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 92 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. So delicious! Would not used toasted sesame oil again, but loved it with Siraccha. My husband addaxed Bachan’s Japanese sauce to his and loved it. It tried it the next day and it was good.






  2. Beautiful flavours! I used 6 chicken thighs and thought it could be brothier/more liquidy so added 1.5 more cups of broth. Also added a bit of nutmeg! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!






  3. Over the last few years I have made this several times–mostly for friends and family who were recovering from sickness. This time I made it for myself as I recover from sickness, and I love it so much! I diced a half of avocado to sprinkle on top and it made for a touch of creaminess (and good fat) that was just right! Thanks for this “go-to” recipe!

  4. Thank you! This is, unequivocally, the BEST chicken soup I’ve ever made! (And I make a lot of soups!)

    It’s going in the rotation!






  5. Hey Sylvia,
    I made another of your recipes!
    Feel Good Chicken Soup.
    It was delicious! Instead of fresh chicken, I used left over rotisserie chicken and just added it almost at the end. I’m sure no one could tell the difference! Great recipe! I’m looking forward to doing more “Brothy” soup recipe!

  6. I have made this many times this year. I’ve unofficially dubbed it COVID soup, as I make it when the coronavirus strikes. Today it was for my husband, who went nearly three years before his first positive test this morning. Thank you for this magical soup recipe. It is a balm to body and soul.






  7. I made this recently and it was the best chicken soup! Post Thanksgiving, I’m wondering if I can use turkey broth and turkey with this same recipe.






  8. Let me too sing the praises of this magnificent tangy, gingery, garlicky, lemony soup. Personally I didn’t need as much chicken, used chicken stock, and included orzo for about 12 boiling minutes, and diced savoy cabbage for the last 2 minutes. How joyful on a cold, very damp afternoon in the UK. Aaaaaah!

  9. This was delicious! I could kick myself. I forgot the ginger, so I added ginger powder at the end, but the soup is still wonderful. I used carrots and peas to our version and we served it over rice. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.






  10. Love LOve LOVE this recipe. It has become the base for my matzo ball soup. I have taken this to SO MANY friends recovering from various things. Thank you for making my Jewish penicillin even better!






  11. This is the best chicken broth soup around! Made it tonight and the whole family loved it! Definitely making this a lot this winter!






  12. I just made this for my poor sick sister-in-law, who is sick with Covid🦠🦠🦠She is a dedicated oncology nurse. I know this Feel Better will be the cure. I love and save all your recipes, Thanks!

  13. Great soup, will definitely add to my rotation. the lemon is lovely and I added white beans for more fiber. Perfect for when you’re under the weather






  14. So flavorful, so satisfying. I added cilantro, parsley, and scallions (plus sesame oil and red pepper flakes) to finish, and it’s beautiful. One of the tastiest soups I’ve ever made.






  15. This was delicious. I made this yesterday for my husband as he wasn’t feeling well. Made recipe as written using chicken thighs and vegetable stock. I added just a couple handfuls of baby spinach at the end. It was very flavourful. I will be making another pot today to freeze. Thank you, Sylvia for another great recipe.






  16. Cooking this now I added fresh turmeric 2 green chillis 30mils apple cider vinegar Chinese broccoli and will add thin egg noodles smells absolutely fantastic






  17. Making this now for my under-the-weather boyfriend, and it smells divine! I’m curious about the serving size. It says it yields 6. Would it be 1.5 cups per serving?

    1. I think so Elizabeth? I’m trying to remember- also depends on what/how much you add to it. Perhaps 1 1/4 cup to be safe?

  18. I always make some version of chicken soup when I’m stressed – so often I call what I make “stress soup” – but I think I will just make this from now on. My stomach has been funky all week from anxiety, but this was so comforting and I feel so much better – as advertised! I made it as written, adding some spinach I needed to use up at the end, and ate it over a baked potato. Magical.
    Thanks for all you do!






  19. I made this soup a couple times this week, once with noodles, once with rice and white beans.

    Really delicious! And something that helps me stay fed and hydrated while I recover from a cold when many other foods only upset my tummy.

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