Mom’s Cold-Season Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

This light chicken broth soup is perfect for cold season! It's easy to digest and made with homemade chicken stock.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

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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.)

If you are looking for a more robust chicken soup, check out our Chicken Noodle Soup made with stock from a whole chicken.

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


1 Sauté onion, carrots, and celery: 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.

2 Add seasonings: 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.

3 Add stock and simmer: Add the 4 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a low simmer. Cook until the carrots are just cooked through (about 5 to 10 minutes).

add stock to make simple chicken soup

4 Add the fresh parsley and green onion greens. Check seasonings (you will likely need to add more salt) and adjust to taste.

add parsley and onion greens to the chicken soup to help cure a cold

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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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11 Comments / Reviews

No ImageMom’s Cold-Season Chicken Soup

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Gina

    I make my chicken soup the same exact way except I put in riced cauliflower and I’ve never put green onions in mine before. I’m making one right now and I added them in. Can’t wait to try it!!


  2. Lyss

    Hello I made this soup and it’s delicious! I was wondering of you had Nutrition Facts for this recipe so I can put it in my food tracker app? Thank you!

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Carolyn Henderson

    Winter time here and we have been sick with pneumonia and bronchitis yes great household NOT!!
    For the last 4 weeks, the weekends I’d make up a huge pot of chicken or turkey soup from scratch basically the same as suggested. The last one was made from a whole brought roast chicken, just stripped the meat off the bones throwing the skin bone etc in to the stock pot ; chopping the meat up to add later when making the soup.
    Another suggestion I did was add slices of fresh ginger when making the stock also adding some with the veggies. I like the taste but it really helps with
    healing the body as it warms the inside organs. This was something I learnt from my Doctor.
    I have just finished moving the roasted marrow bones to the stove top to cook for 5 hours this will be my first ever beef broth I have made sure not like the stuff..mum made us eat.

  4. Jennifer

    I made this as written today (as well as making the chicken stock recipe) and all I can say is I have made MANY different types of chicken soups and stocks and this one is now my favorite!

    I am putting the batch in the freezer for the winter when my little ones get a cold. Thanks for sharing!


  5. Julie

    Can I add noodles to this? I am cooking the stock now and making the soup tomorrow. I would love to make it chicken noodle soup so I was wondering when would be the best time to add noodles? Also, should I let them cook in the soup or precook them before putting them in?


    Look at the package of noodles to see how long they need to cook, and then just add them that many minutes before serving. ~Elise

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