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!

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 your own creations- use whatever grain or starch you prefer- noodles, rice quinoa, beans- or keep it keto and low-carb! Can also be made in an Instant Pot or Slow cooker! #chickensoup #ketosoup #broth

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. It makes a lovely gift to someone who is feeling under the weather.

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 vegetarian- 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! It a great way to make use of leftover Whole Roasted Chicken!

Looking for more chicken soup ideas? Make sure to take a peek at our 20 Best Broth-Based Soup Recipes! 

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.

garlic, onion, lemon, ginger

What are the ingredients for Chicken Soup?

  1. onion
  2. garlic
  3. ginger
  4. celery or carrots (or other veggies)
  5. chicken broth (store-bought or homemade)
  6. chicken breast or chicken thighs
  7. lemon
  8. 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.

sautéing the onions

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.

Place the chicken in the broth raw

Simmer covered for 20 minutes, more or less depending on size.

 

Chicken Soup with rice, lemon and ginger

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!

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 your own creations- use whatever grain or starch you prefer- noodles, rice quinoa, beans- or keep it keto and low-carb! Can also be made in an Instant Pot or Slow cooker! #chickensoup #ketosoup #broth

 

Variations:

You could ladle it over a mound of egg noodles, or rice noodles, then finish with sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions and cilantro like you see here.

I added some oyster mushrooms to the broth as well.

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 your own creations- use whatever grain or starch you prefer- noodles, rice quinoa, beans- or keep it keto and low-carb! Can also be made in an Instant Pot or Slow cooker! #chickensoup #ketosoup #broth

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!

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 your own creations- use whatever grain or starch you prefer- noodles, rice quinoa, beans- or keep it keto and low-carb! Can also be made in an Instant Pot or Slow cooker! #chickensoup #ketosoup #broth

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!

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 your own creations- use whatever grain or starch you prefer- noodles, rice quinoa, beans- or keep it keto and low-carb! Can also be made in an Instant Pot or Slow cooker! #chickensoup #ketosoup #broth

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:

Stay well, friends.

xoxo

Sylvia

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Feel Better Chicken Soup with Lemon and ginger. A delicious low-carb, keto soup that you can make in an Instant Pot, Stove top or in a slow cooker. Simple and healthy!

Feel Better Chicken Soup Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Soup, Gluten-free
  • Method: Stove top, instant pot
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Feel Better Chicken Soup with lemon and ginger. A delicious and EASY low-carb, keto soup that you can make in an Instant Pot, Stove top or in a slow cooker. Simple and healthy! Add rice, quinoa, noodles or beans! (Inspired by Bon Appetit)


Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • one large onion, diced (or sub 2 fat shallots, or two leeks)
  • one cup celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
  • 48 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 noodlessoba noodles, pasta, rice, or add 1 can white beans.


Instructions

STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Ladle it over cooked rice or noodles or just on its own.
  6. Garnish with scallions or cilantro (or both) and a drizzle of sesame oil if you like and chili flakes (or chili paste or sriracha).

 


Notes

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.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1.5 cups with no rice or starch.
  • Calories: 197
  • Sugar: 2.7 g
  • Sodium: 585 mg
  • Fat: 7.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 24.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 106.5 mg

Keywords: chicken soup, unique chicken soup, keto chicken soup, lemon ginger chicken soup, best chicken soup recipe, feel better chicken soup

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Comments

  1. Sylvia, your soup was wonderful. I used some red pepper flakes & soy, lots Of garlic & ginger. Just the cure for a cold. Looking forward to trying your other recipes. Lee

  2. I made chicken soup for the first time, and absolutely loved it! I didn’t add any noodles/quinoa at all because I thought it tasted great without all that.

    I used stock cubes for the broth, and let the chicken simmer in the broth for 15 minutes. Served with a squeeze of lemon, and some ground pepper.

    Stores well in the fridge for 4 days!

