Creamy Chicken Soup with Vegetables

published Jan 15, 2023
Creamy Chicken Soup Recipe

Chicken soup with vegetables and herbs is pure cold weather comfort food, and this version takes it up a notch with a luxe, creamy broth.

Serves6 to 8

Makesabout 9 cups

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 40 minutes

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Credit: Kelli Foster

Give a meal a creamy twist and its cozy factor immediately skyrockets. It doesn’t matter if it’s pasta, a casserole, or pot of soup — make it creamy and it’s a new level of comfort food. Case in point? Chicken soup.

Chicken soup with thick-cut vegetables and herbs is classic comfort food, and this version takes it up a notch with a luxe, creamy broth. And just wait until you see how easy it is to pull together.

How Do I Make My Soup Thick and Creamy?

Hands-down what makes this soup so cozy and comforting is the creamy broth. And guess what? There’s not actually any cream involved, which means it has a totally thick and creamy texture without feeling too rich or overwhelming. Instead, this recipe relies on a duo of all-purpose flour and milk for a thick, creamy broth.

If you’ve ever made a roux before, this process will look pretty similar. A scoop of flour is sprinkled over the sautéed veggies and cooked just for a minute or so, before stirring in broth and milk. Whole milk will give the soup a creamier flavor, although 2% also works well (you’ll want to skip the skim milk here).

Credit: Kelli Foster

What Can I Add to Chicken Soup to Give It Flavor?

This easy chicken soup picks up a lot of flavor as it cooks. Here’s how.

  • Butter. Opting for a few tablespoons of butter imparts a really great flavor and touch of richness.
  • Vegetables. A classic mix of onion, carrot, celery, and garlic are sautéed, then simmered in the broth.
  • Herbs. Dried thyme and bay leaves are added early; they’re sautéed with the vegetables and simmered in the broth to infuse more flavor into the soup.
  • Seasoning. Salt and pepper are two important ingredients that give the soup flavor. You’ll season the vegetables and the chicken before it’s added to the pot, and, if necessary, add additional seasoning at the end of cooking.
  • Chicken. For maximum flavor, the chicken cooks directly in the soup. Want more flavor from the chicken? Opt for chicken thighs over breasts.
  • Dairy. This soup gets added richness and flavor from a couple of cups of milk (your choice of whole or 2%), which makes it creamy without feeling heavy.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice. In a final step before serving, you’ll mix in lemon juice. It keeps the soup light and adds a pop of bright, fresh flavor.

Creamy Chicken Soup Recipe

Chicken soup with vegetables and herbs is pure cold weather comfort food, and this version takes it up a notch with a luxe, creamy broth.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 40 minutes

Makes about 9 cups

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium yellow onion

  • 2

    medium carrots

  • 2 medium stalks

    celery

  • 3 cloves

    garlic

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 1

    dried bay leaf

  • 2 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (3 medium or 2 large breasts, or 5 to 6 thighs)

  • 1/3 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    low-sodium chicken broth (about 4 cups)

  • 2 cups

    whole or 2% milk

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 8 to 10 sprigs

    fresh parsley

  • 1 cup

    frozen peas

Instructions

  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Dice 1 medium yellow onion (about 1 1/2 cups). Peel and halve 2 medium carrots lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup). Cut 2 medium celery stalks crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup). Finely chop 3 garlic cloves.

  2. Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion mixture, 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 dried bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, season 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs all over with the remaining 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt. (If using thick chicken breasts, start at the thickest end and hold your knife parallel to the cutting board, then cut the chicken breasts in half - also known as butterflying).

  4. Sprinkle 1/3 cup all-purpose flour into the pot and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute to cook the floury taste out. While stirring constantly, pour in 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken broth and 2 cups whole or 2% milk. Add the chicken in a single layer. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a lively simmer, stirring occasionally.

  5. Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally until the chicken is cooked through, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers at least 165°F, about 10 minutes for thighs or 12 to 20 minutes for breasts. Meanwhile, juice 1 medium lemon (about 1/4 cup). Pick the leaves from 8 to 10 fresh parsley sprigs until you have 2 tablespoons and finely chop.

  6. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board. Add 1 cup frozen peas to the soup and stir to combine. Use two forks to shred the chicken or cut into bite-size pieces.

  7. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Return the chicken to the soup, add the lemon juice, and stir to combine. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Garnish with the parsley.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.