Hearty Chicken Soup

3.4.16 / Comment


Chicken Soup in Ball Jars

This wonderfully tasty chicken soup is our go-to dinner meal for chilly nights! Not only is it perfect served on its own or paired with a salad, but it can also turn into a complete meal just by adding a cooked whole grain such as quinoa, sorghum, brown rice, or noodles. There are two different ways to cook this recipe, but using a slow cooker will release decadent aromas all day long that are sure to wake up your taste buds. It’s also important to note that the flavors of the soup will increase after 24 hours, making this meal the perfect leftover option! All you have to do is make a double batch, freeze half of it, and you have lunch and dinner for the next few days. Please keep in mind that if you are using gluten-free pasta in the soup, don’t freeze it as the pasta will fall apart. If you do want to freeze pasta in the soup, it should be cooked al dente so when the soup is reheated, the pasta won’t overcook.

Ingredients for chicken soup

Not only does this soup make for great leftovers, but it’s also packed full of nutrition! Adding leeks, celery, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and kale to a traditional chicken soup recipe is a creative way to get more vegetables into your meal without feeling like there is a lot to eat. But don’t forget about the protein–eating lean poultry such as chicken provides you with a great source of protein, B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood, and are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins (1), so it’s important to make sure you are getting enough of it in your diet! A good way to calculate the amount of protein you need is to convert your weight to kilograms (weight in pounds divided by 2.2 g/kg) and multiply that number by 0.8 g/kg. So go ahead and enjoy this fantastic recipe–it’s one that is sure to keep you warm, happy, satisfied, and comforted on chilly nights.

Hearty Chicken Soup
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 15 servings
  • 1 whole chicken, or 3-4 pounds
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 12 cups of water
  • 2 leeks, halved and rinsed with ends trimmed
  • 2 medium celery stalk, sliced thin
  • 1 large turnip, scrubbed, remove the top and cut in half
  • 1 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • 3 black pepper corns
  • 6-7 large carrots, peeled and sliced into ½ inch rounds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 dill sprigs
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed and chopped.
  • 1-2 parsley sprigs
  • Your choice of cooked whole grain (optional)
  1. Remove neck and giblets from the chicken and discard.
  2. Squeeze each half of the lemon into the cavity of the chicken and sprinkle salt inside the chicken.
  3. In a large stockpot over low heat, add chicken breast ,side down, for 2-3 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil skim to foam from the top. Add leeks, celery, turnip, parsnips, peppercorns, and carrots.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes then add the bay leaf. dill, kale, and parsley, and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the chicken once it’s reached 165 F.
  5. Remove the chicken and cool, separate skin from the meat and meat from the bones, then shred the chicken and cut it into bite size pieces.
  6. Remove turnip, leek, dill, peppercorns and bay leaf.
  7. If necessary, remove congealed fat from soup and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
  8. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.
  9. Optional: serve with your choice of cooked grain (quinoa, brown rice or noodles).
Slow Cooker:
  1. Remove neck and giblets from the chicken.
  2. Squeeze each half of the lemon into the cavity of the chicken and sprinkle salt inside the chicken.
  3. Add all ingredients except kale & dill to slow cooker, making sure chicken and vegetables are covered with water.
  4. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. At the end, add kale to the soup for about 5-10 minutes until bright green.
  5. Remove turnip, leek, dill, bay leaf and peppercorns.
  6. Remove chicken, separate skin from the meat and meat from the bones and shred into bite size pieces.
  7. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.
  8. Optional: serve with your choice of cooked grain (quinoa, brown rice or noodles).
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 50 calories, Fat: 1 gram, Saturated fat: 0 grams, Carbohydrates: 8 grams, Sugar: 3 grams, Sodium: 209 milligrams, Fiber: 2 grams, Protein: 4 grams, Cholesterol: 9 milligrams
If you refrigerate this soup and chicken overnight, remove congealed fat from soup and season with salt and pepper. If the soup is too concentrated and thick add 1-2 cups of water.[br][br]Optional: turnip can be peeled and cut in bite size pieces into the soup.[br][br]To reheat frozen soup: 1. Name and date the bags or jars. 2. They will then place the soup in either freezer bags or freezer jars such as the Ball jars. To maximize space place the filled freezer bags in the freezer horizontally then once frozen you can store them upright. 3. Place frozen food still in the bag or the ball jar in the sink with hot water for 5 to 10 minutes until the soup can separate. 4. Pour the contents into a saucepan or a microwave safe bowl. 5. Use a spoon to gently break up the contents of the soup, then cover the soup and bring it to a boil. Boil for a minimum of one minute stirring frequently until fully heated to a temperature of 165F. 6. (If you are going to defrost in the Microwave follow microwave directions then place the defrosted soup in a microwave safe bowl and reheat on high until the temperature reaches 165F.[br]If using a freezer safe glass container, leave 1-2 inches at the top for expansion so the container doesn’t break.

(1) Why is it important to make lean or low-fat choices from the Protein Foods Group? ChooseMyPlate. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/protein-foods-nutrients-health

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