Hearty Chicken Soup Recipe – A Timeless Classic

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Warm your soul with our Hearty Chicken Soup, a timeless classic that embodies the essence of comfort food. Tender pieces of chicken are simmered to perfection in a rich, savory broth, alongside a medley of wholesome vegetables and hearty grains. Each spoonful is a comforting embrace, filling you with a sense of homely warmth and contentment. The addition of fresh herbs and spices adds a depth of flavor that makes this dish not just a meal, but an experience to be savored.

In the heart of every home kitchen thrives, the essence of comfort and wholesomeness. We invite you to discover a treasure of nourishment that fills your bowl and heart in equal measure – a hearty chicken soup recipe

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Like a soothing melody, this recipe sings of love and warmth, whispered through the aroma of tender chicken simmering along side fresh vegetables. Whether you crave a nostalgic homage to grandma’s kitchen or seek a refreshing take on a classic staple, each spoonful unravels the tale of a culinary masterpiece. 

In every drop, you’ll find the authentic richness and depth that only hours of patient simmering can achieve. As you immerse in this experience, be prepared to reconnect with the flavors of home, turning each meal into a celebration of simplicity and taste. 

Embark on a journey, not just to fill your stomach but to nurture your soul, with this symphony of chicken soup.

What Is A Hearty Chicken Soup Recipe?

A hearty chicken soup recipe combines the robustness of slow-cooked chicken, the freshness of vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions, and the comfort of a rich, flavorful broth. The recipe starts with sautéing the vegetables until tender, then adding diced chicken and broth. 

The mixture simmers until the chicken is tender and the flavors meld together. Herbs such as thyme and bay leaves add aromatic depth. Sometimes, noodles or rice are added for extra heartiness. The result is a comforting, nourishing meal, perfect for any day.

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Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Keto Skip the traditional grains and noodles. You can add more non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, or zucchini and consider using cream to make the soup thicker and more satisfying.
  • Paleo Ensure all the ingredients you use are paleo-approved. For example, use ghee for sautéing instead of butter, and replace noodles with spiralized vegetables or paleo-friendly noodles.
  • Gluten-Free Replace traditional pasta with gluten-free alternatives, such as rice noodles, quinoa, or even gluten-free pasta. Check the broth labels and any other additions to ensure they’re gluten-free.
  • Whole30 This diet eliminates sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy. A simple chicken soup with vegetables, herbs, and spices, cooked in homemade chicken broth, aligns perfectly with Whole30 guidelines. Avoid noodles or replace them with vegetable spirals.
  • Vegetarian Substitute chicken with hearty vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, or mushrooms. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Vegan Besides following the vegetarian recommendations, substitute dairy with plant-based alternatives. Consider adding beans, lentils, or tofu for the’ meaty’ texture.
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Recipe Directions 

  • Clean chicken, remove giblets and excess skin.
  • Crush the chicken’s backbone and crack the legs at the joints—place in a large pot.
  • Grate 2 carrots, 1 onion, and all celery in a food processor and add to the pot.
  • Add the pot’s remaining carrots, onions, bouillon cubes, and red bell pepper.
  • Cover with water, boil for 5 minutes, then simmer for one hour.
  • Add barley, and cook for another hour.
  • Remove chicken and giblets, pull meat from chicken, dice, and return to pot.
  • Add sweet corn. Serve immediately or store for later use.
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Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 


  • For a creamier soup, stir in some heavy cream or coconut milk towards the end of the cooking process.
  • Add a spicy kick with a sprinkle of red chili flakes or hot sauce.
  • Consider adding beans or lentils for a hearty, protein-rich twist.


  • For added nutrition, stir in fresh greens like spinach or kale in the last few minutes of cooking.
  • Boost the flavor profile with a handful of fresh herbs such as dill, basil, or parsley.
  • Add diced potatoes or sweet potatoes for a more filling soup.


