Mom’s Cold-Season Chicken Soup

Mom and dad are both sick this week with a “rotten cold” that is keeping them feeling pretty miserable – coughing, sneezing, grumpy, etc.

Mom made a delicious chicken soup today with just chicken broth and vegetables, no chicken meat. It was so good, I just had to get the instructions down before I forgot.

The most important thing of course is the chicken stock. If it all possible use chicken stock you’ve made from bones or backs (see chicken stock recipe.)

Mom’s Cold-Season Chicken Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4


  • 4 cups of homemade chicken stock
  • Fat from the homemade chicken stock
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced in 1/4-inch slices (about the same amount as onion)
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced in 1/4-inch slices (about the same amount as the onion)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped greens from a green onion (green part of the green onion) or chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning (ground sage and thyme)
  • 1/8 teaspoon (a pinch) of crushed red pepper flakes (or a small pinch of cayenne)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


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1 In a 4 qt saucepan, heat a tablespoon of chicken fat (that has risen to the surface and solidified from your homemade stock) on medium high heat. If you don't have enough chicken fat, you can add some olive oil. Sauté the vegetables in the fat until the carrots are almost done.

While you are sautéing the vegetables, add the seasoning - the poultry seasoning, the crushed red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Seasoning like this during the cooking of the vegetables brings out their flavor. According to my mother, crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne is very helpful for a cold, which is why it is part of this recipe.

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2 Add the 4 cups of stock. Bring to a low simmer. Cook until the carrots are just cooked through (about 5 to 10 minutes). Add the fresh parsley and green onion greens. Check seasonings (you will likely need to add more salt) and adjust to taste.

Serve with (at least) day old crusty French bread.

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Note: I asked mom about why no chicken meat and she said that it muddies the flavor of this particular light soup. I think I would have to agree. This soup is absolutely delicious just the way it is. Just make sure you are starting with excellent stock.

Cold Season Chicken Soup on Simply Recipes

Showing 4 of 9 Comments

  • Pink Sun Drops

    Yum! This sounds good. Especially when you’re sick. I had a headache from sinus pressure the other day and I finally figured out why people like chicken soup when they’re sick. The hot liquid relieves the sinus pressure. I just kept eating and eating and couldn’t stop ‘cuz it made my head feel sooo much better. That was Trader Joe’s canned chicken noodle which I love. This one seems like a wonderful different version, I’ll have to try it.

  • Umm

    This recipe is right on time. Its tons of snow on the ground and plenty of room for chicken soup. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Joan

    This soup was soooooo good! This is replacing our old chicken soup recipe. My little boy, who’s having running nose, and I finished it all. I wanted to leave some for my husband, but just couldn’t stop. Thank you!

  • Michelle

    I just finished making stock and was wondering about the fat, once I realized it can be useful to save and use as above. Since I will be freezing any leftover stock, is there a decent way to preserve the fat? Or should I just not skim it off and freeze the whole lot together? Would the fat rise to the surface as it freezes if I let it freeze in the fridge freezer compartment instead of a deep freeze? Thanks, I’ve enjoyed your recipes so much that I don’t even look anywhere else for a recipe until I check here first. Thanks for inspiring me to cook from scratch for my family.

    From everything I’ve researched it seems that it’s best to not freeze the stock with the fat on top. Something to do with affecting the taste of the stock. I would take off the fat before freezing. The fat itself will last a good long time in the refrigerator. We use it like we use bacon fat, as a cooking fat to add flavor to whatever it is we are cooking. Don’t know about freezing it. ~Elise

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