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Healthy Chicken Soup

This Healthy Chicken Soup evokes the warm and fuzzy feeling I used to get every time my mom served me Chicken Soup. I think she was a firm believer that chicken soup had medicinal properties. Who can argue with that? This Healthy Chicken Soup recipe uses my signature Homemade Chicken Stock.

Healthy Chicken Soup with homemade chicken stock, recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris from her Harvest Cookbook

Old hens and roosters have always been preferred over broiler chickens for making chicken soup because of their rich flavor in the chicken broth. Chinese 5 spice, a blend of star anise, clover, fennel seed, cinnamon and Sichuan pepper, can be eliminated from this recipe, but I personally think it adds a special touch to the dish.

Stock has higher bone content than broth, which produces a better base for sauces and soups.

Healthy Chicken Soup






chicken soup


4 people


for the Homemade Chicken Stock

  • 3 5-pound whole free range roasting chickens
  • 3 large yellow onions unpeeled, quartered
  • 6 carrots unpeeled and halved
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves cut in thirds
  • 20 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 head garlic unpeeled, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

for the Healthy Chicken Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 vidalia onions chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 cups celery chopped
  • 3 cups carrots chopped
  • 3/4 cup Italian parsley chopped and divided
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
  • 4 pounds and 4 cups chicken meat shredded
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


for the Homemade Chicken Stock

  1. Cut chickens into several pieces. Place chicken, onions, carrots, celery stalks, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large stockpot. Add seven quarts of water. Bring to a biol and simmer for six hours. Turn burner off and let it sit for one hour. Strain. Pull the chicken off of the bone and reserve for another use.

  2. Place chicken stock in refrigerator overnight. The next day, remove the surface fat. Use immediately or freeze for up to three months.

for the Healthy Chicken Soup

  1. In a large crock, heat olive oil until simmering. Add onions and sauté until onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more.

  2. Add celery, carrots, 1/2 cup parsley, rosemary, Chinese 5 spice, salt, and pepper, chicken, and stock. Stir ingredients well.

  3. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Ladle into bowls and serve with remaining parsley.

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