Homemade Chicken Soup


This made-from-scratch chicken soup recipe requires a little more time and effort than opening a can of soup, but once you taste it, you'll agree that the results are worth it.

Homemade Chicken Soup
Photo: Photography: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
1 servings

The slow-cooked stock is rich and flavorful because it's made with a whole chicken, aromatic parsley springs and a bay leaf, garlic, and plenty of vegetables. And you don't have to stand at the stovetop as it cooks, just let it simmer and occasionally skim off any fat as needed. The recipe calls for some of the celery and carrots to be reserved and added at the end of the cooking process to preserve their bright color and flavor. We add long-grain rice to this Homemade Chicken Soup make it more filling, but you can substitute the same amount of brown rice or farro, if you prefer whole grains. Pasta will work too, of course, but adjust the cooking time accordingly since noodles won't take as long to cook.


  • 1 (4-lb.) whole chicken

  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered

  • 1 large leek (about 6 oz.), cut into 3-inch pieces

  • 8 black peppercorns

  • 6 flat-leaf parsley sprigs

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 4 celery stalks, divided

  • 4 large carrots (about 2 1/2 oz. each), peeled and divided

  • 1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 (10-oz.) package frozen sweet peas (about 2 cups), thawed

  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


  1. Place chicken, onion, leek, peppercorns, parsley sprigs, cloves, bay leaf, and 1 tablespoon of the salt in a large Dutch oven. Slice 2 of the celery stalks into 3-inch pieces, and add to Dutch oven. Slice 2 of the carrots into 3-inch pieces, and add to Dutch oven. Add 9 cups water, and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover, and simmer until chicken is tender and broth is flavorful, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, uncovering to skim fat as needed.

  2. Meanwhile, thinly slice remaining 2 celery stalks, and set aside. Slice remaining 2 carrots into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices, and set aside.

  3. Using tongs, remove chicken from Dutch oven, and transfer to a cutting board. Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Pull off and discard any skin from legs and breasts. Shred meat using 2 forks, and set aside; discard carcass or save for another purpose.

  4. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large Dutch oven. Strain broth into second Dutch oven; discard solids. Bring broth to a simmer over medium-low, and skim off excess fat. Stir in rice and reserved sliced celery and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Add shredded chicken, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to soup; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and rice is cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in peas. Divide soup evenly among 6 bowls, and garnish with chopped parsley.

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