Homemade chicken soup (using leftover chicken!) is so much fresher, tastier, and better for you than canned. This leftover chicken soup recipe is naturally gluten free.
Who else is comfort food cooking this week? Me, I might just be doing a little bit of stress cooking… But at least it’s both cathartic and productive, right? So, yesterday I threw together a pot of Leftover Chicken Soup with a little cooked chicken from the freezer, plus the ends of some celery & carrots from my fridge. Soup is always good food — as well as a welcome bit of aromatic comfort in unsettled times.
Although this homemade chicken soup recipe ticks all the right boxes when it comes to comfort food, I’ll freely admit that it’s not particularly photogenic. (Part of that is the turmeric; although it’s good for you and adds a certain something to the flavor, it also tints everything a very shade of yellow.) Trust me, though — Sometimes it’s all in the taste and the comfort, rather than in the appearance.
Chicken soup now, chicken soup later…
Chicken soup also freezes quite nicely, if you want to cook up a batch and freeze individual portions in cups of 8 oz containers or in bowls of 12 oz containers. (I just ordered myself a new batch of these, since they tend to wander off over the years…) It’s always good to have some homemade soup on hand for the future. Plus:
- If you have extra cooked chicken, you can always double this recipe to make a larger pot.
- Feeling spicy? Check out leftover chicken taco soup.
- If you are using fresh chicken, check out this older recipe for a big pot of awesomely fantastic homemade chicken soup.
- In the fall, try leftover chicken soup with butternut squash & kale.
- Want a brighter flavor? Tuscan style chicken & white bean soup should do the trick.
Seriously… you can’t go wrong with chicken soup. (We always used to refer to it as Jewish penicillin in our home for a reason!)
Easy Leftover Chicken Soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1.5 cups leftover cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
Black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
Chop the chicken, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.
Heat olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering, then add the carrots, celery, and onion.
Saute for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook over medium heat for another two minutes.
Add the chicken broth, water, chicken, and spices to the pot. Stir, increase heat, and bring pot to a boil.
Skim, if necessary (if using chicken breast, you may not have to). Stir, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove and discard the bay leaf, and serve.
Note: Go light on the salt, because the broth is already salty. You can always taste and add a bit more at the end, if desired.
Basic Chicken Soup is a Basic Good
Take comfort in a basic bowl of chicken soup, which reminds us to slow down and find some solace in the little things. It’s easy to make this leftover chicken soup recipe with shredded rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted chicken, or you can poach up a chicken breast or cook it in your Instant Pot.
Leftover chicken soup is just so good, with its classic veggies plus a little kick of garlic, turmeric, and cayenne. (We’re having leftover chicken soup leftovers for dinner here again tonight!) Homemade chicken soup is always fresher and better for you than canned, and naturally gluten free.
Leftover Chicken Soup, printable recipe
Easy Leftover Chicken Soup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 tsp minced garlic about 4 cloves
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1.5 cups leftover cooked chicken chopped or shredded
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- Black pepper to taste
- Sea salt to taste
- Chop the chicken, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.
- Heat olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering, then add the carrots, celery, and onion.
- Saute for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook over medium heat for another two minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, water, chicken, and spices to the pot. Stir, increase heat, and bring pot to a boil.
- Skim, if necessary (if using chicken breast, you may not have to). Stir, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf, and serve.
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