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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


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)


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.



  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).


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.


  • 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