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Basic Chicken Soup – The Best Soup For a Cold

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The Most Basic Chicken Soup Recipe For When You’re Sick

Sometimes, you just need chicken soup.

But, when you’re sick, the last thing you’re going to want to do is cook a time-consuming meal that takes more than the minimal amount of effort.

That’s why you need this basic chicken soup recipe. It’s the best soup for a cold because it is simple to make, but still provides the heartiness and warmth you require.

You don’t even have to cut up the chicken. Just salt a whole bird all over, toss it in a pot with water, and simmer away until you have a flavor concentrated pot of soup.

This soup is the base for all other chicken soups.

So, if you’re able to muster up the strength, you can even add another simple ingredient or two for your favorite chicken soup variation. Add some noodles for chicken noodle soup, rice for chicken and rice soup, cabbage for chicken and cabbage soup or whatever else for chicken and whatever soup.

But before you go sprucing up your warming soup with your favorite additions, let’s learn how to make the most basic chicken soup there is.

How to Make Basic Chicken Soup – Video

Why is Chicken Soup the Best Soup For a Cold?

The thing is, most soups are pretty great for when you have a cold or are feeling under the weather. The simple fact that they warm you up is enough to make them enjoyable.

But, there are real, scientific reasons that you should enjoy chicken soup when you have a cold. Several studies have shown chicken soup to thin mucus and ease nasal congestion. This makes it easier to cough and clear up congestion.

In addition, chicken soup can have an anti-inflammatory effect. This can help ease the inflammatory response of your body during a cold, specifically within your respiratory tract – this is why you get a stuffy nose.

So, chicken soup isn’t just a home remedy folklore after all.

Chicken Soup FAQs

How long does this soup keep?

One of the best things about soup is that it gets better after a day or two. The extra time allows flavors to meld and concentrate.

Now, that doesn’t mean you have to wait a few days to eat your soup. But this does mean that this soup will last great for 3-4 days covered in the refrigerator.

What should I make this soup in?

Typically, I make soup in my Dutch oven. But, depending on the size of your chicken, you may need to size up to a large stock pot like this one.

What are the best toppings for this basic soup?

Since this soup is a lot of liquid and tender chicken, a crunchy topping is perfect for adding a different texture. A blast of acid also goes a long way to balance out all the richness of the meat. Here are some great topping ideas:

  • Crackers
  • Squirt of lemon
  • Yogurt
  • Toast
  • Croutons
  • Soy sauce / tamari

Soup variations?

This soup is the base soup for all of your chicken soup wants and needs. Here are some of the best variations to pack on more flavor and chunkiness:

  • Chicken Noodle: Add dried noodles into the simmering pot based on the suggested cooking time of your noodles.
  • Chicken and Cabbage: Add sliced cabbage into the soup with the carrots, onion, and garlic. The cabbage will soften and add more chunkiness and health benefits.
  • Chicken and Rice: Add short grain rice into the soup pot when there is about 20 minutes left in the cooking time. This time may vary if you use different types of rice.

More Soups

Basic Chicken Soup For Cold

Basic Chicken Soup – The Best Soup For a Cold

Nick @ walktoeat
Have a cold? Here is a basic chicken soup to get you back on your feet. This is the best soup for a cold when you have one!
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 213 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole chicken, 3.5-5 lbs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Season chicken all over with kosher salt
  • Add chicken to large pot and cover with water about 12 cups of water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes.
  • While the chicken is simmers, cut up carrots, onion, and smash garlic cloves. Add to the pot and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board and separate meat from bones. Use two forks to pull apart the breasts and leg meat. Alternatively, use your hands to tear up the chicken meat into smaller pieces. Discard skin or chop and leave in with the rest of the meat.
  • Add the chicken back into the pot, season with several large pinches of salt and simmer for 5 more minutes to cook through. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Video

Notes

For Quicker Cooking: Cut up the chicken into pieces before cooking. The separate pieces will cook quicker than the whole bird. Leave the carcass in while the chicken simmers and discard once finished.
Using Skin: Typically, chicken skin is discarded instead of adding into the soup. But, if you’d like to leave in your soup (I usually do), then chop it up into small pieces before adding back in with the rest of your meat.
Variations: This base recipe is a blank canvas for other popular chicken soup variations. Here is how to transform it into one of your favorites:
  • Chicken noodle soup: Add dried noodles into the simmering pot based on the suggested cooking time of your noodles.
  • Chicken and rice: Add short grain rice into the soup pot when there is about 20 minutes left in the cooking time. This time may vary if you use different types of rice.
  • Chicken and cabbage: Add sliced cabbage into the soup with the carrots, onion, and garlic. The cabbage will soften and add more chunkiness and health benefits.

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 8.1gProtein: 21.3gFat: 10.2gSaturated Fat: 2.8gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 446mgPotassium: 365mgFiber: 1.8gSugar: 3.5gCalcium: 38mgIron: 1mg
Keyword basic chicken soup, best soup for a cold
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It’s Time to Kick the Cold

You’ve been living with this cold for too long. It’s time to mobilize and make yourself this basic chicken soup. It will warm you up and get you back up to speed in no time, so you can tackle the challenges of life.

I love adding a half a head of thinly sliced cabbage to this soup. I toss it in with the other veggies and let it soften in the simmering liquid. It adds a bunch more chunkiness without the added carbs or heaviness of noodles.

Don’t get me wrong, this soup is already delicious. But, if you do spruce it up with one of the variations above or another of your favorites, let me know in the comments below!

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