December 7, 2022

Nutra Health

The Ideal Health

Feel Better Chicken Vegetable Soup

A steaming bowl of broth-style chicken vegetable soup is the perfect comfort food, especially when you’re under the weather. This one is dotted with carrots, celery and onion to create a nutritious recipe. And best of all, it’s easy and inexpensive to make. Not only is this healthy chicken soup recipe perfect for a cold winter day, but it’s also light enough to enjoy year-round. It’s also rich in protein and contains ingredients with potential anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting nutrients.

Close up shot of a bowl of brown soup on a white plate topped with parsley leaf.

I grew up eating chicken and vegetable soup as comfort food. It was my go-to meal when I wasn’t feeling well because it was easy to digest and provided the only nutrition I could tolerate. Even today, when the kids aren’t feeling their best, chicken vegetable soup is always on the menu, along with my Instant Pot Vegan Broccoli Soup.

As a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, I’m excited to share this recipe as we enter a season known for viruses. It’s made with simple, wholesome ingredients and can easily be adapted to your taste or dietary needs. This recipe uses lean chicken thighs and just enough vegetables to balance out the flavours.

This chicken veggie soup recipe is a great way to get all the yumminess without spending hours in the kitchen. So next time you’re feeling under the weather or just need a little comfort, curl up with a bowl and let it warm you up.

Ingredients

I’ve kept the ingredients list short, only using items that are probably already in your pantry. When you’re feeling poorly, the last thing on your mind is tracking down ingredients for a complicated recipe. And let’s not forget, pungent flavours are probably not going to sound appetizing when you’re not feeling your best.

A collection of food ingredients like chicken, spices and vegetables arranged on a wooden mat.

To make this soup, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chicken: skinless, boneless thighs are my preferred chicken option for soup because they don’t dry out compared to other chicken cuts. I like to keep the thighs whole to prevent the soup from becoming cloudy. My family prefers our soups to have a clear chicken broth base.
  • Carrots: diced carrots add a pop of colour and natural sweetness to the soup – which we love.
  • Celery: its light flavour pairs well with chicken. You want to dice it into small pieces, similar in size to the carrots, for even cooking.
  • Onion: diced white onion adds another layer of flavour to chicken soup.
  • Olive oil: as a heart healthy cooking oil, I use it to lightly caramelize the garlic before adding the onions.
  • Garlic: Not only does freshly sliced garlic add a delicious dimension of flavour to your soup, but it also comes with antimicrobial and antioxidant benefits.
  • Ginger: has been shown to soothe and calm the digestive system and could help as a natural remedy for nausea.
  • Chicken broth: I opted for no added salt chicken broth because it’s easier to control the sodium. Plus, the chicken broth adds a rich flavour to the soup — not to mention additional protein.
  • Bay leaves: add a subtle woodsy aroma and delicious flavour, without the need for additional herbs.
  • Parsely: A handful of fresh parsley not only adds a beautiful touch of freshness but is packed with antioxidants which pose promising health benefits like lowering the risk of heart disease, and some types of cancers.
  • Salt and pepper: to bring all the flavours together.

Feel Better Chicken Vegetable Soup

How to make it

There are only five steps:

  1. To make this chicken vegetable soup, start by sautéing the garlic and ginger with bay leaves in a cast iron cooking pot (Step 1).
  2. Once the garlic starts to release its aroma, add onion and saute for 1 minute on medium heat. Next, add chicken thighs and turmeric and stir. You want to cook the thighs until they turn a light golden brown, stirring frequently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot (Step 2).
  3. After that, throw in the carrots, celery, and chicken broth (Steps 3-4). Let the soup come to a boil then turn down the heat to low-medium and let it simmer for 25 minutes while covered.
  4. Finish your soup with salt, pepper and parsley (Steps 5-6).

While this simple chicken and vegetable is a comforting option on its own, feel free to add in cooked quinoa or noodles for added dietary fibre, carbs and protein if desired. This also makes for great leftovers the next day (if you have any)!

Flatlay of a bowl of brown soup on 2 plates that's topped with parsley leaf.

Tips and storage suggestions

To ensure your soup tastes just as good the next day, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Following are some additional tips and suggestions to make this chicken vegetable soup recipe your own:

  • If you want a heartier soup, consider adding diced yellow or sweet potatoes – just remember to add them before the chicken is cooked through.
  • Want some heat? Add diced jalapeños or top with crushed red pepper flakes for added spice.
  • This soup also pairs well with a slice of crusty bread or crackers on the side.
  • Reheat on the stovetop or microwave when you’re ready to serve.
  • Feel free to experiment with your favourite vegetables, just make sure they can cook through within the 25-minute simmering time.

