New This Month

Basic Chicken Soup


Everyone has a personal spin on the recipe, but rarely have so few ingredients added up to so much comfort. This version has classic flavors and, thanks to a simplified method, cooks more quickly than traditional chicken soups (the dish is ready in a little over an hour). There's no need to make a separate stock; the vegetables and meat form their own satisfying broth.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2010


  • 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into pieces (including back)
  • 8 cups water
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 medium onions, thinly sliced (4 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 medium carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick


  1. Bring chicken, water, and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Skim foam. Add onions, celery, and garlic. Reduce heat. Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

  2. Remove breast, and set aside. Add carrots. Simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes.

  3. Remove remaining chicken; discard back and wings. Let cool slightly. Remove meat from bones, and cut into bite-size pieces.

  4. Stir in desired amount of chicken; reserve the rest for another use. Skim fat. Season with salt.

Reviews Add a comment

  • ronshellhornya
    20 NOV, 2016
    Easy soup to make, however I added a few fresh herbs from my garden that I felt complemented this soup. You can't beat how easy the recipe is and it leaves the door open to do whatever you want with it.
  • aquadur5gmail
    9 NOV, 2016
    I made this soup, and the end result was very good. However, I had to make the following changes: 1) 16 cups of water instead of 8 (the water was bottled water: 8 bottles of 500 ML each) 2) About 3/4 cup of diced tomatoes, for color 3) I used 8 drumsticks instead of a whole chicken 4) added about 1/4 teaspoon of pepper At serving time, spread permesan cheese over the soup (in the bowl) to make up for the lack of salt.
  • berlydo
    28 AUG, 2016
    I have made this recipe nearly a dozen times since discovering it last fall. It is so easy and basic and not salty like so many recipes are. It's my go to when it's cold out or if anyone in the household is not feeling well. Very comforting and delicious:D Easy to add onto, but I usually only add a cheesecloth ball of favorite herbs(oregano and thyme usually) and peppercorns for added flavor, otherwise I like it simple like this is.
  • Beran Parry
    23 JAN, 2015
    It’s so cold today and a bowl of this soup would be fantastic right about now. Have a cozy day.. This recipe of Soup looking so healthy and best suitable for these day. This recipe is also best for having a healthy diet..
  • Chris Prince
    21 JAN, 2015
    I've never made my chicken soup without store bought broth and was looking for a recipe that would show me how to do it without. This basic soup is super easy to make, and really could be spiced up with your favorite seasonings/vegetables. TRUST the salt amount. It doesn't need any more salt than the tablespoon (and I like my food well salted and not bland). An amazing bowl of soup made COMPLETELY from scratch... it tastes way healthier than any soup I've made with pre-made broth.
  • NeaET
    26 FEB, 2014
    Tried it today. It's incredible what flavours such an easy recipe gave out. I realise i have been crowding out my soups, this recipe is a keeper. Thanks!
  • amandasaur
    6 APR, 2013
    Definitely my favorite soup to make when someone is sick or when I'm just not feeling well. Very simple, clean-tasting, and I save all the extras to make stock. Awesome recipe!
  • amandasaur
    23 FEB, 2012
    I cannot recommend this soup enough. It's a great staple soup recipe that I will surely use over and over again!
  • jodles
    8 JAN, 2012
    I made this soup and it looked just like the picture... it was good but a little tasteless... i guess cuz it's got a whole lot less sodium than the canned chicken soup :) It's great to eat something so healthy though. Next time i might leave out the parsnips too because i'm just not very familiar with them.. might put in some sweet potato instead.
  • nowicki
    9 FEB, 2011
    I was under 500 characters, not sure why my comments are short?