This recipe for Feel Better Chicken Soup with Lemon and Ginger will warm you to your bones! Brothy and flavorful, this highly-adaptable recipe is the perfect base for noodles, rice, quinoa or other grains, or beans- or keep it keto and low-carb! It can also be made in an Instant Pot or Slow cooker!
Hi friends, I wanted to share a recipe we’ve been making for years around here, especially when feeling under the weather with a cold or flu. Feel Better Chicken Soup! I like to make a big batch and keep it in jars in the fridge, or even freeze it for times when I don’t feel like cooking.
This flavorful soup recipe is lemony and gingery, very soothing for stuffy heads and sore throats. The ultimate in comfort food! But the best part is once you have the basic soup made, you can take it in all sorts of directions, using what you have on hand. (AND If you are vegan or vegetarain- I highly recommend this Ayurvedic Turmeric Detox Broth instead. )
Sometimes I’ll add leftover pasta or noodles from the pantry, like egg noodles, orzo, rice noodles, linguini or even spaghetti. It’s a great way to use up stray bags of noodles.
Other times I’ll add a can of white beans or load up the veggies. And sometimes I’ll toss in some baby spinach and drizzle it with sesame oil and sprinkle with scallions and call it good. And it is! Sooooooo good!
Feel Better Chicken Soup | 60-second video
How do make chicken soup from scratch?
- You can make it on the stovetop, in an instant pot pressure cooker or in a slow cooker.
- Essentially you create a flavorful soup infused with onion, garlic, ginger, veggies, and spices- then simmer the raw chicken breasts or thighs in this broth, until it pulls apart easily.
What are the ingredients for Chicken Soup?
- celery or carrots (or other veggies)
- chicken broth (store-bought or homemade)
- chicken breast or chicken thighs
- herbs and seasonings
This flavorful soup starts with sauteing onion, garlic and ginger until tender and fragrant and golden. Sometimes I’ll add celery and carrots, sometimes not. I like to add a lot of garlic, feel free to cut back if you want.
Add the chicken stock (or broth) and whole chicken thighs (or chicken breasts). Bring to a simmer and cover, cooking until the thighs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
What type of chicken is used for soup?
- Chicken breasts, skinless
- Chicken thighs, skinless
- Boneless chicken is faster to cook and easiest to handle, but yes, you can use bone-in chicken, just remove the skin for a lighter leaner broth.
If adding rice or quinoa, you could add directly to the pot of simmering broth, only adding about 1/2 cup.
Same with canned beans- just add one can.
I prefer to keep my rice or noodles separate, to prevent the soup from getting cloudy, but do as you like.
Do you cook the chicken before putting it in the soup?
You don’t need to cook the chicken before putting it in the soup. Put the raw chicken in the simmering broth and let it cook at a low simmer until it shreds apart easily with two forks.
Simmer covered for 20 minutes, more or less depending on size.
Use two forks and pull apart the chicken. Taste and adjust the broth. Squeeze with lemon to taste.
Add chili flakes if you want, a drizzle of sesame oil is nice, some scallions or fresh herbs, then serve it up!
I added some oyster mushrooms to the broth as well.
Or you could ladle it over leftover rice, farro or quinoa.
Here I had a batch of our Everyday Quinoa in the fridge and just laded the soup over it- super tasty!
You could add white beans for extra protein, and a handful of spinach.
Or if going low-carb- leave all the starch and grains out keep it simple and keto-friendly.
Cauliflower rice would also work well here too!
Whichever direction you choose to take this flavorful soup, I know you will be happy with the base. I’m excited to see where you take this! Please share your variations in the comments below.
Other Chicken soup recipes you may like:
- Authentic Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
- Kale, Chickpea and Chicken Soup with Rosemary Croutons
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Artichoke Soup with Wild Rice
- Lemony Chicken Orzo Soup with Dill
- 20 Broth-Based Soup Recipes
- Paleo Chicken “Wonton” Soup with Bok Choy
Stay well, friends.
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- one large onion, diced (or sub 2 fat shallots, or two leeks)
- one cup celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
- 4–8 garlic cloves, rough chopped (I like 8)
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or use regular)
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless, skinless ( or use breasts- if very large, cut in half)
- lemon juice to taste
- pinch chili flakes
- scallions, cilantro or Italian parsley
- a drizzle of toasted sesame oil (optional, tasty)
Optional: Feel free to add 2-3 cups of chopped veggies: celery, carrots, etc. Serve over cooked grain or starch of your choice like… quinoa, rice noodles, soba noodles, pasta, rice, or add 1 can white beans.
STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS:
- Heat oil in a big pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to med- low and continue sauteeing until golden, 3-4 more minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, water, salt, white pepper, bay leaves and skinless chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover, and lower heat so it’s gently simmering, covered for 20 mintues. If using breasts, check at 15.
- Test a piece of chicken for doneness by pulling meat apart with two forks. It should come apart easily and look opaque. If done, shred the rest of the chicken, then return to the pot and simmer gently for 5 more minutes.
- Squeeze with lemon, taste and adjust broth. You can add more salt of needed, or if too salty for your taste, water down with a little water. I prefer ours salty, lemony, and unctuous, especially if adding a starch (like rice, noodles or beans) which will temper the salt quite a bit. Up to you. If the soup tastes bland, it needs salt.
- Ladle it over cooked rice or noodles or just on its own.
- Garnish with scallions or cilantro (or both) and a drizzle of sesame oil if you like and chili flakes (or chili paste or sriracha).
Soup will keep 4 days in the fridge, or freeze.
Feel free to add 1/2 cup rice or quinoa to simmering soup. Or add a can of whitebeans. You can also add pasta ( about 4 ounces) but I prefer to cook pasta and rice noodles separate and ladel the soup overtop cooked noodles. Up to you. Feel free to toss in veggies, kale, spinach, etc.
Instant Pot: Set Instant pot to “saute” function and heat the oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add broth, water, salt, pepper, bay, white pepper and chicken thighs, give a stir. Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. (If using breasts, pressure cook 8-10 minutes depending on size). Manually release. Shred chicken with two forks. Season with lemon juice. Taste, adust salt. Follow the rest of the instuctions above.
For a slow cooker version, cook as stated above then cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.
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