Easy Chicken Soup is made with chicken broth, chicken, and a touch of cream–just a simple chicken soup that’s great when you’re under the weather.
When my dear sister-in-law, Joanne, was going through chemotherapy a few years ago, she asked me to make her some easy chicken soup. She wanted it the way her mama used to make it. This is a dangerous thing to do, by the way. Rest assured, that when someone requests something the way their mama or grandmother used to make it—you will never be able to produce anything that lives up to those memories. Food memories are powerful and cannot be replicated.
However, because I love her and it’s what she wanted, I said I’d give it a try. She told me the soup had no vegetables and very little seasoning, just broth, milk, and a little butter. That’s all I added, and although it’s probably not exactly the way MawMaw used to make it, we all agreed that it turned out pretty darn good. There was very little that Jo could tolerate in the way of food in those days, and a plain soup with few embellishments was good for her. In my head, I always think of this soup as Joanne’s Chemo Soup but of course, I couldn’t title it that on my little food blog because people would say, “Ewww!”
This is the perfect, easy chicken soup to make for a friend who’s had dental work or is feeling under the weather—or, heaven forbid, going through chemo. There’s little in it to upset the digestion and it doesn’t require chewing, but it’s a little more satisfying than just plain broth.
I always make large quantities of soup just in case an army drops by, but you can certainly cut this recipe in half it you don’t want to make that much.
Easy Chicken Soup
Start with two quarts of chicken stock and one quart of chicken broth. If using homemade stock then just use three quarts. Drop in four chicken breasts and simmer until chicken is cooked completely, about twenty minutes.
When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot and coarsely chop, then add the chopped chicken back into the pot. You are going to purée the chicken using an immersion blender, so if you don’t have an immersion blender, use a food processor to purée the chicken before putting it back into the pot. And if you don’t have a food processor, then just use a knife and chop the chicken very finely so there are no bite-sized pieces.
Stir in half-and-half, cream, butter, and salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, carefully purée the soup until there are no chicken chunks. Turn heat to low and simmer for a few minutes. If you love to cook and experiment with food, I caution you that this soup is difficult to make. You will be so tempted to add something. Celery, carrots, onion, thyme, whatever…you just want to put something else in that pot. But if you’re making this Easy Chicken Soup for someone who’s not feeling well, then don’t do it. Less is more in some cases and, especially for a chemo patient, less is definitely best. Flavor doesn’t matter half as much as what their stomach can tolerate and for many chemo patients, foods take on weird flavors anyway, so something that you think would enhance the soup—even just a little—might taste off to chemo patients.
That’s it. Velvety, mellow comfort soup for the soul.
If you’d like something a little heartier than this Easy Chicken Soup, try these chicken soup recipes:
Easy Chicken Soup
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in cold water
- Place chicken breasts in large stockpot with the stock and broth and simmer for about 20 minutes, until breasts are cooked through.
- Remove chicken from pot and coarsely chop chicken or puree in food processor and place back in pot.
- Stir in half-and-half, cream and butter.
- Using immersion blender, puree until chicken is finely diced and there are no chunks.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer on low for another ten minutes.
- Add cornstarch and bring to a boil.
- Turn to low and simmer for about twenty minutes.
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