Chicken soup

"Chicken Noodle Soup" redirects here. For the DJ Webstar song, see Chicken Noodle Soup (song).
For the book series, see Chicken Soup for the Soul. For other uses, see Chicken soup (disambiguation).
Chicken soup

A classic preparation of chicken noodle soup made with a stewing hen and flavored with thyme and black pepper
Alternative names

chiki sup

country = America
Course Soup
Main ingredients Chicken
Cookbook: Chicken soup  Media: Chicken soup

Chicken soup is a soup made from chicken, simmered in water, usually with various other ingredients. The classic chicken soup consists of a clear chicken broth, often with pieces of chicken or vegetables; common additions are pasta, dumplings, or grains such as rice and barley. Chicken soup has acquired the reputation of a folk remedy for colds and influenza, and in many countries is considered a comfort food.


Variations on the flavor are gained by adding root vegetables such as parsnip, potato, sweet potato and celery root, herbs such as parsley, dill, other vegetables such as zucchini, whole garlic cloves or tomatoes and black pepper. The soup should be brought slowly to a boil and then simmered in a covered pot on a very low flame for one to three hours, adding water if necessary. A clearer broth is achieved by skimming the drops of fat off the top of the soup as it is cooking, first bringing the chicken to boil from a pot of cold water and discarding the water before continuing, or straining it through a strainer or cheesecloth. Saffron or turmeric are sometimes added as a yellow colorant. Then, the chicken can be shredded by hand and stored in the refrigerator until ready for use in the soup.

Nutritional value

Chicken soup can be a relatively low fat food: fat can be removed by chilling the soup after cooking and skimming the layer of congealed fat from the top.[1] A study determined that "prolonged cooking of a bone in soup increases the calcium content of the soup when cooked at an acidic, but not at a neutral pH".[2]


Several terms are used when referring to chicken soups:

Medicinal properties

Chicken soup has long been touted as a form of folk medicine to treat symptoms of the common cold and related conditions. In 2000, scientists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha studied the effect of chicken soup on the inflammatory response in vitro. They found that some components of the chicken soup inhibit neutrophil migration, which may have an anti-inflammatory effect that could hypothetically lead to temporary ease from symptoms of illness.[3] However, since these results have been obtained from purified cells (and directly applied), the diluted soup in vivo effect is debatable. The New York Times reviewed the University of Nebraska study, among others, in 2007 and concluded that "none of the research is conclusive, and it is not known whether the changes measured in the laboratory really have a meaningful effect on people with cold symptoms."[4]

It has also been shown that chicken soup contains the Amino acid cysteine,[5] which is very similar to acetylcysteine, which is used by doctors for patients with bronchitis and other respiratory infections to help clear them.

Chicken noodle soup is also known as "Jewish penicillin",[6] either as ersatz penicillin,[7] or as alternative to penicillin.[8]

Chicken soup in different cultures


Many Chinese soups are based on chicken broth. Typical Chinese chicken soup is made from old hens and is seasoned with ginger, scallions, black pepper, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil. A more elaborate version can be made from freshly killed old hen and various herbs such as ginseng, dried goji, and old ginger root. The soup is then boiled for hours.


Bogotá, Colombia’s capital, is known for a version of chicken soup called ajiaco. Along with chicken, ajiaco typically includes corn, three types of potatoes, avocado, capers, an herb called guascas, and is served with a dollop of cream.

Sancocho de Gallina is another popular dish throughout Colombia and in neighboring countries. This is a broth that includes entire pieces of (often rather tough) soup hen on the bone with large pieces of plantain, potato, cassava and/or other vegetables. A bowl of Sancocho is usually an entire meal. There are Region, as in Medellin — Antioquia, that some people enjoy Sancocho with lemon.


The Danish hønsekødssuppe is traditionally cooked using large hens specifically reserved for soup, known as "suppehøner" (lit.: soup hens). Vegetables like celeriac, carrots, onions and leek are usually added and typical flavourings are thyme, laurels and white pepper. The soup may be served with small white dumplings and meatballs. As part of traditional housekeeping, the cooked meat is reserved for other dishes such as "Høns i asparges" (lit.: Chicken in asparagus) or "Hønsesalat" (lit.: chicken salad).[9]


The French serve chicken-based forms of bouillon and consommé. Typical French seasoning for chicken soup includes: bay leaves, fresh thyme, dry white wine and garlic.


