This recipe for Feel Better Chicken Soup with lemon and ginger is healing and soothing and will warm you to your bones! Brothy and flavorful, it is the perfect base for noodles, rice, beans or grains, or keep it keto and low-carb!

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 soup 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 sick. This chicken soup recipe has the best flavor – lemony and gingery and 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. (If you are vegan or vegetarian- I highly recommend this Ayurvedic Turmeric Detox Broth instead. )

Feel Better Chicken Soup | 60-second video

garlic, onion, lemon, ginger

Chicken Soup Ingredients

  1. Onion- red onion, white onion or yellow onion, or sub shallots or leeks
  2. Garlic- fresh garlic cloves!
  3. Ginger- use ginger root or ground ginger in a pinch.
  4. Vegetables: Celery and carrots, or feel free to add other veggies like mushrooms, or other veggies.
  5. Chicken broth (store-bought or homemade) or chicken bouillon or low-sodium chicken broth.
  6. Chicken: skinless chicken breast, skinless chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
  7. Lemon- you’ll need fresh lemon juice
  8. Herbs and seasonings: fresh parsley or cilantro and white pepper.

How to make Chicken Soup (instructions)

Step 1. 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.

TIP: if using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, sear the skin side until deeply golden in the pot first. This adds lovely flavor, depth, and collagen to the soup. Remove the thighs and saute the onion, garlic and ginger.

sautéing the onions

Step 2. 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. Bone-in will take longer.

TIP: 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, drained.

I prefer to keep my rice or noodles separate, to prevent the soup from getting cloudy, but do as you like.

Place the chicken in the broth raw

Step 3. Simmer covered for 20 minutes, more or less depending on size of the chicken pieces.

Chicken Soup with rice, lemon and ginger

Step 4. Use two forks or tongs, and pull apart the chicken. You can do this in the pot, or use a cutting board if using bone-in chicken. Return the chicken (discarding bones and skin) to the pot and bring to a simmer for 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the broth. Squeeze with lemon to taste.

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

Serving Suggestions

Serve in a bowl with chili flakes if you want; a drizzle of sesame oil is nice, and some scallions or fresh parsley or cilantro. You can ladle it over cooked noodles or leftover grains if you want.

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

Chicken Soup Variations:

  • Pasta or noodles: 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 half-used noodles.
  • Grains: Add cooked quinoa, millet, rice, or farro at the end of cooking.
  • Beans: Add can of white beans or lentils or cannellini beans for more fiber.
  • Veggies:  Toss in diced carrots, celery, mushrooms, or leeks (to the simmering broth) or add baby spinach at the end and drizzle it with sesame oil and sprinkle with scallions and call it good.
  • Creamy Chicken Soup: If you like some creaminess, stir in some coconut milk at the very end. Adjust salt and lemon to taste.
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

Storage

Leftovers will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or freeze in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, before reheating on the stovetop

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

Feel better, 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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 87 reviews
  • 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

Units 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 black pepper)
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless, skinless ( or use breasts-if very large, cut in half) or bone-in chicken thighs, please see notes )
  • 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, mushrooms, etc. Serve over cooked noodles, rice, or grains of your choice.


Instructions

STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. *If using skin-on chicken thighs, please see notes. 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. Bone-in thighs may take 25-30.
  3. Test a piece of chicken for doneness by pulling meat apart with two forks. It should come apart easily and look opaque. When 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

Bone-in Skin-on Chicken Thighs: for the best flavor, sear the skin side first in the dutch oven or instant pot in a little oil until deeply golden. Remove and continue with recipe, sauteing onion and garlic.

Storage: Soup will keep 4 days in the fridge, or freeze.

See Variations in the post above. Feel free to add 1/2 cup rice or quinoa to the 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 separately and ladle the soup overtop cooked noodles, to keep the broth clear.

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

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Comments

  1. I absolutely LOVE this chicken soup. It is so simple and so delicious! I’ve made it about five times now, trying out slightly different modifications each time. Every time I’m surprised how great it is! I love the texture of adding oyster mushrooms, and I always add TONS of lemon and salt, which really bumps up the flavor! I’m looking forward to having leftovers for lunch today!!






  2. I absolutely LOVE this chicken soup. It is so simple and so delicious! I’ve made it about five times now, trying out slightly different modifications each time. Every time I’m surprised how great it is! I love the texture of adding oyster mushrooms, and I always add TONS of lemon and salt, which really bumps up the flavor! I’m looking forward to having leftovers for lunch today!!






  3. This has become one of our go-to soups, SOO fresh. We love the ginger and lemon thing, if I’m feeling funky I toss a handful of chopped cilantro in, takes it into another dimension, kicks up the fresh thing. LOVE this as written!






  4. Love this soup…so healthy and really good flavor. I always max out garlic and ginger and add a chopped carrot. And at least 1-2 lemons.






