This hearty chicken soup is simmered with a bone broth recipe. It’s full of fresh herb flavor and ideal for cool spring days.
This post is sponsored by Petaluma Poultry – Home of ROCKY® and ROSIE® Chicken.
I’m not trying to be overly dramatic, but homemade soup is life changing.
Once you have a bowl that has been simmered long enough to blend flavors and infuse broths, the thought of going back to canned feels like a death sentence to your taste buds.
If you’ve eaten a lot of canned soups in your lifetime, like I have (hello, diet food!), then you know they simply taste salty. And if you buy any type labeled diet or healthy, then you are in for even worse of a treat. Bland with a capital B.
Make it at home, though, and put in little effort, but a lot of time. Consider your soup world rocked.
If you’ve been following the blog, you know that I’ve been partnering with Petaluma Poultry to share my love of cooking with the whole bird. This time I received ROSIE® whole chickens. The ROSIE® brand was the first chicken to be Certified USDA Organic. Certified Organic means raised in a free range environment on certified organic farms, in and around Sonoma County, California. Simply put, it’s more than a label; it’s an approach to agriculture. I thought there would be no better way to take advantage of the whole bird than to make a soup with a simmered bone broth.
To fill you in on this brand, these chickens are raised around Sonoma County and three varieties are available — ROCKY® The Free Range Chicken, ROSIE® The Original Organic Chicken, and SONOMA RED® Pasture Raised Chicken. For me, the brand serves as a good example of how poultry companies can make positive changes to provide a more humanely raised and high-quality product.
So let’s talk about bone broth for a minute. It’s really just a homemade broth or stock that has simmered, either on the stove or in a slow cooker, for an extended period of time. Some folks will let this stuff cook for days. That’s a bit beyond my patience and safety comfort level.
I like bone broth for the flavor, though. I’m not sipping it for health benefits like many others do. So my point is that my instructions here take the broth just to the edge of bone broth. You are certainly welcome to let it go in a slow cooker even longer, say, 10 to 12 hours. But chicken bones are a bit more fragile than beef bones so they breakdown more quickly. Something to keep in mind. Just pay attention to the point in the cooking when you need to add the other ingredients and it should work out just fine.
The flavor of this soup surprises even me. The broth really bursts with the herbs and the garlic and onion is well infused into the chicken.
A few things are optional in this soup. First, the noodles. You don’t have to use any noodles at all. Or you could try substituting rice. You’ll need to test the cooking time for that, though. It may take a bit longer to cook than the noodles. Second, you can add all of the chicken if you’d like it loaded up. Or you can do what I did, and use about 2/3rds of it. I use the rest of it for chicken salad, tacos, or tossed with pasta for another meal.
It’s also worth noting that at first glance the soup seems like a hefty time investment, but the majority is hands-off time. You’ll only spend a few minutes chopping ingredients and shredding the chicken. I like to cook the chicken early in the morning, shred it, and roast the bones. Then it goes into the slow cooker for the day. About an hour and half before dinner time, the other ingredients go in, and then it’s ready to eat.
What I love about this chicken herb soup is that it is a true comfort food, but the bright herbs make it a great match for spring weather, too.
Chicken Herb Soup with Bone Broth Recipe
Makes 6 to 8 servings
What you’ll need:
1, 4 1/2 to 5 lb. whole chicken
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
16 cups water
1/2 cup loosely packed parsley
2 sprigs rosemary (about 4 inches each)
2 sprigs thyme (about 4 inches each)
3 ribs celery, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
6 oz. extra wide egg noodles, optional
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh herbs such as thyme leaves and parsley to garnish
How to make it:
Place the chicken in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and onion. Pour in 14 cups of water, or enough to cover the chicken. This isn’t an exact science so if you need more water to cover your chicken fully, add it here. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent it from boiling over. Boil for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat. Carefully remove the chicken and place it on a large plate to cool (I use a combination of strong slotted spoons and spatulas to remove the chicken.)
Strain the broth and add it to the bowl of a slow cooker (about 6 quarts in size). Discard the garlic and onions. Add the remaining 2 cups of water to the broth.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
As soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle use a combination of two forks and/or your hands to pull all the meat off of the bones. Place the meat in a bowl and discard any inedible pieces that aren’t bones. Put the shredded meat in the refrigerator.
Place the bones on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
Add the parsley, rosemary, and thyme to the slow cooker. Add the bones. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Ninety minutes before your broth cooking time is up, use a slotted spoon to remove the bones and herbs. Discard. It’s okay if a few leaves of herbs remain. Add the celery and carrots.
Twenty minutes before the cooking time is up, stir in the noodles, chicken, salt, and pepper. Slow cook for the remaining 20 minutes, until the vegetables and noodles are tender. Serve warm and garnish with herbs.