Healthy Chicken Soup Recipe: Learn about how healthy chicken soup can actually be and why it’s perfect for cold and flu season!
Healthy Chicken Soup Recipe
Whenever I felt ill as a child, my mother would make me some of her homemade chicken soup. I can still smell the hearty aroma of the healthy soup wafting through the house. Topped with a dash of grated cheese, it was the perfect thing to help lift my spirits and soothe any aches and pains that came during cold and flu season.
There’s nothing like a bowl of homemade chicken soup during the fall and winter to make you feel better, am I right?
Wonder why chicken soup is recommended when you’re not feeling well? Homemade chicken soup can be rather healthy for you and may improve your cold and flu symptoms!
How is Chicken Soup Healthy?
When homemade chicken soup is made with chicken meat and bones, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are present. These elements come from the bones when they are boiled to make stock and broth.
How are these elements healthy for you?
- Zinc can shorten colds. In fact, some research suggests that zinc taken within 24 hours of the start of a cold could shorten the cold by a day!
- Calcium can help strengthen bones and teeth. The body also uses it for muscle movement. (Think about how sore your muscles can feel when you have a cold!)
- Phosphorus is known to help the body create energy and to regulate the fluids in your body, which helps to avoid dehydration when you’re sick.
- Magnesium is also known for bone health and muscle health. It can also help alleviate pain from headaches, PMS, and may even help relieve anxiety.
When you add vegetables to chicken soup along with the chicken, you can also get the added bonus of:
- Protein, which helps with muscle and bone health.
- Potassium, which helps cells, tissues, and organs to function properly.
- Iron, which helps to improve blood flow and to create energy.
- Vitamin B, which helps with energy.
- Vitamin C, which helps support the immune system and can acts as an anti-inflammatory.
- Vitamin E, which helps cells function properly.
You surely can’t beat all of these health benefits, plus the fact that chicken soup is a comfort food for us. Doesn’t it bring back pleasant memories from your childhood and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
The Best Healthy Chicken Soup Recipe
While this isn’t my mother’s chicken soup recipe, it’s pretty close. My kids love when we make this homemade chicken soup recipe.
A few notes:
- This recipe can be made with chicken with bones or boneless. If you choose to use boneless chicken, you may want to substitute one container of organic chicken stock for half of the water.
- I recommend that if you add noodles to the soup, that you prepare the noodles separately since they can overcook when prepared with the soup and get mushy. You can keep the extra noodles with a tiny bit of broth in a sealed container until you are ready to reheat the rest of the soup at a later time.
- Are you carb free? Skip the noodles and potato! Soup still tastes excellent.
- We like to top our chicken soup with a dash of grated cheese for a pop of flavor.
Recipe: Healthy Chicken Soup
Follow the recipe here or print it out to add to your recipe binder.
- 1.5 lbs chicken breast, *can be with or without bones
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 8 cups water, *8 cups of chicken broth if not making your own
- 1 chopped leek
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 chopped potato
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 chopped rutabaga
- 1 cup chopped parsnip
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 package extra wide egg noodles or macaroni noodles, *optional
- salt, *to taste
- pepper, *to taste
- grated parmesean cheese, *optional
- Place chicken in a pot and cover with water. If using boneless chicken, use half water, half chicken broth. Add salt and minced garlic. Bring to boil until chicken is cooked (about 20 minutes).
- Remove chicken from water and remove bone (if necessary). Chop chicken. Set aside.
- Add chopped vegetables and herbs to the stock. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare noodles in a separate pot according to directions on package. (Note: You can make the entire package or make as much as you will need for a few bowls at a time.)
- Add chicken to the pot of vegetables and broth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Dish out soup, adding a half cup of noodles to each bowl. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
It is recommended that you prepare the noodles separately since they can overcook when prepared with the soup and get mushy. You can keep the extra noodles in a sealed container until you are ready to reheat the rest of the soup.
Can You Freeze Chicken Soup?
Homemade chicken soup can last 3-4 days in the fridge in the right kind of container.
Want to make a double recipe and freeze it for a later date? You can! In a tightly sealed container or even in tightly sealed storage bags, chicken soup can last upwards of 4-6 months in the freezer.
When you’re ready to eat it again, thaw the soup first in the fridge, and then either reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Sides for This Chicken Soup Recipe
Want to make it a meal? These sides go well with this chicken soup recipe:
- grilled cheese
- grilled ham and cheese
- cheesy bread
- toasted bread with avocado spread
What do you think?
Does this sound like a soup your family would enjoy? What would you add to it or take out of the recipe? Is there a different side you’d make? Leave me a comment below!