My New Favorite Chicken Soup

I published a chicken soup recipe awhile back here that I’ve made for years. These past few months I’ve found a new way of making chicken soup that is much faster to put together and tastes pretty darn good!

My son has been “into” brining poultry after we brined a turkey for Thanksgiving last year. He uses a recipe where uses equal amounts of kosher salt and sugar boiled to completely dissolve and then cool. He then puts two chickens in a large container with the brine and refrigerates over night. The next day he rinses the chickens in cold water, applies an herb run and roasts them. This is absolutely delicious and there is leftover chicken for salads, sandwiches and soups for a week for three of us. Maybe I’ll get more details later and publish a full blog on Brined Chicken! You can use any type of chicken you have available for this soup, however.

chicken soup

Fast Homemade Chicken Soup.

Chicken Soup – Fast to Make


  • 2 cups of cut up roasted chicken
  • 8 cups chicken broth (I use 2 – 32 oz. boxes of broth – or make your own broth as noted in my original chicken soup recipe).
  • 2-4 cups hot water – depending on how much liquid you want in your soup
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp (generous) of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach (10 oz) – I’ve also used fresh chopped bok choy or baby spinach. Leave the spinach out for a couple hours to thaw if possible, but not necessary.
  • 3/4 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (or equivalent dried parsley)

Put it Together

  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add garlic and sauté briefly. Add thyme, red pepper flakes, onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until just tender – 7-10 minutes.
  2. While veggies are sautéing, warm the chicken broth in another pan until almost boiling. Add this to the original soup pan and bring mixture to a low boil. Add bay leaves.
  3. Rinse the barley in warm water for a minute or two. Add this to the broth mixture. Bring soup back to low boil and simmer until barley is done. This usually takes 35-30 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and cook until it is thawed or add the fresh spinach or bok choy.
  5. Add chicken and parsley. Cook until hot. Let simmer a few more minutes to meld flavors.
  6. Serve with bread, crackers and/or a simple lettuce salad. Enjoy.

White Bean Chicken Chili

I’ve never made white bean chili, but I’ve tasted a few variations. The weather is cold and windy, and it seemed like a good time for a new recipe. This one comes together pretty fast. It is based on several recipes I found and the ingredients I had on hand. We all thought it was pretty good and will make it again.

White Bean Chicken Chili


  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    white bean chili

    White Bean Chicken Chili

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 – 32 oz. box chicken stock (4 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 cups cooked chicken, diced (preferably the white meat)
  • 5 cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese – Monterey Jack, white Cheddar, Pepper Jack. May also use sour cream instead.
Put it Together:
  1. Heat olive oil in large pot. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until slightly cooked – 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add broth, water, and chicken. Cook a few minutes until slow boil.
  4. Remove 1-2 cups liquid and pure two cans of drained, rinsed beans with an immersion blender or food processor. Add to soup.
  5. Add remaining 3 cans rinsed, drained beans and cook mixture 30 minutes or so to blend flavors.
  6. Stir in cilantro.
  7. Serve and top with cheese or sour cream.