One the greatest by-products of roasting a whole chicken (which I do as a pretty frequent Sunday meal), is the opportunity to make Homemade Chicken Soup with the leftover bones & carcass.  Not sure if there is a food that feels more comforting and homey than Chicken Soup.  Just about every family and every culture has a version, and it’s one of those foods that just makes you feel good.  This Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe is not hard to make, as I’ll do with the leftover chicken(s) after the Sunday Roast (although you could start from an uncooked chicken).  I’ll show you how to make the broth from the carcass, and then put it together with the classic vegetables, and some pasta.  Of course, it’s easy to add other ingredients to make it your own.  Hope you enjoy this Chicken Soup Recipe!

Recipe Overview & Keys to Success

To make the best Chicken Soup, just follow these few cooking techniques:

  1. Make your own chicken broth/stock with left over bones/carcass (you can even freeze them until you have enough)  While it takes a bit more time, the essence of the soup is the broth, and you can make much better broth than you can buy
  2. Try to get the vegetables as uniformly cut as possible.  Not only will that help ensure they cook evenly, but it makes the chicken soup easier, and more pleasant to eat.
  3. If you’re using leftover chicken like me, make sure to pull the chicken meat you want in the soup, off the carcass before making the broth.  While the bones simmer and make the broth, the meat is going to give up all it’s flavor and get every dry – you won’t want that in the soup. Instead we’ll add the meat back to the soup at the last minute
  4. Note, you can freeze the leftover chicken carcasses and make the soup another day; or better yet, make the chicken broth, and freeze that.  Then you can pull it out to make the chicken soup, whenever you want


Ingredients (for 5)

  • 1 – 2 left over chicken carcasses (with some meat on the bone)
  • 1/2 cup pieces of chicken meat
  • 2 carrots diced into quarter inch pieces
  • 1 large celery rib diced into quarter inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves mined
  • 1/3 cup orzo pasta (you can use traditional spaghetti or any pasta you’d like)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 ear of corn (optional)

Homemade Chicken Soup From the Carcass

  • Assuming you’re using leftover roast chicken, remove any remaining meat from the carcass and dice it for the soup
  • If you need more chicken meat, you can certainly cook off another breast and dice it up as well
  • Place the chicken carcass(es) in a stock pot and cover with water by 2 – 3 inches
  • Bring the water up to a very light simmer, and continue to simmer for 45 minutes to hour to make the chicken broth
  • Remove the chicken bones from the broth and discard.
  • Pour the broth into a bowl, through a strainer to collect any small  bones or bits of chicken, and set the broth aside
  • Clean the soup pot, and put it back over medium heat, coat with olive oil
  • Add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic. 
  • Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine
  • Continue to sweat the vegetables until the onions are just translucent
  • Add the thyme leaves, and the chicken broth
  • Bring everything up to a simmer again, and cook until the carrots just soften (about 10 minutes)
  • Add the corn, chicken and orzo pasta
  • Cook for another 5 – 8 minutes until the orzo is tender
  • Taste and re-season the soup if needed

Serve up this delicious Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with some crusty bread and a nice salad, can you’ve got a perfect, warming, comforting meal.  Hope you enjoy it!

Wine Recommendation:  Soups can make for a tough wine pairings.  I don’t really like reds for chicken soup, as the flavors are likely to drown (no pun intended) the lighter soup.  Similarly, so would full bodied or oaky whites.  I’d suggest you go with an austere white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley in France.  The wines are generally fairly tight, minerally, and clean tasting, and should accent the sweet elements in the soup.  Hope you enjoy it!

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How to Cook Chicken