9 Chicken Soup Recipes to Heal the Body and Soul

9 Chicken Soup Recipes to Heal the Body and Soul

The ultimate comfort food, chicken soup never fails to warm your belly and recharge your spirit after a bad day

Ahh…chicken soup. Soothing, warming and just so reliable! There’s a reason why chicken soup makes for the perfect meal on bleak days, especially when you're feeling under the weather. Brimming with vitamin C and antioxidants, its immune-boosting properties give your health (and mood) an instant lift, and its savory taste always brings back the familiarity and comforting thoughts of home. The great news is that there’s no lack of chicken-based soups in Asia, from the aromatic Soto Ayam to the ginger-spiced Chicken Mee Sua. Many soupy dishes use chicken bones or stock as their base, and while they all share the nutritious properties of chicken soup, their taste profiles couldn’t be more different! Discover the ideal chicken soup for your soul in our curated list below. 

1. Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup (Samgyetang)

For a double boost in immunity, try the Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup (Samgyetang). Jam-packed with nutritious goodness, it is said to be the perfect summer dish as Koreans believe that enjoying hot soup in summer balances their internal “body heat” with the scorching temperatures outside. Whatever the season or weather, this fulfilling dish will always be worth the amount of effort that goes into its preparation. The chicken is lovingly stuffed with soaked glutinous rice and gently simmered with garlic, ginger, and the Asian superfood, ginseng, which is said to aid in boosting energy and the immune system. Your body and mind will certainly thank you for this nutritious feast!

2. Chicken Tinola

Looking for a chicken soup that has a bit of oomph and texture? This Filipino family favorite might be worth a try. Chicken Tinola is a simple yet reliable dish, with chunky young papayas for a soft juicy crunch, chilies and ginger for a spicy kick, and succulent chicken pieces for a protein boost. Pair it with a steaming bowl of rice for a cozy night in.

3. Comforting Chicken and Yu Zhu (Solomon’s Seal Rhizome) Soup

Tonic soups made from a combination of herbs (familiar ones include ginseng, red dates and goji berries) are a big part of Chinese cuisine and it’s easy to see why: they are incredibly nutritious, healthy and, of course, absolutely delicious. Naturally sweetened with Yu Zhu and goji berries, this Comforting Chicken and Yu Zhu (Solomon’s Seal Rhizome) Soup will perk you up on sick days with its herbal goodness and gentle flavors. The yellowish Yu Zhu is a traditional Chinese herb that nourishes the lung and stomach while wolfberries or goji berries are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals. Feeling lazy? Throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker and let it simmer overnight to extract all the flavors and benefits from the ingredients.

4. Comforting Wholesome Vegetable Chicken Soup with Rice

Our Comforting Wholesome Vegetable Chicken Soup with Rice is a one-pot wonder that's packed with flavor. It is also healthy and easy to make. What’s more, it does not require any fancy or expensive ingredients – just honest-to-goodness vegetables like carrots and celery, and the good ol’ chicken stock. The great thing about chicken stock is its versatility. Pair it with vegetables and other meats like pork or even seafood, and it will always turn out yummy, especially when simmered over long hours. 

5. Soto Ayam

The key to an amazing Soto Ayam is frying your rempah or spice paste till it's aromatic and the oil starts separating from the paste. That’s when you know you’ve extracted the prime flavors from it and can proceed to add it to your boiling chicken stock. Turmeric adds the distinctive yellow color to the soup, and coconut milk is an optional addition for extra creaminess (Indonesian versions of Soto Ayam generally do not have coconut milk). The rice noodles or beehoon soaks it all up and you can add a squeeze of lime to enhance all that deliciousness!

6. Frikeh Soup (Wheat Grain & Shredded Chicken Soup)

Frikeh Soup (Wheat Grain & Shredded Chicken Soup) is a hearty and nutritious meal that can be made the night before. This Middle-Eastern dish is jam-packed with protein and fiber, all thanks to the meat and vegetables that make up a majority of the ingredients used. The Frikeh (an Arabic word for "to rub") is a common staple in Middle Eastern cuisine made from green durum wheat that has been roasted before being polished to remove the shells. The roasting and rubbing also gives the wheat its distinctive savory and smoky flavor. Frikeh is also easy on the stomach, making it one of the absolute perfect pre-dawn meals to wake up to. Barley, couscous and quinoa all make good substitutes for frikeh, but do note that the roasted durum wheat gives the soup its smoky flavor which the substitutes can’t achieve.

7. Lotus Root Soup

The chicken may not be super visible in this Lotus Root Soup but we promise you that it’s the one ingredient that makes all the difference! The soup is infused with chicken fat that ultimately melts into the broth and is naturally sweetened with the delightfully soft lotus root slices which you can nibble on. Pork bones also make for a great substitute for the base stock in case you run out of chicken.

8. One-Pot Ginger Wine Chicken Mee Sua

Anything with mee sua is something you don’t want to leave out for long as these noodles get soggy real fast! We’re not worried with this One-Pot Ginger Wine Chicken Mee Sua though – the umami flavors of the shiitake mushroom, combined with chicken and rice wine will definitely make this bowl of soupy noodles an easy one to slurp up.

9. ABC Soup

As simple as ABC, with the vitamins to back it up, the base of ABC Soup consists of pork/chicken ribs, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. To cook it, all you need is a big soup pot, lots of water, and an hour or so for the ingredients to simmer! Corn and tomatoes lend a nice sweetness and a burst of color to this nutritious soup that's best eaten with steamed rice. It is affectionately know as the leftover soup because you are free to add in any leftover vegetables at hand without ruining its taste.

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