In Germany chicken soup is made with chicken broth, vegetables, such as carrots, spices and herbs and small noodles. For the broth a large hen, called a Suppenhuhn (lit. soup hen), may be boiled and pieces of it, especially from the boiled breast, can later be added to the soup. In southern Germany homemade chicken soup typically consists of chicken broth, to which spices and semolina dumplings or Spätzle noodles are added. Another dish made with chicken broth, pieces of chicken, boiled vegetables, and spices is known as Hühnereintopf, meaning chicken stew. Alternatively, homemade noodles may be added to the chicken broth, without vegetables, and with only pickling spice and salt and pepper added to it.


In Ghana, chicken soup is often seasoned with lemon juice or vinegar. Very often people use to add at the end of the cooking a mixture of yogurt and egg to make the soup denser and creamier, by combining one egg with 100–150 ml yogurt in a deep cup and mixing it until smooth. This gets added slowly by continuously stirring to the soup after the pot was taken from the stove to prevent curdling. Finely fresh chopped parsley would be added before serving.


In Greece, chicken soup is most commonly made in the avgolemono ("egg-lemon") fashion, wherein beaten eggs mixed with lemon are added to a broth slowly so that the mixture heats up without curdling, also adding rice or pasta like kritharáki ("little barley;" orzo), resulting in a thicker texture; it is a traditional remedy for colds, stomach aches, and hangovers.


Hungarian chicken soup is a clear soup, a consommé, called Újházi chicken soup.[10] A consommé with entire pieces of chicken, chicken liver and heart, with chunky vegetables and spices like whole black peppercorn, bay leaves, salt and ground black pepper. The vegetables boiled along with the pieces of chicken are usually carrots, celeriac, parsley root[11] and parsnip. Soup vermicelli, semolina dumplings or thin Spätzle noodles or small dumplings are also added to the soup. Even other vegetables may be used, such as green peas, a whole tomato and whole onions boiled along with the soup, mushrooms, asparagus, celery, green pepper, cauliflower, kohlrabi, green beans or parsley, in different combinations.


In Indonesia chicken soup might appear as sayur sop, vegetable and chicken broth soup that contains chicken pieces, potato, green beans, carrot, celery, and fried shallot.[12] Another chicken soup variant commonly found across the country is soto ayam;[13] a turmeric yellow spicy chicken soup with vegetables and noodle or vermicelli, served with steamed rice, pieces of lontong or ketupat.[14]


Chicken Soup

In India chicken soup is one of the most popular appetizers. There are many forms of chicken soup which exist, Sweet Corn Chicken Soup[15] being the most famous. Other variants of chicken soup are Spicy Indian Chicken Soup,[16] Clear Chicken Soup,[17] Hot and Sour[18] and Chicken Noodle Soup.[19] Usually most of the Chicken soups are served with Bread Crumbs and sometimes with boiled eggs too. It is a very popular selling item by the road side vendors[20] and Dhaba[21] usually in winters.


In Italy, chicken soup is often served with pasta, in such dishes as cappelletti in brodo, tortellini in brodo and passatelli. Even when served on its own, the meat and any vegetables used are usually removed from the broth and served as a second dish.


In Japan, chicken soup is known as Torijiru.[22] Typically it starts with dashi, which is made from boiling konbu (kelp) and katsuobushi (dried skipjack tuna flakes), and not by boiling the chicken (whole chicken is not typically available in Japanese supermarkets). After the dashi is prepared, pieces of boneless chicken thigh meat are usually used and combined with vegetables like daikon radish, carrot, burdock, konnyaku, welsh onion, mushrooms, potatoes, and taro root. At the end, different seasonings are added depending on the region of the country or type of soup. It could be a miso-based soup or soy sauce-based. Cooking sake, mirin, salt, and vinegar are also used with the soy sauce or miso. The pork equivalent called Butajiru is more popular than the chicken-based soup.

Bone stock for ramen are also often made with chicken stock, and it is almost invariably used in the less common kotteri variety.


Kreplach shaped in the form of hamantashen float in a bowl of chicken soup made for the Purim seudah.

Chicken soup is a traditional dish of the Jewish kitchen. The 12th-century rabbi and physician Maimonides touted the benefits of chicken soup to one's health.[23]

The soup is prepared with herbs like parsley and fresh dill or thyme, was often served with kneidlach (matzah balls), kreplach (dumplings), lokshen (flat egg noodles), or mandlen (Shkedei Marak in Israel) (soup "almonds"). A traditional garnish was unlaid chicken eggs, which were taken from a hen and boiled in the soup.[24] Modern health standards make these difficult to obtain now.


Samgyetang, a Korean chicken soup

Samgyetang is a Korean chicken soup with Korean ginseng, dried jujube fruits, garlic, ginger, glutinous rice, and sometimes other medicinal herbs. It is held to be not only a cure for physical ailments but a preventer of sickness. Baeksuk, which is the Korean counterpart to the chicken noodle soup of Western culture, is also popular among Koreans for its power to cure minor illnesses such as a cold. While the chicken noodle soup, as the name suggests, has some noodles in it, quite often Baeksuk does not contain any noodles.


