Where there's chicken, there's chicken soup. Find 25 healthier takes on the ultimate comfort food.
Anywhere a chicken walks the earth, a cook stalks behind with a big soup pot. Chicken soup is simply the gold standard of
global comfort food. Here are 25 favorites from around the world.
First up: Good Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup is classic American comfort food. But it can cross to the wrong side of the road if there are too many odds and ends, if noodles bloat and meat gets dry. But here's a cure, if common chicken soup leaves you cold: a purist's ideal, using flavorful stock, fresh-cooked chicken, traditional veggies, and egg noodles that lend starchy body to the broth.
View Recipe: Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup
The Thais are among the world's great soup-makers. It's hot over there, but they like their soup piping hot and often incredibly
spicy. Coconut milk tames the heat and combines deliciously with chicken in this version of tom kha ga, smoothing the edges of tart lime, salty fish sauce, and fiery chile paste. It all comes into perfect chicken-y balance.
View Recipe: Spicy Thai Coconut Soup
Cannellini beans, native to Tuscany, work beautifully in this rustic soup because they hold their shape after simmering in
the flavorful broth. Serve with a crusty Italian bread, such as ciabatta, and a salad of bitter greens.
View Recipe: Chicken and White Bean Soup
Moroccans take great comfort in their wonderful tagines—lamb or poultry slowly stewed with fragrant spices. This dish is basically
a tagine thinned to soup consistency, with couscous to starch it up. Sugary butternut squash and meaty chicken thighs remind
us how well sweet and savory flavors play together in Moroccan cuisine.
View Recipe: Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup
Get all the comfort of the traditional dish in a lot less time. In this recipe, flour tortillas stand in for the traditional
biscuit dough, while rotisserie chicken breast completes the dish in a jiffy.
View Recipe: Quick Chicken and Dumplings
Yummy, thick Japanese udon noodles are the soul of this dish: slippery enough to slurp, fat enough to lend a satisfying chew.
Meaty shiitake mushrooms, fragrant star anise, and a touch of dry rice wine deepen the broth's flavor. You'll be crowing after
a bowl of this.
View Recipe: Chicken-Udon Soup
This top-rated Southwestern chicken soup is a great way to use up leftover chicken. The creamy chunks of avocado add a richness
that's unusual to find in most chicken soups.
View Recipe: Southwestern Chicken Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup in just 20 minutes? Absolutely! Heat the broth mixture in the microwave to jump-start the cooking. Meanwhile,
sauté the aromatic ingredients in your soup pot to get this dish under way. Though we like the shape of fusilli, you can also
make this soup with wide egg noodles, rotini, or even orzo.
View Recipe: Quick Chicken Noodle Soup
Avgolemono is an amazingly creamy soup without a drop of cream. Egg-thickened broth is spiked with tart lemon juice, all enrobing
a beautiful chicken core. Greeks serve it chilled in the summer. In winter, it's cooked with rice and dished up piping hot.
Folks who hit the ouzo too hard have been said to find relief the next day in a steaming bowlful. Sounds likely.
View Recipe: Avgolemono
Few cooks put cabbage to more inspired use than the Germans. This is the definition of hearty in a bowl: Earthy green cabbage
mingles with moist shredded chicken and chicken sausage, broth-soaked potatoes, and tart, crunchy apple that adds a fruity
counterpoint. Pair it with some good pumpernickel.
View Recipe: Chicken Soup with Cabbage and Apple
Count on having dinner on the table in about 40 minutes, and serve this soup the moment it’s done for the best results. In
fact, if you wait, you’ll find it gets too thick with time. If you have leftovers, you will want to thin the soup with a little
chicken broth or milk to the desired consistency.
If the broccoli florets are large, break them into smaller pieces at the stalk instead of chopping them; they’ll cook more quickly.
View Recipe: Broccoli and Chicken Noodle Soup
Clocking in at barely 10 minutes to make, this soup proves no night is too busy for home cooking. It's nice and spicy, with
big chunks of tasty tomato. Make a bowl a hearty complete meal by adding cooked rice, barley, or noodles.
View Recipe: Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup
You'll need to start a day ahead to prepare the tasty homemade broth for this chicken noodle soup. Stirring fresh lemon juice
and rind in at the end adds freshness and helps brighten the comforting flavors.
View Recipe: Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Start with shredded cooked chicken breast and transform your dinner tonight into restaurant-quality Thai cuisine. The coconut
milk gives the soup a creamy, smooth texture.
View Recipe: Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup
"This is a complete meal containing very little fat and loads of fiber and flavor,” said reader and recipe developer, Charlene
Chambers. “A truly guilt-free dinner."
View Recipe: Tuscan Chicken, Bean and Spinach Soup
You'll probably use all the breast meat from one standard rotisserie chicken for this Mexican stew topped with diced avocado,
sliced radishes, and fresh cilantro. Look for canned tomatillos in the Mexican foods section of your supermarket.
View Recipe: Superfast Chicken Posole
This 15-minute recipe is wonderfully simple and sure to become a weeknight staple. To cut down on prep time and keep cleanup
to a minimum, use kitchen shears to easily chop tomatoes while they’re still in the can.
Escarole is a variety of endive but is not as bitter as Belgian endive or curly endive. It has broad, bright green leaves that grow in loose heads. When purchasing escarole, look for fresh, crisp leaves without discoloration. Store escarole tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to three days.
View Recipe: Chicken-Escarole Soup
Fluffy herb-flecked dumplings, tender vegetables, and rich dark-meat chicken combine in this soul-satisfying comfort dish.
Garnish each serving with a fresh sprig of parsley, if desired. This is a perfect, cozy dinner for two on a chilly night.
View Recipe: Herbed Chicken and Dumplings
The old classic chicken noodle gains new life with the addition of garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and lime in this recipe. It's
still warm, soft, and comforting, but with an updated, modern edge. Lots of easy variations on this dish are possible: Try
soba, udon noodles, or rice instead of angel hair, or cubed tofu instead of chicken.
View Recipe: Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
This hearty soup’s flavor comes from the roasted vegetables that have been caramelized. Serve with crusty bread on a cold
View Recipe: Roasted Vegetable-Rosemary Chicken Soup
Roasting the bones adds richer, deeper flavor to the stock. If you don't see chicken bones in your butcher's case, ask for
them. Take your time when tempering the egg (used to add body to the soup) with the hot broth; the payoff is a smooth, silky
Make-ahead tip: Cook and chill the stock a day ahead; skim solidified fat from cold stock before heating and proceeding with recipe.
View Recipe: Lemon Chicken Soup with Dumplings
Swirl in a generous dollop of pesto before serving to liven up this classic white chili. We call for making your own homemade
pesto, which can be made-ahead and frozen, or you can use bottled prepared pesto.
View Recipe: Chicken Chili with Pesto
This is the classic soup at its most basic, yet the flavorful stock makes it satisfying and surprisingly memorable. Add leftover
roast chicken for a heartier version.
View Recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup
Fresh, high-impact flavors like those in our Chili-Spiced Soup with Stoplight Peppers and Avocado Relish, will give your soup
a made-from-scratch taste that cannot be beat. Reader and recipe developer Jamie Miller created this recipe for her husband
who loves Mexican food. "This recipe is everything you'd find in a fajita in a healthy, tasty soup instead."
View Recipe: Chili-Spiced Chicken Soup with Stoplight Peppers and Avocado Relish