The Best Chicken Soup Ever

4.64 from 25 votes

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This is simply The Best Chicken Soup Ever. I have been enjoying this soup since I was a little baby, and it remains my absolute favorite soup in the 🌎 world to this day. This soup is the definition of comfort food. Traditionally, my family makes this with “fide” which are super thin soup noodles in 🇧🇬 Bulgaria, but I personally switch between rice, soup noodles, or pasta. Any variety of 🍚 rice or noodles will work here, so use what you ❤️ love.

I hope you give it a try and share it with your loved ones. Don’t forget to tag someone who would love this recipe and leave a review on the blog.

Why You’ll Love The Best Chicken Soup Ever

This soup is simply made with a few fresh ingredients: chicken, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and 🌿 parsley. It’s healthy and comforting and the perfect meal if you’re feeling a bit under the weather.

The flexibility of this soup is so wonderful. From various cuts of chicken, different veggies, and your choice of pasta or rice, you can certainly make this soup your own. The combination of the seared chicken and the vegetables in this soup creates an amazing flavor profile that is not only tasty but also healthy!

How To Prepare The Best Chicken Soup Ever

  • First, heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  • Then, sear the 🐔 chicken on both sides for a few minutes, seasoning with 🧂 salt and pepper.
  • Add onions, carrots, and celery; let them cook for a few minutes to release their aroma.
  • Next, add the 🧄 garlic and cook for about 1 minute to remove the raw flavor.
  • Pour in hot 💦 water or stock and bring to a boil.
  • Now you can reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot with a lid, and then let it simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • As always, taste and adjust the soup with 🧂 salt if needed.
  • After 40 minutes, remove the chicken and add the rinsed 🍚 rice to the pot.
  • Shred the chicken with a fork after removing any skin and bones and then add it back to the pot once the rice is cooked.
  • Finally, you can garnish with fresh parsley and optionally, add a squeeze of 🍋 lemon juice to each bowl for extra flavor.

Nonna’s Tip

For enhanced flavor, try using my homemade vegetable stock cubes in this recipe!

Substitutes and Variations

The Best Chicken Soup Ever lends itself to a number of different add-ins or variations. Let me know in the comments if you try any!

  • Substitute the rice for quinoa, orzo, brown rice, pastina, broken-up angel hair pasta, or couscous. There are so many options for this aspect of the soup! Choose what you ❤️ love.
  • Feel free to try this recipe with different 🌿 herbs like dill, thyme, or basil for added flavor.
  • Try adding other vegetables to your soup, like peas, spinach, or kale.
  • The soup can be made 🥬 vegetarian by omitting the chicken.
  • For enhanced flavor, add my homemade chicken bouillon cube to the broth along with the rice. Alternatively, you can swap half or all of the water for chicken or vegetable broth. 

Best Served With

Consider serving this easy Best Chicken Soup Ever with some delicious homemade bread. Here are some of my favorites:

Similar Recipes

Don’t forget to explore other similar recipes on my blog if you’re interested in comforting soups:

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Most Common Questions

What kind of broth do you use?

I love any broths by Kettle and Fire; you can click HERE and use my code THEMODERNNONNA for 20% off!

Can I use something in place of the rice?

Absolutely! Feel free to use fide, orzo, or pastina in this soup instead of rice. You can even break angel hair pasta into small pieces and use that as well. This soup is extremely versatile so be sure to make it your own.

How can I store leftovers in the fridge?

Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Then, place it in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Why do you cook the rice/pasta separately?

Any time you add starch to soups, it tends to absorb the beautiful broth the following day. Therefore, what I recommend is cooking the rice/pasta/orzo separately or adding more stock to your soup the following day.

Can I freeze this?

If you have more leftovers than you can consume in a few days, freezing is a great option. First, portion the soup into airtight containers or resealable freezer bags, but be sure there’s some room for expansion to prevent containers from cracking. Then, label the containers with the date. The soup can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

How do I prepare this from frozen?

When you’re ready to enjoy your leftover soup, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. To reheat, use a microwave, stovetop, or an oven. Make sure to heat it thoroughly until it’s steaming hot. You may need to add a bit of water or broth to adjust the consistency.

How can I send this with my kids for school?

Start by preheating a thermos with boiling water and keep it closed. While the thermos warms up, heat the soup on the stove. This entire process should only take about 10 minutes. Once the thermos is ready, empty the hot water and add the soup, leaving some space at the top to prevent a vacuum seal, which would make it harder to open. If desired, sprinkle some fresh Parmesan over the soup before serving.

Is there a vegetarian version of this soup?

Yes, you can make this soup vegetarian by omitting the chicken and using vegetable broth instead of water. 

What can I do to enhance the flavor of the soup?

For enhanced flavor, you can add any seasonings you enjoy. You can also add a bouillon cube (or 1 tablespoon bouillon paste) to the water/broth, or use Vegeta as my mom does.

What should I do if my soup is thicker than I’d like?

I add 8 to 10 cups of water or broth depending on how much chicken and rice I use. You can definitely add more if you see that it’s way too thick at the end.

Which cut of chicken should I use?

I used 4 skin-on, bone-in thighs, and 3 small chicken breasts – any cut of chicken will work here: bone-in or boneless. You can also use a whole chicken; just increase the quantity of liquid and fully submerge the chicken. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat. I compost the skin of the chicken but if you like chicken skin, you can absolutely chop it up and add it in as well.

What type of salt do you use?

I use Redmond Real Salt, please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is always to taste. Always taste and adjust as you cook.

The Best Chicken Soup Ever

This soup is simply made with a few fresh ingredients: chicken, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and parsley. It’s healthy and comforting and the perfect meal if you’re feeling a bit under the weather.
4.64 from 25 votes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Bulgarian, Mediterranean
Servings: 4
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, any oil
  • 4 chicken thighs, any cut of chicken works
  • 3 chicken breasts, small
  • salt and pepper , to taste
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery rib, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 8 to 10 cups unsalted vegetable broth , or water
  • ½ cup jasmine rice, washed
  • fresh chopped parsley , for garnish

Instructions 

  • In a big soup pot over medium heat, add the oil and let it warm. Add the chicken, and let it sear on each side for a few minutes. Be sure to season it with salt and pepper on each side.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery and let them cook for a few minutes to release their aroma.
  • Add the garlic and cook off the raw flavor, 1 minute. Add the hot water or stock let everything come to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and semi-cover the pot with a lid. Let everything cook on medium-low heat for 35 to 40 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt.
  • After 40 minutes, remove the chicken, and add 1/2 cup of rinsed rice to the pot. Remove any skin or bones from the chicken, shred it with a fork, and add it back in once the rice is cooked. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy. Squeezed lemon juice in each bowl is optional, but absolutely delicious.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 670kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 59g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 219mg, Sodium: 298mg, Potassium: 989mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2692IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Bulgarian, Mediterranean
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

4.64 from 25 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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30 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    halfed most of the ingredient amounts to make a single serving each for me & my husband. next time would try without rice but other than that happy.

    very impressive how easy it was to make! and i get stressed when cooking but this was super easy. 10/10 recommended.

    1. So glad this worked well for you, Mimi! I love when families can enjoy my recipes together. It warms my heart! ❤️

  2. I stumbled on this recipe on Instagram and finally made this chicken soup today. I used rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken thighs due to a time crunch and it was perfect! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  3. This is just like my mom taught us how to make chicken soup and it is absolutely delicious. This is going to go great with your crusty bread recipe.

  4. Thank you for this soup base receipe. I actually used some of the broth (without rice in it) for making curry noodle soup.