Caldo de pollo, also known as Consome de Pollo, is a common Latin-American soup made with whole chicken pieces instead of chopped or shredded chicken, and large cuts of vegetables, such as half-slices of potatoes and whole leaves of cabbage. Another variation of chicken soup is caldo tlalpeño which is garnished with chopped avocado, white cheese, and a chipotle chile.


In Pakistan various forms of chicken soups exist. The most famous one is Chicken Corn Soup.[25][26] Other variants are Chicken Egg Soup and Simple Chicken Soup.[27]


Caldo de Gallina (lit., "broth of hen"), the Peruvian form of chicken soup, is made with whole pieces of chicken instead of chopped or shredded chicken, along with potatoes, egg noodles, and hard-boiled eggs. Lime wedges and chili or aji pepper paste are added as condiments.[28]


A bowl of Tinola, a chicken soup from the Philippines

Chicken soup in the Philippines is called sopas and has some western influences in it. While there are many variations in the recipe, it usually contains chicken strips in broth, onions, vegetables (mainly carrots, cabbage and celery), and macaroni noodles. It is cooked with evaporated milk to give it richer flavor. Sopas is normally associated with the cold, rainy season in the Philippines, and may thus be regarded as local comfort food.

Another chicken soup is called "mami" which its style derives from its other Asian neighboring countries, especially East Asia and normally served with sliced chicken, broth, noodles, chopped vegetables. Mami is also associated with the cold, rainy season as well.

Other chicken dishes are considered soups. Tinola has chicken cuts in broth, with ginger, chayote, and chili pepper leaves. Sinampalukang manok is basically just a chicken version of sinigang, but here the meat is browned first before being boiled in the water.


Soup almonds are crisp bread croutons that are often added to soup in Israel

The Polish chicken soup is called rosół. It is commonly served with fine noodles, boiled carrots and sometimes parsley. The broth is served separate from chicken meat.

Portugal and Brazil

Main article: Canja de galinha

Chicken soup is known as canja, a chicken broth prepared with rice or pasta and shredded chicken meat. It is believed to help a person overcome colds and digestive problems, among other mild forms of sickness.


In most regions of Romania, chicken soup known as ciorbă de pui consists of a clear and sour soup with strained chicken and vegetable broth, sometimes noodles have been added. Different versions, uses pieces of chicken and pieces of boiled vegetables and is seasoned usually with smântână and borş.


In Taiwan-style chicken soup dried jujube fruits, dried shiitake, and other various herbs also sometimes added. While it may be possible to use regular ginseng in the recipe, a special type of ginseng called San qi is commonly used. This is grown almost exclusively in Wenshan County, Yunnan Province. The roots are powdered for ease of use, although it may also be possible to use the flowerheads.


Ukrainians traditionally prefer an often simple chicken and vegetable bouillon with added noodles or rice, and a pinch of fresh herbs. Another type of chicken soup in Ukraine includes chicken, noodles, carrot, potato and onion. Some cooks add chopped boiled egg and even sour cream to their variations of the soup.

United Kingdom

Traditionally, chicken soup (or broth) in Britain is a clear and watery soup with chunky vegetables (such as carrot, celery and onion), chicken, salt and pepper. However, a thick, creamy variety called cream of chicken soup, which may not contain any vegetable pieces (depending on the recipe), is more popular today. A distinct version from Scotland that has become popular throughout the UK is cock-a-leekie soup, a clear, thin broth of shredded chicken and leeks.

United States and Canada

In the United States and Canada, chicken soup often has noodles or rice in it, thus giving it its common name of "chicken noodle soup."[29] The term may have been coined in a commercial for the Campbell Soup Company in the 1930s. The original 21 varieties of Campbell's condensed soup featured a "chicken soup with noodles", but when it was advertised on the Amos 'n' Andy radio show in the 1930s by a slip of the tongue the soup was referred to as "chicken noodle soup". Traditionally, American chicken soup was prepared using old hens too tough and stringy to be roasted or cooked for a short time. In modern times, these fowl are difficult to come by, and broiler chickens (young chickens suitable for roasting or broiling) are often used to make soup.

