Chicken soup is arguably one of the most perfect foods out there. It’s been around forever, it’s easy to prepare, it’s nutritious, it has a lot of benefits. We even give it as a gift. It’s in the same league as chocolate chip cookies (or, cookie dough), chinese takeout, sushi, pizza, potatoes (in every form), and so many other comfort foods. On top of all of that, it can be low-carb, keto friendly, and gluten-free, fitting nearly every popular diet and nutrition lifestyle there is out there!
Chicken soup probably outdates a lot of them. As I mentioned, it’s been around nearly forever. I know, I know, I hear y’all saying “please quit with the hyperboles and all the crazy claims”. Not so fast. If you wanna get technical, we can do some research. Chicken soup has been around since the domestication of the fowl in Southeast Asia, back in the 1200s. Ancient Greeks had their own version of chicken broth and believed the soup to have healing properties. In Italy, beginning in the 1700s, people began feeding noodle soup to the sick because it was easy to digest. What we have today isn’t far from what we had back then – a soup made from chicken meat, bones, and various vegetables and spices.
The Soup with Superpowers
This was long before the advent of modern science and any real means to understand what was going on, but I dare say that our predecessors were onto something with the idea that chicken soup had some kind of superpowers.
- Homemade chicken broth or soup is full of nutrients, including protein, as well as calcium and gelatin if you use bone-in chicken, along with vitamins and minerals from carrots and other vegetables.
- The gelatin in chicken stock made from bones includes glycine, an amino acid that is critical for liver function and detoxification. It also helps with building healthy bones and joints. Additionally, it increases digestability, and may help to protect and restore the lining of our intestines. My recipe uses boneless chicken for ease of preparation. You could easily add bone broth instead of water, or use bone-in chicken.
- Chicken soup also provides important electrolytes, which help the body rehydrate itself. Garlic and ginger both have potent antiviral / antibacterial properties. Ginger is also known to quell feelings of nausea and soothe upset stomachs. There’s a reason why chicken soup is the defacto food not just for those under the weather, but those doing well and wanting to stay there!
Chicken noodle soup first became a thing as we know it today, way back in 1934, when Campbell’s soup company came out with “noodle with chicken soup”, thanks to then creator Ernest Lacoutiere, a chef at Campbell’s. It really didn’t catch on until five years later when a radio host accidentally got the word order mixed up and mistakenly referred to it as “chicken noodle soup”. That rolls off the tongue a whole lot smoother than “noodle with chicken soup”. People went crazy, thinking it was something new, and, well, the rest is history!
Chicken soup is, to me, the perfect amalgamation of all the right ingredients. A chance creation, you might say, given that its origins were in a time where we had no understanding of the benefits of things like collagen, protein, spices like garlic, ginger, and other things.
Make It Your Own
The recipe I share here is the one that my mother came up with. As I mentioned earlier, it’s low-carb, gluten-free, and keto friendly. The recipe itself is very versatile, because you can modify it in a number of different ways to change things up. I call what you see below the “chicken pot pie” version, however it can easily be made into chicken noodle either by adding egg noodles after you remove the chicken, or it can be kept keto / low-carb / gluten-free by using frozen butternut squash noodles.
It’s always been a hit, and I attribute the simplicity of the ingredients, the ease of preparation, and the secret ingredient – ginger – to it’s success. Some ingredients can be substituted, however the really key ingredients that I believe give this soup its signature flavor are the garlic and ginger, made by Gourmet Garden, the roasted chicken base by Better Than Bouillon, and the organic seasoned salt by Redmond.
Ready In Just An Hour
It’s simple. In fact, it’s so simple that if your sweetheart (who does all the cooking) calls midday to alert you that they never made it into work, that they’re home a little under the weather, you can be the savior, with little to no real effort, nor any talent required. Ten minutes at the grocery store. Chop some celery and an onion. Throw it in a pot with some butter. Squeeze some garlic and ginger out of a tube. Stir a bit, add some seasoning. Throw some frozen chicken on top, add some water, let it simmer, and you’re as good as done.
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Chicken Soup with Garlic and Ginger
- large soup pot
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 large onion, white or yellow
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
- 3 tbsp garlic paste
- 3 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tbsp bouillon stock base
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 lbs boneless chicken breast tenderloins – frozen, raw
- 1 can sliced carrots
- 1 can diced new potatoes
- Prepare a large soup pot.
- Thoroughly wash celery. Trim off head, separate into individual stalks. Cut off bottom fleshy parts and discard. Chop celery into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. Turn heat on low, and add butter to melt slowly.
- While butter is melting, clean, and finely dice onion. When butter is melted and onion and celery are finished, add to pot.
- Turn the heat to medium to medium high. Saute the onion and celery in the butter, and add poultry seasoning, garlic and ginger paste, seasoned salt, chicken stock base, and pepper, stirring to incorporate.
- After vegetables and seasoning have sauteed and have become tender and fragrant, add the frozen, uncooked chicken tenders to the top of the vegetables. Fill with enough water to cover, raising heat to boil gently until the chicken is cooked thoroughly, approximately 15-20 minutes.
- When chicken is fully cooked, turn the heat down to a slow simmer, remove chicken and set on plate, allowing it to cool slightly.
- Drain carrots and potatoes, and add to the soup base. Continue to simmer for approximately ten minutes, chopping cooled chicken into smaller pieces.
- Add chicken back to the pot, and increase heat slightly to a near boil. Reduce as needed, or add some water if necessary. Adjust seasonings to taste, stirring to ensure any additions are fully incorporated, and allowing broth to cool slightly before tasting.
- Once finished, turn heat off, and allow soup to cool slightly in order to allow the flavors to bloom a bit before serving.
- Refrigerate any remaining, and consume within 3-5 days.