Harvest Chicken Vegetable Soup
Making Chicken Vegetable Soup with homemade chicken broth is easy, economical, and typically healthier than store bought. However, if you don’t have time, substitute canned or packaged low sodium broth and add fresh and frozen vegetables for a still-homemade soup!
When making homemade chicken broth, sautéing the onions, carrots, and celery in a little vegetable oil first before adding the water and carcas brings out their flavors and makes a more savory broth.
Fresh herbs are best, but dried will do in a pinch. Dried herbs have a much stronger flavor, so use about half as much. In this recipe, use ½ teaspoon each of parsley and thyme.
Homemade Vegetarian Broth: For vegetable broth, leave out the carcass. Double the amount of vegetables and sauté them first to boost the flavor. Cover with 12 cups of water and follow remainder of directions.
Use whatever fresh, frozen, or leftover vegetables you have on hand to create a delicious, satisfying vegetable soup. If you like creamy soups, you can blend half of this soup before adding the chicken.
When our kids were little, we played “Guess the Color!” They would close their eyes and we would give them a bite of this soup and have them guess which color or vegetable they were tasting.
Homemade Chicken Broth (or Turkey Broth)
1 leftover chicken carcass (or use a turkey carcass and double the following ingredients)
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 onion, quartered
2 carrots, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered (leaves removed)
1 bay leaf
Several sprigs fresh herbs, such as parsley and thyme
Water to cover
6 cups chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth
1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole
1 cup cabbage, chopped
½ red onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
½ pound broccoli florets or 2 cups of fresh spinach leaves
¾ cup baby carrots
¾ cup frozen corn kernels
¾ cup frozen peas and/or green beans
1 cup of leftover cooked chicken, diced
¼ teaspoon marjoram (or substitute parsley)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Chicken Broth (or Turkey Broth)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large stockpot and sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until they begin to brown.
- Place the carcass and herbs into the stockpot and cover with water (approximately 14 cups for chicken and 20 cups for turkey).
- Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 4 hours.
- Remove from heat and strain broth into another pot by pouring it through cheesecloth or a colander.
- Refrigerate overnight if possible; then skim solid fat off the top and discard.
- Use within 2 to 3 days or freeze in 3-cup portions.
- Sauté onions, carrots, and celery until soft and fragrant.
- Add the chicken broth, broccoli, tomatoes, marjoram, and cayenne. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes
- Add cabbage, corn, and peas and simmer for 15 minutes more.
- Add cooked chicken and heat through.
- Season with salt and pepper.