Easy Chicken Soup Base with Flavor & Ingredient Variations

Rotisserie chicken is the secret to making perfectly hearty soup even your grandma would be impressed with. Once you get this delicious, basic recipe down, you can play with a variety of flavor and ingredient combinations to mix it up!

Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken
  • 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 4 tsp lemon juice

Instructions 

Remove and discard skin from rotisserie chicken. Carve away the breast meat, chop and reserve. Pull the meat from the drumsticks and thighs, chop and reserve. Place chicken carcass in a large pot (it's okay if a little skin and meat remains). Add chicken broth and parsley and heat over high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer while you prep remaining ingredients.

While chicken broth continues to simmer, heat olive oil in a second large soup pot. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables soften. Place a colander or strainer over vegetables and carefully pour stock in; discard bones and parsley. Add chopped chicken and lemon juice, stir and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: Feel free to use a mini chop or food processor to make quick work of chopping the onion, carrot and celery since they're getting cooked down anyway. This is especially handy if you're doubling the recipe to freeze.

Flavor & Ingredient Variations 

This list is only the beginning of all the ways you can experiment with the Easy Chicken Soup Base. Feel free to get as creative as you want to be!

  • Simmer broth with a mix of herbs to infuse with different flavors. Sage, thyme and rosemary would all work well.
  • Add pantry ingredients to make the soup even more filling. Think drained and rinsed cannellini or black beans, diced tomatoes and/or small pasta.
  • Cook whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat cous cous or quinoa right in the simmering soup or add leftovers from another meal.
  • Toss in other fresh veggies and simmer to cook through. Try chopped broccoli, green beans, zucchini, peas, corn, or diced butternut squash or potatoes.
  • Garnish with minced fresh herbs at the end. Try dill for a classic flavor or cilantro for a Mexican twist.
  • Stir prepared pesto or grated sharp cheese such as parmesan or pecorino into each bowl for a jolt of flavor.