Healthy Chicken Soup

Bowl of steaming Chicken Soup

Bowl of Healthy Chicken Soup

When you are under the weather, or have a cold or the flu, people tell you to eat chicken soup. Well, this is my recipe for a Healthy Chicken Soup that will perk you up. It is slightly spicy because of the cayenne and ginger.


  • One Turkey carcass or two chicken carcasses
  • 2 to 4 quarts water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ pound Shitake Mushrooms
  • 1 - 4 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne (red) pepper (to taste)
  • 1 lb carrots
  • ½ bunch of celery
  • 1 small can chicken and rice soup (I use Campbell's)
  • Handful of fresh spinach leaves (chopped)
  • Chicken Soup base (or chicken bouillon powder)

Preparing the Soup

By "Turkey carcass or chicken carcasses" I mean the bones from turkey or chickens that you have eaten all the meat, with maybe just a little meat left on the bones.

Tip to make it easy: You don't have to make your own stock as I do here, but you could instead buy chicken stock or broth, and also buy one of those pre-cooked rotisserie chickens. Then just use the meat from the breast, no skin or fat, chopped up. I prefer my own stock though.

  1. In a large covered stock pot, cover your chicken or turkey carcass with plenty of water. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer three hours, until the bones are falling apart.
  2. Strain the stock, separating out the bones and all other solids, leaving the stock in the pot. Reserve the bones, allowing them to cool.
  3. Add the onion to the stock and bring it back to a simmer, covered. Allow to simmer for about an hour.
  4. While the onion is simmering in the stock, sort through the bones picking off all the meat and returning it to the pot. Discard the bones and any fat or skin.
  5. While the onion is simmering in the stock, peel and grate your ginger. Add the grated ginger to the pot. Put the peeling pieces of ginger into a small sauce pan, and add enough water to cover them, bring them to a boil and then turn down to simmer.
  6. Put the Shitake mushrooms in a dish and cover with water to clean them. Allow them to soak.
  7. Chop up your carrots and celery. And set aside.
  8. Drain the Shitake mushrooms, then trim the root ends off the stems and discard. Chop the stems finely, and slice up the mushroom caps.
  9. After the onion has simmered for an hour, add the cayenne, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and strain the water from the small sauce pan into the stock. Discard the ginger peelings. Allow the stock mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat.
  10. Add the can of chicken and rice soup to the pot and stir.
  11. Chop up your spinach and stir in.
  12. Add Chicken Soup base, a Tablespoon at a time to your stock pot, stirring well, tasting after addition, until the soup has enough salt in it.

Serve this to anyone who has the cold or a flu, or really to just anyone, because it is really good.