  • Garnish with freshly chopped green onions or chives for a pop of color and freshness.
  • A squeeze of lemon juice just before serving can brighten the flavors.
  • A sprinkling of grated Parmesan or a dollop of Greek yogurt can add a lovely finishing touch.
  • Don’t forget the classic soup companion – a slice of crusty bread or warm rolls for dipping.
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Can I Make The Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker 

  • Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker except for the barley and sweet corn.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Remove the chicken, debone, dice it an hour before serving, and return it to the slow cooker with barley and sweet corn.
  • Let it cook for the remaining hour and serve.

Instant Pot

  • Use the sauté function to cook the vegetables until tender.
  • Add the chicken, water, bouillon cubes, and red bell pepper. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release.
  • Remove the chicken, debone and dice it, and return it to the pot.
  • Add the barley and sweet corn, and cook on the soup setting for 15 minutes. Quick release and serve.
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Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can use store-bought broth for your hearty chicken soup, especially if you’re short on time. However, homemade broth typically offers a richer, deeper flavor because you have complete control over the ingredients and can simmer it for a long time to extract as much flavor as possible.

Store-bought broth can be a great shortcut, and plenty of high-quality options are available. If using store-bought, look for a low-sodium version. This gives you more control over the salt content in your soup.

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How To Serve?

  • Serve Hot: Soup is best served hot. Reheat the soup gently on the stove if needed before serving.
  • Bowls: Use deep bowls to serve the soup. This not only keeps the soup hot for longer but also allows for easy consumption of both the broth and the chunky ingredients.
  • Garnish: Don’t forget to garnish just before serving. Fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon, a swirl of cream or yogurt, or some grated cheese can enhance your soup’s look and taste.
  • Sides: Depending on the time of day and occasion, serve the soup with a side of warm, crusty bread, a refreshing salad, or a hearty sandwich. You can also serve it as a starter course in a multi-course meal.
  • Spoons: Use large spoons that can easily scoop up broth and chunky ingredients.
  • Napkins: Place a cloth or paper napkin beside each bowl. Soup can be splashy, and a napkin is always handy.
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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread or Rolls: Fresh, warm bread is perfect for dipping into the soup and soaking up all the wonderful flavors. Consider a crusty baguette or a soft dinner roll.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A classic pairing, the crunch and melted cheese contrast beautifully with a warm, brothy soup.
  • Green Salad: A light, crisp salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty soup. Use a simple vinaigrette to dress mixed greens, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal roasted vegetables, lightly caramelized, can add an extra dimension of flavor to your meal.
  • Rice or Quinoa: If you want to make the meal even more filling, serve it with a side of cooked rice or quinoa.
  • Flatbread or Pita: These can be warmed and used to scoop up the soup or enjoyed on the side.
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Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigeration: Store leftover hearty chicken soup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The flavors meld and improve over time.
  • Freezing: Freeze chicken soup without pasta or rice to maintain texture. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Add pasta or rice when reheating.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup base and vegetables in advance, excluding pasta or rice. Refrigerate the base for up to 24 hours. Cook fresh carbohydrates separately when ready to serve.
  • Enhanced Flavor: Like many soups, the flavor deepens when allowed to sit. Prepare a day ahead, refrigerate, and reheat for a richer taste.
  • Pasta/Rice Separation: Cook pasta or rice separately and add to each individual serving. This prevents them from becoming mushy when stored.
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What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Pasta Sauce: Shred leftover chicken and heat the soup until thickened. Toss with cooked pasta for a quick and comforting meal.
  • Rice Stir-In: Mix soup leftovers into cooked rice for an instant flavor boost. Add a bit of soy sauce for an Asian twist.
  • Pot Pie Filling: Use the soup as a filling for a quick and easy pot pie. Top with puff pastry and bake until golden.
  • Chicken Salad: Shred the leftover chicken and mix it with mayonnaise, herbs, and some chopped veggies for a tasty chicken salad.
  • Enchilada Filling: Use shredded chicken and veggies from the soup as enchilada filling. Add some cheese, roll in tortillas, and bake with enchilada sauce.
  • Soup Dumplings: Add more broth to the soup, simmer, and drop in the dumpling dough for a hearty soup.


