This warming and soothing leftover chicken soup is a great way to use up your leftover roast chicken for a hearty, healthy meal. It is also quick and easy to make, making it a real winner.
We eat a lot of roast chicken in our house and so I am often looking for ways to use up leftover roasted chicken.
It's really quick and easy to make and is so warming and comforting.
Why you will love this recipe
- It not only uses up your leftover chicken but is a great way to use up any vegetables in your fridge.
- It's a very flexible recipe - you can use different vegetables or herbs, throw in some pasta, cannellini beans or rice - whatever you like!
- It is full of goodness and perfect for cold days or for when you are feeling under the weather.
Full ingredients with recipe instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This easy chicken soup uses the following ingredients. Note that these ingredients are very flexible, so feel free to use up any vegetables from your fridge, use herbs from your garden and/or add in some pasta, cannellini beans or rice to the soup.
- Olive oil
- Herbs - I use thyme and parsley
- Chicken stock - I like to either use a pre-prepared chicken bone broth or make up a homemade chicken stock first with the chicken carcass (see below). You can of course use a shop-bought stock but remember: the better the stock, the better the flavour your soup will be.
- Leftover Roast Chicken - remove the leftover meat from the bones, remove any skin and chop the meat into small pieces.
Making chicken soup from a carcass
I am a big believer in using the chicken carcass to make a homemade broth for soup (or any other dishes that call for stock). Not only is it delicious, it is cost effective and good for you.
You can read my full article about making a chicken bone broth here.
If you want to use the chicken bones for soup, simply toss the carcass in a large saucepan with an onion, carrot, a few fresh herbs, bay leaf and a sprinkling of black pepper.
This is all flexible and you can use whatever vegetables you have, but do read the article highlighted above first.
Fill the pan with water, bring to the boil and then let it simmer for at least an hour (longer if you can). Then strain it and it is ready to use in your soup.
Step 1: Saute the vegetables and herbs in the oil over a medium heat until soft.
Step 2: Add the stock, bring to the boil and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Stir through the leftover chicken.
Step 4: Remove ⅔ of the soup and transfer to a large bowl. Use a stick blender to blend this portion of the soup. (You can also use a normal blender to do this if you don't have a stick blender).
Step 5: Return the blended soup to the pan. Heat through for 5-10 minutes until piping hot.
Note - you can choose to blend all the soup, or none of the soup, based on your preference. I prefer the depth of flavour that blending some of the soup gives, but like to retain the varied texture of the non-blended portion too. Personal preference!
FAQs and Top Tips
It is safe to keep cooked chicken in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. After cooking, allow it to cool and refrigerate within two hours. For best results, store in an airtight container or ziploc bag or wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
Yes you can. Allow it to cool then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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Leftover Chicken Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stick celery finely chopped
- 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves only
- 1 small handful parsley leaves chopped
- 1.5 litres chicken stock
- 300 g leftover roast chicken roughly chopped
- Heat olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add the vegetables and herbs and cook for around 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for around 15 minutes.
- Add the roast chicken to the pan and stir to combine.
- Remove ⅔ of the soup from the saucepan and transfer to a large bowl. Use a stick blender to blend this portion of the soup. (You can also use a standard blender for this)
- Return the blended soup to the saucepan. Heat through for 5-10 minutes until piping hot.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.