For a rainy day or for winter cold and flu season, nothing beats the homey, zesty flavors in this hearty chicken soup made from scratch! Boiling the chicken produces soft, tender meat that melts in your mouth with a rich, savory flavor. This recipe also freezes wonderfully, so go ahead and double the batch!
Ingredients list for the chicken soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chicken legs (or chicken breast)
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)
- 1 1/2 cup pasta
- 4 cups (1l) low sodium chicken broth
- Juice of 1 lime
- A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over low heat. Cook carrot and garlic for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add paprika and cayenne; saute for 1 minute. Add the chicken legs and gently brown on all sides for 5 minutes.
2. Cover with chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cook about 20-25 minutes or until broth has reduced slightly. Stir intermittently. For a lighter broth, you can skim off any fat from the top of the pot and discard.
3. After 25 minutes, remove chicken from the pot, shred the flesh and discard the skin and bones. Set aside in a bowl.
4. Add the pasta to the broth and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through, but still al dente. If the overall liquid level is lower than you like and you prefer more broth, add a cup or two of water. You will just need to adjust the salt level.
5. Put shredded chicken flesh back into the pot. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes more to warm up chicken, then divide the soup into bowls and serve with chopped cilantro and a dash of fresh lime juice to brighten up the flavor. A chunk of crusty bread is optional, but definitely recommended!