Made With Frozen Cornish Hens?

Indeed, if you intend to utilize a frozen Cornish hen, please ensure it is correctly thawed in the refrigerator before proceeding with the recipe. This may take up to 24 hours. Once thoroughly thawed, you may continue with the recipe as directed.

Is It Permissible To Use Other Herbs Or Spices In Cornish Hen Soup?

Indeed, one may experiment with various herbs and spices to suit one’s taste preferences. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or bay leaves may add delightful complexity to the flavor profile.

What Is The Recommended Course Of Action If The Soup Appears Too Thick?

Should the consistency of the soup prove too thick for your liking, it is advised to gradually add additional chicken broth or water, stirring continuously until the desired consistency is reached.

Is Cornish Hen Soup Suitable For Those Adhering To A Particular Dietary Regimen, Such As Low-Carb Or Keto?

Modifying Cornish Hen Soup to align with specific dietary needs is possible. For a low-carb or keto-adaptation, one might consider reducing or omitting the potatoes and substituting them with lower-carbohydrate vegetables.

How Does One Ascertain That The Cornish Hen Is Cooked To The Proper Temperature?

It is prudent to utilize a meat thermometer to ensure the Cornish hen is cooked to the optimal temperature. The internal temperature should reach a minimum of 165°F (75°C). 

The Perfect Starter Cornish Hen Soup Recipe For Dinner Parties

The Perfect Starter Cornish Hen Soup Recipe For Dinner Parties

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Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipe


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Cornish Hen Soup is a comforting and savory dish with tender pieces of Cornish hen, hearty vegetables, and a flavorful broth. It’s a versatile meal that can be enjoyed year-round, offering warmth in the winter and a satisfying lightness in the warmer months.


  • Rock Cornish hens

  • Vegetable oil

  • Celery, chopped

  • Carrots, diced

  • Onion, chopped

  • Garlic, minced

  • Potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • Chicken broth

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Clean the Hen: Remove the gizzards from the hen. Wash the hen thoroughly and cut it into several pieces.
  • Cooking
    Brown the Hen: Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pot. Add the hen pieces and brown on all sides.
    Cook Vegetables: Add 5 chopped stalks of celery, 3 diced large carrots, 1 chopped onion, 6 minced garlic cloves, and 3 cubed potatoes. Cook until the onion is tender.
    Add Broth: Pour in a 48 fluid ounce can of chicken broth. Use more or less to taste, but ensure all ingredients are covered.
    Boil and Simmer: Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer until vegetables are tender, and the hen is cooked through, about 1 hour.
  • Blending (Optional)
    You may blend some vegetables for a smoother soup before returning the meat.
  • Final Touches
    Debone the Hen: Remove the hen from the pot and remove meat from the bones. Discard bones and return meat to soup.
    Seasoning: Adjust salt and pepper or add fresh herbs to taste.
  • Serving
    Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
  • Additional Options
    Serve with crusty bread or a side salad for a complete meal.
    Consider a splash of cream for a richer texture.
    Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.


  • If Cornish hen is unavailable, substitutions with chicken or turkey are possible.
  • Consider roasting the vegetables before adding them to the soup for a more robust flavor.
  • Fresh herbs can elevate the flavor profile, so don’t hesitate to experiment with your favorites.
  • If you desire a thicker consistency, you may use a blender to puree a portion of the soup.
  • Always taste and adjust seasoning before serving to meet your flavor preferences.
  • Consider serving with complimentary side dishes such as crusty bread or a fresh salad for a complete meal.
Hanna Barnes

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