  5. Well! I have NEVER in my 36 years left a comment for a recipe, and in all honesty I’m terrible at following recipes without adding a twist, but I came across this and it sounded like exactly what I was craving.
    It is ABSOLUTELY delicious! My partner can’t get over it as he usually HATES chicken soup, but the combination of flavours here is just so good! I used about 3 fresh slices of lemon, and flat parsley and about half a teaspoon of hot red pepper flakes instead of standard chilli and my god its ridiculously tasty!! I’ll be sending this to all my friends! I struggle finding recipes on the Internet, there’s just so many! But I’m totally gonna be checking out your other recipes! Thankyou!

  6. This is my go to chicken soup. It is so good! The ginger gives it that extra something. It’s hubby approved as well. Thank you!






  7. Fabulous. Made as written but did add 2 teaspoons of Turmeric powder, a great color addition and health benefit. We were pleasantly surprised that 8 cloves of garlic and the ginger were NOT too strong in flavors after it was finished. They were tender and delicious. One large chicken breast bone in skin on was quickly browned, then skin tossed out, removed from browning, then following the recipe as written. If in a hurry you could easily skip that but it might add another layer of flavor/color? Made for friends who came home from skiing with a cold. We enjoyed a cup before I shared the bounty.Our friends raved as well. Thank you Silvia for another winner yet again. In our rotation.






  8. Exceptional! Made the stock as recommended and put a small twist on the soup itself. Added a 1 tbsp fresh chopped Rosemary, 1/4 tsp of dill, 1/2 can Hatch green chilis (hot), 1 can drained white beans, and i cup quartered tri-color cherry tomatoes. Truly, it was amazing, AND, this is the first soup I’ve ever made from scratch. Thanks for the inspiration!






  9. Every time I make your delicious whole roasted chicken, I make broth the next day with the carcass and then make this wonderful soup. The combination of lemon, ginger, and garlic with the homemade broth is just SO good. I would happily eat it everyday if I could! I’ve made it with orzo, with rice noodles, with whatever extra veggies are in the fridge, and just on its own. You can’t go wrong!






    1. Great to hear Jen- I love making soup out of leftover roast chicken, it just makes the soup so much better!

  10. It is my favorite soup recipe! I make it for myself, but also make it to share with friends who could use a warm (tasty) pick-me-up.






  11. The aroma this soup fills my kitchen with is comforting, the ginger and garlic very nice! Your “Feel Better Chicken Soup” is comfort food at it’s best…the flavorful broth is amazing. I love the rustic spotted bowl in your video!






  12. Delicious soup! My husband rarely goes back for seconds. He did with this one. The kids loved it. The 4 of us finished it all even though the recipe indicated 6 portions. However, that’s all we had for dinner.
    I added spelt egg noodles which were a nice change to the rice vermicelli I use.

  13. I was getting the sniffles and came across this recipe and thought I’d give it a try. Plus, I love ginger-anything and could eat soup every day of the year. Made it exactly as written using chicken thighs (more flavorful and moister than breasts). Served as is for myself but over cooked elbow pasta for my Dad. The squeeze of lemon and cilantro at the end elevates the dish but the soup could still stand on its own if you don’t have. It was delicious, easy to make on a weeknight, and will definitely be in my rotation. PS I’m feeling better 🙂






  14. This soup is excellent! We had it for a second time tonight, with added carrots, topped with chili garlic paste and served with rice.






  15. I made this tonight. I did not have fresh ginger so used 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, but it turned out perfect. This was the absolute best flavored chicken soup I’ve ever made and had. Thank you for the recipe.






  16. Fabulous recipe! I always make homemade chkn noodle soup and thought, I want to see what Sylvia puts in her chkn soup recipe..and bam she did it again added an ingrediaent I never thought to add but gave the soup dimension..Ginger who would have known to add ginger?!! excellent!






  17. This soup is so easy and soooo good! My almost 3 year old son asks me to make it weekly. We sometimes add some rice noodles or rice to it. Tonite I’m adding some white beans. It’s simple to make with ingredients that I usually have on hand. I love that I can have it as a side with dinner or as a meal. And the fact that my usually picky child asks me to make it regularly, makes me one super happy mama! Thank you Sylvia for once again knocking my socks off with your recipes!






  18. We loved this with the ginger and lemon flavors! Definitely way tastier than the bland version I have made in the past. Keeping this one! Thanks so much.






  19. Very delicious, I added udon noodles which I think took some flavor out of the broth but I added a splash of light soy sauce and sriracha and it is warming me up on this rainy day!






  20. I browned the skin on chicken breast and thighs first, took them out and removed the skin. I added avocado oil, sauteed the vegetables and deglazed the pan with the fourth of cup of chicken broth. After scraping up all the yummy browned bits, I followed the directions for the instant pot. Best. Soup. Ever.






    1. Thanks AnnMaire- that extra step of browning probably bumped up the flavor- good call!

  21. I love this recipe! I used the full 8 cloves of garlic, 1 whole onion and one shallot. After cooking the soup, I put it through a sieve and discarded the vegetables as they had no flavor. I garnished with thinly sliced jalapenos and whole cilantro leaves. Yum!






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