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Overhead image of a white bowl filled with homemade chicken and vegetable soup.
4.58 from 7 votes

Chicken Vegetable Soup Recipe

This Chicken Vegetable Soup Recipe is made with shredded chicken and healthy vegetables simmered in a light and delicious broth. Prepare exactly as is or use this easy recipe as a template for your own perfect soup creation!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 145kcal


  • 8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions peeled and diced
  • 4 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 4 ribs celery chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 zucchini sliced into quarters and chopped
  • 2 yellow squash sliced into quarters and chopped
  • 1 large bunch kale woody ends removed and chopped
  • red chili flakes and fresh parsley to garnish


  • Add the chicken thighs to a large stockpot and fill with approximately 3-4 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
  • As the chicken cooks, chop and prepare the vegetables and then move on to the next step.
  • Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Next, add the carrots and celery and mix well to combine with the onions. Continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the minced garlic, salt, and black pepper. Reduce heat if necessary to prevent the vegetables and/or garlic from burning.
  • Check on your chicken and broth. Once the chicken is fully cooked, use kitchen tongs to remove the chicken and set it aside until it is cool enough to shred. Meanwhile, remove the broth from heat. Carefully strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into the same pot as the vegetables.
  • Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, use two forks (or your hands) to shred the chicken.
  • Add the shredded chicken, lemon juice, bay leaves, zucchini, and yellow squash to the pot. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Approximately 5-10 minutes before serving, stir in the chopped kale and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.


  • For a more robust tasting broth, consider adding 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning or dried oregano.
  • Chicken thighs or chicken breasts? You may also make this recipe using boneless chicken breasts or bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Pretty much any type of chicken will work, but the best chicken is darker, fattier thigh meat that is less likely to dry out.
  • Using pre-cooked chicken: If you decide to make this recipe with pre-cooked chicken (like rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken), I use low-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock as the soup broth and wait to add the shredded chicken until the same time that you add the kale, about 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Storing and reheating: Keep this soup stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stovetop until hot, or for smaller amounts, in the microwave at 30-second intervals.
  • This recipe is dairy-free and gluten-free


Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 565mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2376IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg
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