This clear chicken soup is a light and comforting meal. It is a homemade flavorful clear broth with tender chicken. A family favorite and so easy to make.
We all know that there is nothing like chicken soup to make you better. When someone in my family has a cold or a tender tummy, I always make a pot of this clear chicken broth. It is like a hug in the form of food.
However, it is also simply delicious for those days when want a very light, easily digestible soup with simple flavors.
The recipe is naturally gluten-free and low carb. It is a simpler soup than my keto chicken soup but it has just as much taste.
Why This Recipe Works
Easy - This clear chicken soup recipe requires only 5 minutes of prep. Either simmer it on the stovetop or make it in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker in under 30 minutes.
Nourishing - We are making a simple, tasty homemade broth from scratch with natural ingredients. The result is a healthy soup with rich flavors. The soup is light and wholesome.
- Chicken: You can use 2 whole legs instead of the 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks. Just make sure they have the bones in as this is what’s going to give your chicken broth lots of flavor and collagen. Also, remove the skins to reduce the fat.
- Vegetables: I am using chopped carrot and leek. I like the leek because it is sweeter than onion. However, onion works as an alternative. Option to use a chopped celery stalk as well.
- Seasoning and flavor: Extra virgin olive oil for frying, plus ginger, garlic, fresh herbs, bay leaf and of course pepper and salt. Fresh herbs have a superior flavor, but I also give amounts for dried herbs in the recipe card. The ginger adds an interesting Asian-inspired twist, don't omit it.
- Water: I always use filtered water for a better taste.
- To serve: chopped scallions and fresh parsley or coriander.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
You can make chicken clear soup on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot version is much quicker, but I thought the flavor of the stovetop soup was richer. Here, I am detailing both methods.
Scroll down to the recipe card for ingredient amounts, nutrition facts and a detailed method.
STEP 1: Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the carrot and cook it until slightly golden. Then add the leek for another 2 minutes.
STEP 2: Now add the garlic, ginger, herbs and bay leaves and fry for one further minute.
STEP 3: Add the chicken, salt and black pepper. Then, pour over boiled water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium/low. With the lid on slightly ajar, let the soup simmer for 1 hour.
STEP 4: Break the chicken off the bones using 2 forks to help it cook faster. Then, cook for a further 30 minutes.
Scroll down to Step 5 in the section "Make The Soup".
Instant Pot Method
STEP 1: Add the olive oil to the pot. Heat on sauté mode, then cook the carrots until golden. Add the leek for 2 minutes, then the garlic and ginger for 1 further minute.
STEP 2: Add the chicken, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, 6 cups of water, salt, and black pepper, and stir. Close the lid and set the valve to closed.
STEP 3: Select PRESSURE COOK high for 7 minutes.
STEP 4: Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.
Make The Soup
STEP 5: Strain the soup using a fine-mesh strainer. To get a very clear soup, use a muslin cloth.
STEP 6: Take out the chicken pieces from the strainer and shred them. Discard the bones and the vegetables.
STEP 7: Add a few shredded pieces of chicken to your bowl and pour the clear chicken soup on top.
Got time? Leave the soup to simmer for longer - up to 5 hours. This gives the bones time to depart with even more flavor and healthful collagen.
I garnish the soup with coriander or parsley and chopped spring onions for a bit of crunch. It makes a light supper or lunch.
You can also serve it in smaller portions as a starter to a larger meal.
For a more substantial meal, add additional vegetables to the soup. Simply cook them in the broth for a few minutes at the end. The following work well:
- Green beans
- Cavolo Nero
- Spinach leaves
- Celery or celeriac root
- Bell peppers
Make It More Filling
If carbs are not a concern, you can also add root vegetables such as potato, or egg noodles. Konjac noodles are a low carb alternative, which I used in my keto ramen recipe.
Egg Drop Soup
Just before serving, drop an egg into the soup and stir. The egg will poach in the soup. This adds additional protein to the recipe. My husband is a big fan of this tweak.
Thai Clear Chicken Soup
Add lemongrass to the broth. Serve the soup with a splash of fish sauce and soy sauce or tamari and coriander leaves instead of parsley. Option to also add lime juice and zest and red chili for a bit of heat.
Italian Chicken Clear Soup
Season the soup with oregano, thyme, basil, marjoram and rosemary. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar. Option to grate in parmesan cheese.
Refrigerator or freezer: Store this chicken soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also fill it into individual containers and freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. You can freeze the soup with or without the chicken.
Thawing and reheating: Defrost the soup overnight in the fridge. Then, reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.
It is easy to scale the recipe and double, triple or even quadruple the amounts. All you need is a large enough pot!
No. Even though we are making the broth with bone-in chicken, it is not considered a bone broth. Bone broth is made with bones that are simmered for 12-24 hours. When I grew up, it used to be simply called stock.
Yes, but the broth will not be as flavorful or nutritious.
Yes. You can use 2 whole legs or a whole chicken carcass if you like. Just make sure it still has shreds of meat on it that you can use later to serve with the clear soup.
More Healthy Soup Recipes
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Clear Chicken Soupfrom Sugar Free Londoner
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary.
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium carrot diced (1 cup / 130g)
- 1 small leek chopped into rounds (1 cup / 115g)
- 3 garlic cloves peeled + smashed
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 thyme sprigs / 1 tbsp or ½ teaspoon dried
- 2 rosemary sprigs / 1 tbsp or 1 teaspoon dried
- ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 chicken thighs 350g
- 2 chicken drumsticks 300g
- 10 cups boiled water 2.4l, or 6 cups/1.4l for Instant pot
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander or parsley finely chopped
- 2 spring onions finely chopped (30g)
- Remove the chicken skin from the thighs and drumsticks.
On the hob
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the carrot and cook for 3 minutes until slightly golden. Add the leek for 2 minutes, then the garlic, ginger, herbs and bay leaves for 1 minute.
- Add the water, chicken, salt and black pepper and stir.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium/low. With the lid on slightly ajar, let the soup simmer for 90 minutes. After 1 hour, break the chicken off the bones using 2 forks to help it cook faster.
- Add the olive oil to the pot. Heat on sauté mode then add the carrot for 3 minutes until golden. Add the leek for 2 minutes, then the garlic and ginger for 1 further minute.
- Add the chicken, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, 6 cups of water, salt, and black pepper, and stir.
- Close the lid and set the valve to closed. Select PRESSURE COOK high for 7 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.
- Strain the soup using a fine-mesh strainer. To get a very clear soup, use a muslin cloth.
- Take out the chicken pieces from the strainer and shred them. Discard the bones and veg.
- Add a few shredded pieces of chicken to your bowl and pour the clear soup on top.
- Garnish with coriander or parsley and spring onions.