  • Grains Galore: Boost heartiness by adding a mix of quinoa and wild rice for a wholesome and satisfying texture.
  • Root Veggie Power: Include hearty root vegetables like parsnips and turnips to add robust flavors and extra nutritional depth.
  • Herb Infusion: Elevate taste with a bouquet garni of fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage for a fragrant and aromatic profile.
  • Lemon Lift: Brighten the soup with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving to add a zesty and refreshing kick.
  • Beans Bonanza: Incorporate a variety of beans, such as cannellini or chickpeas, for a protein-packed twist and a delightful bite.
  • Umami Upgrade: Enhance depth by stirring in a spoonful of miso paste, adding a savory umami boost.
  • Bacon Bliss: For a smoky indulgence, sprinkle crispy bacon bits on top, providing a delicious contrast to the tender chicken.
  • Grated Parmesan Finale: Finish with a generous sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a creamy and savory finishing touch.
Hearty Chicken Soup Recipe - A Timeless Classic

Hearty Chicken Soup Recipe – A Timeless Classic

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Course: Soup Recipe


Prep time


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Brimming with flavors and bristling with nourishment, this hearty chicken soup is a comforting and wholesome delight. This soup is more than a meal; it’s a bowl of comfort that satisfies the stomach and soothes the soul.


  • 1 1 1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken

  • 5 5 Carrots, chopped

  • 2 2 Onions, chopped

  • 3 3 Celery stalks with leaves, minced

  • 2 2 Chicken bouillon cubes

  • 1 1 Red bell pepper, diced

  • 1 1 Sweet corn (15-ounce can)

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 Barley (pearled or hulled)

Step-By-Step Directions 

  • Begin by cleaning the chicken under fresh, cold running water. Carefully remove the giblets and as much excess skin from the bird as possible.
  • Apply pressure to the chicken’s backbone to crush the bones. Crack the legs at the joints to release the cartilage for extra flavor.
  • Transfer the crushed chicken and giblets into a large stock pot.
  • Grate 2 carrots, 1 onion, and all the celery in a food processor. Add these grated vegetables to the stock pot.
  • Place the remaining carrots and onions that were not grated, bouillon cubes, and red bell pepper into the pot.
  • Fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes, and then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for one hour.
  • After an hour, stir in the barley. Let the soup continue to simmer for another hour.
  • After the second hour, carefully remove the chicken and giblets from the pot. Place them into a large, clean, shallow bowl.
  • Debone the chicken, dice the meat, and return it to the pot.
  • Finally, add the sweet corn. The soup is now ready to be served. If not serving immediately, allow it to cool before refrigerating or freezing for later use.
  • Large Stockpot
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Food Processor
  • Tongs or Slotted Spoon
  • Ladle
  • Airtight Containers or Freezer Bags


  • Soups are versatile, offering endless combinations of ingredients to suit different dietary preferences and needs.
  • They provide a satisfying, low-calorie option for weight management, keeping you full for longer.
  • The warm and comforting nature of soups can help soothe and ease digestion.
  • Adding vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains enhance the nutritional profile.
  • Homemade soups allow control over ingredients, reducing sodium and unhealthy additives.
  • Enjoy soups as a convenient way to increase vegetable intake for overall well-being.
  • Experiment with herbs and spices to elevate flavors and add extra health benefits.
  • Broth-based soups are hydrating and excellent for replenishing essential fluids.
  • Opt for homemade stocks or low-sodium broths for a healthier foundation.
  • Embrace soups as a simple, wholesome, and delicious way to nourish your body and mind.

Nutrition Table 

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You've entered a realm where each bowl isn't just a meal; it's an expedition to the core of comfort, well-being, and the sheer delight of feeding both body and soul. My name is Julia, and I'm here to navigate you through the flavorful worlds of Soup Chick. Together, we'll uncover the artistry behind each recipe, share stories that warm the heart, and celebrate the simple pleasures of making and enjoying soup.

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