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The Coziest/Easiest Chicken Soup That My Whole Family Eats (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, And A Grain-Free Option) + Is 2024 Or 2025 The Year Of My Soup Cookbook??

I’m in “hibernate and rejuvenate” mode after two months of social, physical, and emotional depletion. WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR. While I’m not a chef or a food expert, I’m a busy mom who loves to throw a bunch of protein and vegetables in one pot and feed her family (while listening to podcasts and chopping while meditating). I like it when the house smells like onion, garlic, and chicken and it makes me feel really proud to shove nutrients into all our bodies (yes, often with a side of toast or grilled cheese for the kids who aren’t soup enthusiasts like me). This soup is soooooo easy, extremely cozy, and yes my kids really do like it (without the spinach because they are still little monsters who think “green means poison” which frankly I’m over, but I don’t have the nighttime battle energy and I don’t want to waste expensive produce so they win). It’s even better with jasmine rice or wide egg noodles, but I’m trying to be grain/gluten-free for a bit so I pull out my portion before adding rice noodles (you’ll see). This soup can be in the fridge for 2 days (not like this soup which can last for 4-5 days). It’s a crowd-pleaser January-March and if you are sick, add more broth and sip on it all day.

This is a last-minute post because I had a last-minute trip away and my brain hasn’t recovered, so I’m going to write out the directions real quick (also, it’s that easy):

  1. Chop/dice a medium onion (yellow is best, white is great too), and saute in hot olive oil. I don’t know why the olive oil needs to be hot but that’s what they tell me.
  2. Add 2-3 cloves of garlic (I’m a garlic lover), 3 diced carrots (chopped evenly or roughly), and 3 chopped celery ribs.
  3. Add a bunch of salt and pepper (maybe 1/2 a teaspoon of each) and 1 FULL TBSP of Herb De Provence. Mix and sauté on medium heat for 6-8 minutes. This will seem like a lot of this spice (and it is) but it’s all you need (almost).
  4. Add one large raw chicken breast (sometimes I sear it to contain the moisture and add flavor to the veggies, sometimes I don’t – I don’t know what is better) and two boxes of broth (4 quarts). Pop a bay leaf or two and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook the chicken (usually 12-15 minutes).
  5. Pull chicken out, let it rest (I often don’t, TBH), and then shred it with two forks. Pop it back in the pot, stir and you could eat it like this! DONE! OR these two options:
  6. FOR KID FRIENDLY – We often pull Brian and my portions out because we try to not eat a lot of grains when we are being super healthy and then we’ll throw in thin rice noodles for our 8 and 10-year-olds (I eat them too obviously, pretty often). Thin rice noodles are so great because they cook super fast. We couldn’t find any of the super thin ones so we bought this “rice noodle linguini” which took longer (4-6 minutes). I think the texture and flavor of normal egg noodles is better than these, but I like that it’s gluten-free (not grain-free) and the thin ones are crazy fast to cook (so look for those instead).
  7. FOR SUPER HEALTH FRIENDLY – For those who want to sneak more veggies into their diet we like to put spinach and frozen peas in the bottom of the individual bowls and ladle in the super hot broth/soup which will wilt the spinach and cook the peas (without them being soggy). If you put it in the pot it’s fine for night one but less good as leftovers on day three (and I like the peas to pop and feel fresh).

Y’all, I made this for my team while we were shooting this obviously and it was so cozy, easy, flavorful, and really hard to mess up. IT’S GOOD. Again, the only thing I would do differently is buy/find thin rice noodles. I also love to take fast readymade rice (Trader Joe’s jasmine is great) and steam it in the microwave and pop it in the bottom of the bowl then mix. I find rice just so GD comforting in a chicken soup.

Maybe this is the time when I announce to the universe that I would like to team up with a PNW chef or food influencer and do a soup-specific cookbook based on my obsessive/experience (either 2024 or 2025, I’m in no rush). I have a solid and fresh idea and an entertaining concept. I’m fearful about my bandwidth but I used to style so many food shoots when I was a stylist and it’s really, really fun…Anyway, I wouldn’t want to actually pretend to be a chef (I’m obviously not), thus finding the right partner that can help dial in the recipes. So there you go universe! Also, the visual recipe of today’s soup will be on IG grid and stories later today if you want to see it in action. Happy Souping:)



*Photos by Kaitlin Green

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6 months ago

What about Julia Turshen? Her cookbooks are magic and I can imagine this might be a good fit. May it all come to fruition!

6 months ago
Reply to  Erin

She’s a great suggestion! Do it Emily! It would be so fun for everyone!

6 months ago
Reply to  Erin

I have her cookbook, Now & Again on my lap right now. It’s my current fave. Super partner for you, Em! I’d buy that book!

6 months ago
Reply to  Erin

I absolutely love Julia Turshen and all of her books, but she’s based in upstate NY, and is pretty openly anti-diet/non-restrictive when it comes to food. No judgment to any parties but I would be pretty sad to see her do a soup only, “clean”, grain-free sort of cookbook.

6 months ago
Reply to  NSL

Well, she did co-write It’s All Good with Gwyneth Paltrow, which is all about making delicious food within even stricter parameters (GF, clean, no nightshade, etc.). So I think it’s more about the opportunity to write something interesting with someone she likes… (and there are incredible soups in all of her books!).

Julie S
6 months ago

I love this kind of soup and even my kids now enjoy it after an initial lack of enthusiasm. I do it a little simpler with a dump-it-all-and-boil method and it’s still totally yum. My veggies are basically similar (I add 1-2 chopped zucchini), then season with 1tsp dried oregano, 2tsp dried thyme, 4 bay leaves, garlic powder, plenty of s&p. A nice chicken alternative is a pack of ground turkey which you can put straight in the last 6-7 minutes and just break up into tiny bits, using a fork, as it heats up/cooks.

6 months ago

Your comment about your kids and greens made me laugh. My pediatrician assured me years ago that my son could and would survive years on peanut butter sandwiches and grapes! The battles went on for years! But now, that gentleman at 6’5″, with a PhD, is a foodie and is trying to convince me to eat uni…I love it!

6 months ago

Made this for dinner tonight! Was perfect, especially as Im a bit under the weather. Hubs liked it too. I always wondered what to use the Herbs de Provence for. I was a bit confused by the broth amounts — I just made it with 2 quarts (8 cups) and that was plenty. Loved the suggestion to put the spinach and peas in the bowl and add the soup on top… great idea and made all the difference! Never had rice noodles before, that was also a good experience! And, I also didn’t know you could add the chicken raw, but it makes sense — as long as it is brought to a boil and is cooked through, it’s all good. Thanks EH! 🙂

6 months ago

SustainableCooks might be a good partner for you. She’s in the PNW and obsessed with soup.

Heather Amsden
6 months ago

I will be first in line to buy that soup book!

6 months ago

What brand of rice noodles do you like to use?

6 months ago

I would 100% buy your soup cookbook.

6 months ago

Might be worth reaching out to Caroline Wright. Her cookbook “Soup Club” is one of my favorites! She’s a Seattle cook.