This chicken vegetable soup from scratch is one of my favourite things about roasting a chicken. Hearty and flavourful, it’s paleo-friendly, Whole30 compliant, and a full meal in a soup bowl. You could make chicken vegetable soup from store-bought chicken stock, but why would you? This is so much tastier, and you control everything that goes in. All you need is a chicken carcass, veggies, and spices. We recycle all our roasted chickens to make the next day’s dinner, so it’s economical as well as delicious!
Keep all the bones and the carcass from your roasted chicken. Dump the bones, skin, and any scraps of chicken meat into an 8 quart stockpot. Pour all the drippings from your roasting pan in here too. Add a chopped up onion and enough water to cover the bones, about halfway up the pot. Then bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and leave the pot to gently simmer along for 4 hours, skimming any foam off the top every once in a while.
Once all the flavour has been cooked out of the carcass, strain out the bones through a colander INTO ANOTHER POT. I can’t stress this enough! I’ve heard several stories (and actually witnessed it once) when somebody drained the precious stock down the drain. Ouch!
I only have one pot large enough to make this soup in, so I pour the stock back into my original pot and return it to the stove. At this point, allow the bones to cool then go through them picking out all the remaining chicken meat and adding it back to the prepared stock. You can add extra chopped chicken meat if you like your soup meatier. Once you’ve cleaned the bones, throw them out along with the boiled up onion.
Here’s where you add the spices – this is the fun part! I’ve shared the spices that I use, but of course feel free to change up the spice profile to suit your tastes. I like to add bay leaves, basil, rosemary, ground ginger, garlic powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, tarragon, chili powder, garam masala, thyme, pepper, and salt to taste. Next, add the chopped vegetables according to how long they take to cook. Add an onion, a small head of cauliflower, and 4 or 5 carrots first.
Let the soup simmer for about an hour then add 3 cubed sweet potatoes and half a chopped up zucchini and simmer another hour or so before serving. Enjoy!
- Roasted chicken carcass and bones
- 2 onions, divided
- 3 sweet potatoes, cubed
- 5 carrots, sliced
- 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
- 1/2 zucchini, chopped
- 4-5 bay leaves
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger (or 2 teaspoons ground ginger powder)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- Sea salt to taste
- After roasting a chicken, add the chicken bones, scraps, and drippings from the roasting pan into an 8 quart stockpot. Add one chopped onion and enough water to cover the bones, about halfway full.
- Bring the contents to a boil then turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer for 4 hours, skimming any foam off the top as needed.
- Strain the liquid into a second pot, retaining the bones.
- Allow bones to cool then pick out any remaining chicken meat and add back to prepared stock. Discard cleaned bones and boiled onion.
- Add spices and salt to taste.
- Add the second onion, cauliflower, and carrots and bring pot back to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for one hour.
- Add sweet potato and zucchini and bring pot back to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer one hour more before serving.