I've shared 41+ of my best soup recipes in the post, and if you're not sure where to start, let me suggest this comforting Turmeric Lemon Chicken Soup. It is one of my most popular soups for a reason. I'm sharing the recipe here again for your convenience. Swap out the veggies if you like, and add a handful of chickpeas or even your favorite pasta for some bulk.
In a large Dutch oven or pot, combine the chicken with 6 cups of water. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Add the onion and 2 whole garlic cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and let simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes (or until the chicken is cooked).
When the chicken breast is cooked through, remove from the pot and carefully shred using two forks. Strain the broth using a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Discard the onion and garlic. Set the broth in its bowl aside for now.
Carefully wipe the pot or Dutch oven and return to the heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, carrots, and spices.
Return the shredded chicken to the pot. Stir to combine. Season with kosher salt.
Add the broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, and cover partly. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes (until the carrots are tender and cooked through).
Stir in the spinach, herbs, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Transfer to serving bowls and enjoy!
Shortcut homemade chicken soup
Use leftover chicken. If you have some cooked chicken on hand (or leftover rotisserie chicken), skip the step for boiling the chicken and use store-bought low-sodium chicken broth.
Make the homemade broth in advance. You can make and strain the broth in advance. Simply freeze it after it returns to room temperature (for broth, I like to use freezer-safe containers instead of bags). You can also freeze the boiled chicken in freezer-safe bags. Simply thaw both out in the fridge a night ahead of when you plan to make the soup.
Add more or different vegetables! I love the idea of using up what vegetables I have on hand in a soup like this. You can add chopped celery or small-cubed zucchini, potatoes, or small broccoli florets, for example. If you do, make sure you add them in at the very beginning when you sauté the carrots and garlic. (Check out my vegetable soup for inspiration).
Add a grain or chickpeas to bulk up the chicken soup. If you’re after something thicker or want to add volume to your soup so it’s even more filling, you can add cooked rice or orzo, or canned chickpeas (just rinse the chickpeas and add them in early with the carrots and garlic).
Orzo pasta cooks faster, so you can either cook it in advance and add some to individual servings of soup, or add the uncooked orzo to the soup about 7 to 9 minutes before the soup is finished cooking.
Leftovers and storage: Store leftover turmeric chicken soup in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for about 3 days (unless you’ve worked in advance to cook the chicken or make the broth). To reheat, transfer to a pot and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and serve.