What herbs and spices are good in soups?

Consider experimenting with adding herbs and spices at different stages in the cooking process to vary their intensity in the final dish. Ultimately, it’s up to your personal preference and taste.

The truth is, the options are endless. Here are a bunch that I would recommend trying out:

  • cumin
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • red pepper flakes
  • dill
  • rosemary
  • basil
  • coriander seeds
  • cloves
  • star anise

What can I add to my chicken soup to make it taste better?

If you’re looking to add more flavour to your chicken soup, in addition to the spice and herb suggestions above, try:

  • diced tomatoes
  • fresh lemon juice
  • hot sauce
  • a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • diced avocado
  • green onion

Is chicken vegetable soup good for you?

This chicken vegetable soup is packed with nutritious ingredients such as chicken, vegetables, turmeric and aromatics like onion, garlic, and ginger. It’s a great option for those looking for a lighter meal or for anyone trying to incorporate more vegetables into their diet.

Additionally, some of the ingredients used in this recipe (such as ginger and parsley) have potential health benefits as noted earlier.

Protein from chicken thighs and broth provides essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) that support muscle growth and maintenance. Plus, protein supports recovery from exercise and helps maintain a feeling of fullness after a meal.

Perspective shot of a bowl of brown soup topped with parsley leaf with a plant in the background.

Nutrition highlights

A serving of this healthy chicken soup recipe with vegetables is:

  • A high source of protein (23 g)
  • An excellent source of vitamin A (147% DV)
  • Low carb (7 g) – for the diabetes community who may be counting carbs
  • A source of iron (11% DV)
  • A source of potassium (16% DV)
  • A source of vitamin C (13% DV)

*Nutrient claims based on a 2000-calorie diet.

What are your favourite healthy home meals when you’re feeling under the weather? Let me know in the comments below.

If you try this soup recipe, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! I can’t wait to see your photos. 

Desi~liciously Yours, Shahzadi

A steaming bowl of broth-style chicken vegetable soup is the perfect comfort food, especially when you’re under the weather. This one is dotted with carrots, celery and onion to create a nutritious recipe. And best of all, it’s easy and inexpensive to make. Not only is this healthy chicken soup recipe perfect for a cold winter day, but it’s also light enough to enjoy year-round. It’s also rich in protein and contains ingredients with potential anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting nutrients.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin, Benefits of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, medium, thinly sliced
  • 2 inch ginger, fresh, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, medium
  • 3 chicken thighs, whole, skinless, boneless
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 carrots, small and thin, ends removed and diced into very small chunks
  • 2 celery, ends removed, diced into very small chunks
  • 4 cups chicken broth, no added salt
  • ¾ tsp salt, sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, coarse
  • ¼ cup parsley, fresh, packed cup, washed and finely chopped
  • Sauté garlic and ginger with bay leaves in a cast iron cooking pot.

  • Once the garlic starts to release its aroma, add onion and saute for 1 minute on medium heat.

  • Add chicken thighs and turmeric and stir. Cook the thighs until they turn a light golden brown, stirring frequently to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

  • Add carrots, celery, and chicken broth. Let the soup come to a boil then turn down the heat to low-medium and let it simmer for 25 minutes while covered.

  • Finish your soup with salt, pepper and parsley.

To ensure my soup tastes just as good the next day, I like to store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Following are some additional tips and suggestions to make this chicken vegetable soup recipe your own:

  • If you want a heartier soup, consider adding diced yellow or sweet potatoes – just remember to add them before the chicken is cooked through.
  • Want some heat? Add diced jalapeños or top with crushed red pepper flakes for added spice.
  • This soup also pairs well with a slice of crusty bread or crackers on the side.
  • Reheat on the stovetop or microwave when you’re ready to serve.
  • Feel free to experiment with your favourite vegetables, just make sure they can cook through within the 25-minute simmering time.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 208kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 7g (2%)Protein: 23g (46%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 2g (10%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 107mg (36%)Sodium: 736mg (31%)Potassium: 547mg (16%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 2g (2%)Vitamin A: 7367IU (147%)Vitamin C: 11mg (13%)Calcium: 50mg (5%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Keep in mind that the nutritional values provided are approximations and suggestions. This nutrition facts table cannot account for your individual needs. Your body — including your hunger and satiety cues — change daily. It’s perfectly fine to eat more or less on different days. Instead of letting food guilt take over, consider mindful eating.

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.