Simple Homemade Chicken Soup

This recipe is adapted from the Chicken Stock recipe in the cookbook, How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.  When my husband and I are sick, we eat mostly chicken soup and clementines for lunch/dinner and smoothies for breakfast.

Chicken Stock

Total Time: 5 hours or more, largely unattended

The longer your stock cooks, the better and more nutritious it will be.  I aim to cook the stock for at least 3 hours, and that’s before turning the stock into soup.  You can make your stock ahead of time, and it is very nice to keep some on hand in the freezer.  If you are freezing it, Put in in the fridge for the first day.  After the stock has fully cooled, scrape the fat off of the top and then freeze.  If you do not freeze your stock, boil it every 3 days.  This will keep it from spoiling.


  • 3 to 4 pounds raw chicken parts and bones.  I use breasts with ribs and/or thighs, bone-in.  You could also use a whole chicken, but it is more work to clean the carcass.
  • 1 roughly chopped onion, peel and all
  • 3 roughly chopped carrots
  • 2 stalks roughly chopped celery
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6-8 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4+ quarts water
  1. Put meat, vegetables and seasonings in a stockpot.  Fill with water and cover.
  2. Cook on medium for at least 2 hours.  I generally cook for at least 3.
  3. Turn off the heat and let cool
  4. Strain.  Put a large pot or bowl in the sink and rest a strainer on top.  (The kind used for pasta is fine.)  Carefully pour the contents of your stockpot through the strainer.
  5. If you are making soup now, pour the stock back into your stock pot.  If not, set it aside to cool, and then pour it into containers for storage.
  6. Toss out the vegetables and bones, saving your chicken.

Chicken Soup

Any vegetables can be used in this soup.  We are not big on carrots, celery or onions in our soup so we use greens, but you can use any vegetables you have on hand.  Next time I make this, I’m planning to try watercress.


  • Prepared stock
  • cooked chicken, de-boned and shredded
  • 1 head bok choy
  • 1/2 head green cabbage
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 Tbls poultry seasoning
  • 1 heaping Tbls herbed poultry seasoning
  • 1 Tbls black pepper
  • 2 heaping Tbls dried parsley
  • 1 tsp savory
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt to taste
  1. Pour strained stock back into stockpot.
  2. De-bone chicken and shred, add to pot.
  3. Chop vegetables and add to pot
  4. Turn heat to medium and add seasonings, adding more if desired.
  5. Cook for at least 30 minutes
  6. Eat within 5 days or freeze