Canned chicken soup

Typically sold as a condensed soup, canned chicken soup such as Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup is notable for its high sodium content,[30] 890 mg per 1/2 cup serving, giving a 1 1/2 cup bowl[31] of soup about 2,500 mg, a full days allowance in the case of the mainstream brand, Campbell's.[32] Other condensed chicken soups such as Chicken with Rice[33] or Chicken & Stars Soup[34] produced by Campbell have similar amounts, as do generic versions of the product.[35] Canned chicken soup with much less sodium than the traditional formulation is available, including many varieties produced by Campbell's, some with at little as 100 mg of sodium.[30] Campbell's claims production of a chicken noodle soup that will find broad consumer acceptance, in short, that will sell, is very difficult.[36]

Chicken soup in history and media

Waterzooi made with chicken, potatoes and cream

See also



  1. "Simple Chicken Soup Recipes".
  2. H. N. Rosen. "Chicken soup revisited: Calcium content of soup increases with duration of cooking".
  3. Rennard BO, Ertl RF, Gossman GL, Robbins RA, Rennard SI (October 2000). "Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro". Chest. 118 (4): 1150–7. doi:10.1378/chest.118.4.1150. PMID 11035691.
  4. Parker-Pope, Tara (2007), “The Science of Chicken Soup” (12 October issue).
  5. Condor, Bob (10 January 1996). "Strategies To Help You Survive The Cold Season". Chicago Tribune.
  6. Oliver, Jamie. "Jewish penicillin". Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  7. Wex, Michael (2016). Rhapsody in Schmaltz: Yiddish Food and Why We Can't Stop Eating It. St. Martin's Press. p. 177. ISBN 9781466882652. To call chicken soup “Jewish penicillin” is to point to its limitations, not its virtues.
  8. Bratskeir, Kate (2014-12-19). "Chicken Soup Really Is 'Jewish Penicillin' For Your Cold. Mom Was Right.". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  9. "Danish Food Culture", Copenhagen Portal. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
  10. Gundel, Karoly (1992). Gundel's Hungarian cookbook. Budapest: Corvina. ISBN 963-13-3600-X. OCLC 27
  11. June Meyers Authentic Hungarian Heirloon Recipes Cookbook
  12. "Tasty Indonesian Food: Vegetables Soup (Sayur Sop)". Tasty Indonesian Food.
  13. The New York Times Soto Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Soup With Noodles and Aromatics) Adapted from “Cradle of Flavor” by James Oseland (W. W. Norton, 2006).
  14. " Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup (Soto Ayam)". 26 September 2006.
  15. Sailu. "Sweet Corn Chicken Soup". Indian food recipes - Food and cooking blog.
  16. "Spicy Indian Chicken Soup". Martha Stewart.
  17. Sanjeev Kapoor. "Clear Chicken Soup".
  18. Tarla Dalal. "Hot and Sour Soup ( Mumbai Roadside Recipes )".
  19. "Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe".
  20. "India's Top Roadside Eateries". BootsnAll Travel Articles.
  21. Gaurav Chawla. "Sunny Chicken Soup". Zomato.
  22. " Warm Torijiru".
  23. "Article: Chicken Soup-Culinary Poetry".
  24. Burros, Marian (7 February 2007). "What the Egg Was First". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 April 2010.
  25. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-21. :Chicken Soup Recipe English
  26. : Pakistani Chicken Corn Syrup
  27. : Simple Chicken Soup
  28. Football Center. "Peruvian Cuisine".
  29. Michman, Ronald D.; Mazze, Edward M. (1998). The Food Industry Wars. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 94. ISBN 1567201113.
  30. 1 2 Jane E. Brody (April 1, 2013). "Sodium, Hiding in Plain Sight" (Well blog). The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2015. A cup of canned chicken noodle soup can have as little as 100 milligrams or as much as 940 milligrams of sodium.
  31. Anahad O'Connor (August 2, 2011). "The Problem With Serving Sizes" (Well blog). The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2015. A similar number of the people asked, 61 percent, said they would also eat the entire can of a condensed soup, like Campbell’s Chicken Noodle, which lists 2.5 servings per can. A single serving contains 890 milligrams of sodium, and the full can has 2,390 milligrams
  32. "Chicken Noodle Soup Nutrition Facts". Campbell's Soup. Retrieved April 30, 2015. Amount Per Serving (serving size) = 1/2 cup condensed Sodium 890mg
  33. "Chicken with Rice Soup Nutritional Facts". Campbell's Soup. Retrieved April 30, 2015. Sodium 820mg
  34. "Chicken & Stars Soup Nutritional Facts". Campbell's Soup. Retrieved April 30, 2015. Sodium 790mg
  35. From label of Shurfine Chicken Noodle Condensed Soup, "900mg" per 1/2 cup serving. accessed April 30, 2015
  36. Michael MossI (May 29, 2015). "The Hard Sell on Salt". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2015. Chicken noodle soup has been especially vexing

Further reading

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