Comforting Chicken Soup & Chicken Stock

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Skill Level
Preparation Time 20 minutes Total Time 5 hours
Servings 12 Cost Per Serving $1.32
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Image of a bowl of chicken soup


1Whole Chicken, halved
3Carrots, halved
2Onions, halved
3Celery Stalks, halved
1 headGarlic, cut in half
2 tbspTomato Paste
12 cupsWater
8Thyme Sprigs
3Bay Leaves
1 Small Bunch (1 cup)Fresh Parsely Leaves with Stems
2 cupsSwiss Chard and Kale, roughly chopped
1 tbspOlive Oil
To tasteSea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper


  1. ​Add olive oil to a very large pot over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer add your halved carrots, halved onions and halved celery. Stir gently and cook for about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and halved garlic head and stir.
  2. Add your chicken, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and parsley. Cover with the water, turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
  3. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer. You want to see small gentle bubbles on the surface when simmering (boiling water will cause the stock to become cloudy).
  4. Simmer for about 1 and a half hours or until the chicken meat falls easily off the bones. Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and set aside in a tray to cool. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove all the meat and refrigerate. Add all the bones and scraps back to the pot of stock and continue to simmer for another 3 hours.
  5. Remove pot from the heat and carefully strain through a mesh sieve into another large pot. Use a ladle to strain the liquid a little at a time if the pot is too heavy to lift.
  6. Pour stock into muffin trays and freeze for storage.
  7. For your chicken soup, add the cooked chicken, your chopped carrots, onions, celery, and Swiss chard to your stock. Simmer for 20 minutes and serve. Season to taste.


  • Broth made with chicken or other bones contains bone-boosting minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It also contains gelatin, a type of protein that promotes healthy cartilage, joints, ligaments, hair and nails. Gelatin may also help provide relief from diarrhea. 
  • Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Homemade broth contains amino acids such as proline and arginine. Commercial broth often uses artificial chicken flavour instead of chicken, so it usually does not contain amino acids. Proline is important for healing tissues damaged by inflammation or infection. Arginine is needed for cell division, wound healing and a healthy immune system. 
  • If you or your loved one needs to gain weight, you can add extra calories to the soup stock by not skimming off the fat or stirring in cream at the end.  You can also add olive oil, butter, full-fat milk or cream, dried fruit, gravy and sauces to your meals.  To help boost protein, prepare some hardboiled eggs that can be sliced into recipes and keep skim milk powder, grated cheese, and cottage cheese on hand to add to dishes. You can help by making sure the fridge and pantry are stocked with these items to enhance meals.