There is an art to homemade chicken soup. Homemade chicken soup from scratch varies do much from family to family that no two are alike. Every grandma has their own secret ingredients or process to it, and every chicken soup from scratch it special--this is ours.
I have been making chicken soup from scratch for years. My original recipe is a lot more involved and would start with a chicken stock made with roasted chicken on the bone to make a traditional stock. This is a slightly modified shortcut version using store bought chicken broth to make this simpler, but the broth itself is still enhanced with a few add-ins.
How can I make store bought chicken broth taste better?
If you are not doctoring up your chicken broth, you are not living your best life. First of all, start buying low or no sodium chicken broth. The reason why is that you can always add salt, but you can't take it out. Next, you need to flavor it with vegetables and herbs.
I use vegetable scraps as a way to add flavor to my store bought chicken broth. Specially, I use carrot peels and tops, the bottom of celery, onion skins, fresh rosemary, and a whole head of garlic (skin and all). This is a simple way to concentrate the flavors of these vegetables in a simple way while your soup is cooking--plus, it cuts down on waste.
Chicken soup with only chicken breast?
Please don't tell the grandmother community, but I only use chicken breast in my recipe. I'm doing this to make this a zero point Weight Watchers soup (on blue and purple). If you want to use bone in chicken thighs or even split chicken breasts, go for it; I'm not going to find you and yell at you for going off book. Dark meat does taste better, in my opinion, but this is still crazy tasty.
In this recipe, you will lightly season the chicken breast with salt and pepper, pan fry to develop some color and texture, and finish off the chicken by poaching it.
What kind of noodles for chicken soup?
I am a firm believer that egg noodles make the best noodle. Usually I add about 1/2 cup cooked noodles to my soup. I will also say, and die on this hill, that you need to stop adding noodles to your pot of soup. I am not saying this because you will have better control of how many WW points or calories you add (although true); I am saying this because you will overcook your noodles and make it harder to freeze.
If you have leftovers, your noodles will suck up the broth and get over saturated. Keep the noodles separate, toss in a little oil to keep them from sticking, and add the noodles as you portion out your soup.
Add lemons to your chicken soup
Every family's chicken soup will have a secret ingredient or two. Mine are lemons and cinnamon. Why should you start adding lemons to your chicken soup? Chicken soup can be salty and rich. Lemons add a bright, freshness to the soup and balance it. The cinnamon may sound weird if you only think of cinnamon as a dessert ingredient.
Cinnamon adds a warmth to it. It gives the soup a familiar yet undetectable or indescribable flavor that you can keep to yourself when you share your recipe. I am a firmly believe my grandmothers never gave out their full ingredients and kept a secret or two when sharing. This can be ours. If it weirds you out too much, go with nutmeg.
- 8 cups low or no sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1.5 lb chicken breast
- 1 pound carrots (4 cups)
- 1/2 bunch of celery (2 cups)
- 2 large onions (2-2.5 cups)
- 1 head of garlic, sliced across
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 20 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 2 lemons, cut in half
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- You'll need two big pots. Your biggest pots. In your second largest pot, you'll be making a concentrated stock. In your larger pot, you'll be making the soup. The extra dishes are well worth it, trust me.
- Wash and peel your carrots. Throw your peels into a scraps bowl--you will be flavoring your stock with scraps. Slice carrots into medallions whatever thickness you prefer.
- Wash and cut your celery (leaves included). Lop off the bottom, wash it well, and throw it into your scraps bowl. Slice your celery to your preference, just be consistent. You can add all cut celery and carrots into the same bowl.
- Dice onions and keep separate from the other vegetables. Add the onion skins and bottoms to the scrap bowl.
- Into the scrap bowl, I also add 1 head of garlic sliced at the top, 2 bay leaves, onion skins, and 1 sprig of rosemary.
- In your second largest bowl (which will be referred to as the stock bowl), add all of your scraps, 4 cups of chicken broth, and enough water to cover (I added 6 cups). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
- Season your chicken breast with kosher salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp. canola oil to your largest pot (which will now be referred to as the soup pot) and heat on medium.
- When soup pot is hot and you can see ripples in the oil, brown your chicken breast on both sides (about 1-2 minutes a side). Remove when browned.
- Add chopped onions to the soup pot and sauté until translucent (about 5 minutes).
- While the onions are cooking, deglaze the soup pot with a little bit of chicken stock. Pour a splash in, and scrape he brown bits at the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
- When onions are soft and translucent, add carrots, celery and chicken to the soup pot. Pour in the rest of the second carton of chicken broth. If this does not cover the chicken, add water until covered.
- Bring both to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Chicken should take only about 10-13 minutes before it is fully cooked. Take out your largest piece, let cool for a little bit, cut, and make sure it is fully cooked. Remove all chicken breasts and let cool.
- Once chicken is removed, add cut lemons, thyme, cinnamon, and oregano to the soup pot. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to serve, strain the stock pot and ladle the fortified stock into the soup pot.
- Remove thyme stems and lemons. I squeeze my lemons (cut side up) to add lemon juice while keeping the seeds from falling in. If you are apprehensive about lemons, taste before you squeeze.
- Add shredded chicken, taste, and add salt and pepper to taste. All chicken broth is different so you are on your own for this.
- Allow soup to simmer for another ten minutes on low which gives you enough time to make noodles if you are adding them.
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 344mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 9g
Want more WW comfort food recipes? I've got you, fam.
Here are my favorite comfort food recipes:
- Baked Potato Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Healthy Zuppa Toscana
- Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
- Cheeseburger Pasta Skillet
- 30 WW Recipes for Fall