Rich Homemade Chicken Soup

Creamy chicken soup with lots of shredded chicken in a white bowl with a leaf of parsley and a spoon

5 from 3 reviews

A whole chicken is simmered low and slow with vegetables and herbs; the vegetables are pureed into the broth and the tender chicken meat is removed from the bones, shredded and returned to the pot for a supremely rich and satisfying chicken soup.


  • 1 small chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), whole or cut into quarters
  • 3 stalks of celery, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 large yellow onion or two small, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium purple topped turnip, peeled and cut into large chunks (see note for a substitution)
  • 1 large bunch of parsley, divided. Roughly chop 3/4 of the bunch of parsley - stems and leaves - to use in the soup. For the remaining parsley, remove the leaves and chop them to use as a garnish.
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or substitute freshly ground black pepper)


  1. Place chicken into a large heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and add the rest of the ingredients: celery, carrots, parsnip, onion, turnip, parsley, salt and pepper, tucking the veggies around the chicken so everything fits into the pot. Add 11-12 cups of cold water, enough water to barely cover everything. If using a whole chicken it may stick up over the water a bit at first. After half an hour of simmering, use a wooden spoon to push into the chicken's backbone so it's submerged.
  2. Turn the heat up high to bring the water to a boil, keeping a close eye, to avoid it bubbling over. As soon as it starts boiling, partially cover the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest possible simmer, so the soup is barely bubbling, and cook it that way for 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Turn off the heat, transfer the chicken to a large plate, and have a big bowl nearby. Pull the chicken off the bones and discard the bones, skin and  cartilage into the bowl. Shred the chicken using two forks or by hand, making sure to sift through and pull out any remaining bones.
  4. The soup will have developed a layer of fat on top. The best way to skim it off is with a tablespoon, skimming a little at a time and tipping it into a cup as you go. Skim as much fat as you like or none at all. This step is optional.
  5. To puree the vegetables and herbs into the soup, first make sure there are no bones left in the pot. If you have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup right in the pot. If not, puree it in batches, using a blender or food processor.
  6. Once the soup is pureed, add the shredded chicken and reheat, if necessary.
  7. Serve hot with a sprinkling of chopped parsley leaves to garnish the bowls.


Substitution For Turnips: A rutabaga is a great substitute for a purple topped turnip. They are a bit sweeter and add wonderful flavor to chicken soup. Peel or slice off the dark waxy skin and cut the flesh into large chunks. Use about 2 cups of cubed rutabaga.

Keywords: homemade chicken soup with pureed soup vegetables and shredded chicken