We love soup, so we’ve put together eight helpful tips for how to make the best leftover chicken soup.
Since its just the two of us (plus Marmalade), Adam and I almost always have leftovers. We used to be so terrible about using them up (and to be honest, sometimes still are), but we are getting better and usually find whatever we do with the leftovers turns out to be tastier than the original meal anyway. In our opinion, the best way to use up those leftovers is soup, so we figured we would give you a few ideas for something pretty common in our condo, leftover chicken soup:
By the way, are you looking for an easy roast chicken recipe? Try our Simply Roasted Chicken.
Eight Tips for the Best Leftover Chicken Soup
#1 Depending on what you have in stock, create a base using an assortment of onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Cut the onions, celery and carrots into 1/2 inch dice for a heartier soup.
#2 As a basic process, saute your base vegetables for about 10 minutes to draw out the natural sugars, then add any dried herbs and seasonings along with the leftover chicken and finally add the chicken stock, we usually add 4 cups (two boxes of broth) and simmer for about 20 minutes.
#3 Add some pasta, rice or uncooked potatoes to the soup for some heartiness, for 4 cups of chicken broth use about 1/2 - 3/4 cups of uncooked rice and pasta and 1 large uncooked potato cut into cubes. If you are using rice, add it at the same time as the chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes. If you are adding pasta, add it 10 minutes before serving so the pasta does not get overcooked. For potatoes, add them 5 minutes into sauteing the base vegetables.
#4 Just before you add chicken stock add a mixture of dried herbs for extra depth of flavor, my favorites are to add one bay leaf and about a tablespoon of herbs du Provence or Italian Seasoning per 4 cups of chicken stock
#5 Season all layers of the soup with salt and pepper to create a well-seasoned soup. While sauteing the base vegetables lightly season with salt and pepper, then after adding the chicken broth season to taste, this way the soup will be seasoned not salty. By adding salt at the beginning of the process, you are able to draw out the natural sweetness of the base vegetables, adding more flavor to the soup. If you only add salt at the end, it is very easy to find yourself with a salty soup.
#6 If you have it in stock, add one can of diced tomatoes for a richer broth or a can of beans, just make sure you rinse the beans before adding them to the soup.
#7 If you have some to use up, add leftover mashed potatoes to the broth to make a thicker soup.
#8 For a creamier and more luscious soup you could add about 1/4 cup of milk or half and half or even allow some mascarpone cheese to melt into the soup. This also rounds out the flavors nicely.