    1. Stock gives the soup much more depth and flavor here. I suppose you could make a stock from the chicken pieces?

  3. Wow! This was delicious! I added sesame oil, rice noodles and red pepper flakes without scallions or cilantro. Definitely will be making this again! Thank you 🙏🏻

  4. Thank you!! Working my way through most of your recipes and this one does not dissappoint!! I added 1/2 tsp. of turmeric,(first time using this spice) Next time I’ll add a teaspoon!!
    I have a question regarding the chicken breast…The shredded pieces were tough, even after a nice long simmer in the juices. Can you tell me what may have caused this? I’m wondering if it boiled too long? In any case I do want to make this again but wondering if I should try the crockpot? Tonights cold rainy weather calls for another broth…hmm? which one to choose….

    1. I wonder if it was just the particular bird?
      Was the meat frozen, then thawed before cooking? That can sometimes be the cause of tougher meats. A
      Also I have heard that salt can toughen meats.
      I would think that the crock pot or instant pot would easily prevent the possibility in the future. 🙂

    2. They amy have been overcooked- or the type of chicken you used. I always prefer organic, grassfed.

    1. some of the store bought broths are clear and some have more denisty creating more color. I used a veggetable broth for mine and it was a very golden color. But as Sylvia said; make sure you carmelize those onions!! 😉

  5. Good recipe, though I feel that the ginger could be cooked a little more or better added as a paste to the onion in the first step. Overall, a very good recipe!

  6. This is my go to soup I love it! I add 1 tablespoon of white miso and 1 teaspoon of turmeric, kale and quinoa. It’s the most amazing soup base to add your personal touch to!

  7. If I had to choose one thing to live on for the rest of my life it would be chicken soup. This recipe is perfect! I made it with matzo balls and it did not disappoint.

  8. I make this all of the time now. Simple ingredients, simple instructions, complex & deep flavors. Love this recipe!

  9. Hi Sylvia: Could you suggest a recipe of yours where I could use up the leftover chicken meat from the homemade chicken stock? It’s super soft and falling apart, having been simmered for several hours. Thank you!

    1. I would use it in soups- such as this! Or use it where you would use shredded chicken- enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, etc. It is kind of meticulous to separate out the skin and bones but the meat is so tender, I never waste it.

  10. I made it and it was exceptionally tasty. I added quinoa, kale, Spinach and extra lemon. Boy it was delicious. Thanks for sharing such a tasty recipe!

  11. I made it and it was exceptionally tasty. I added quinoa, kale, Spinach and extra lemon. Boy it was delicious. Thanks for sharing such a tasty recipe!

  12. I am not a good cook. Only about half of the things I try to make turn out well enough that I want to save the recipe. But I had all the ingredients and I love ginger and garlic, so I decided to try this soup. I am so pleased! It turned out great and I will definitely make it again. I had only about 1 lb of chicken thighs so I left out one of the cups of water. I had leftover rice so I ladled my soup onto that, after leaving it out for a while to take the chill off. I also added a tiny bit of sesame oil to my bowl as suggested. Thank you!

  13. This was AMAZING! I’ve made it twice and plan to again as a spin on a chicken soup for Passover. Used red quinoa both times. Couldn’t love this more! Thank you!!

  14. I made this dish in my InstaPot – so quick and delicious. Flavors are so good together, I did not add any rice or noodles, but topped with cilantro and chili oil. Thanks Sylvia for another fantastic, pairing of flavors.

    1. How did you do that? By eliminating the water in the recipe? The InstantPot always requires trimming the liquid down but I never know exactly how to handle that. I would love to be able to do this in the InstantPot!

  15. This was delicious! I followed the recipe and added white rice. My family loved it. Such a great twist on chicken soup with ginger and lemon. There were no leftovers. I cannot wait to make it again.

  16. I was digging around in my freezer and found chicken breast and chicken tenders, which is like finding gold these days because there is no chicken to be found in the stores. I am a chicken thigh kind of gal and came here for inspiration beyond a chicken burger. This soup was perfect! It came together quickly and for such a short list of ingredients was ridiculously flavorful. The hardest part was shredding the chicken. I ladled it over ramen noodles and topped with Aleppo chili flakes and green onions. We didn’t stop for a pic, sorry. Love your blog, Sylvia! Thank you for sharing.

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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