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Clean Out the Refrigerator, It's Time for Chicken Soup

Updated on December 5, 2014

My Favorite Chicken Soup Recipe

It's chicken soup time and time to that means it's time to clean out the refrigerator. Soup is one of the most flexible recipes to make, and takes on the taste and flavor of the whatever ingredients you find in the refrigerator and the cupboard.

All the cook has to do is have the culinary knowledge to blend the ingredients together to make a chicken noodle soup that will have your family clamoring for the recipe.

Homemade chicken soup is meant to never made the same way twice. It may come close, the base soup is usually the same, but every good cook can't resist adding a little of this and a little of that to create the flavor of the day. Chicken soup is an opportunity to use those tiny portions of frozen vegetables left in the bottom of the bag, I know you have them, the 1/2 cup of corn, peas, okra, green beans, mixed vegetables.

As you can see from the photo I even put in two different kinds of noodles, Didn't have enough of one, so I used both. Soup is very forgiving, in fact soup welcomes different ingredients and creativity.

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 3 hours
Yields: 8


  • 4 -5 lbs chicken (whole or pieces)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup celery
  • 4 cups assorted vegetables
  • (whatever is in your refrigerator)
  • Seasoning:
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt (can use seasoning salt)
  • 3 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning (or 1/2 tsp each rosemary, thyme, and sage)
  • 2 -3 cups dried noodles

Alternative Ingredients

Other optional ingredients include:

  1. Rice (instead of noodles)
  2. Barley (instead of noodles)
  3. 1/2 -1 cup spaghetti sauce at the bottom of the jar (gives an Italian spicy flavor)
  4. 1-2 cups stewed tomatoes
  5. Cubed potatoes

Don't let the total time scare you, for two of those three hours the soup is simmering all by itself, and needs no tending. The last hour it's tempting your taste buds.

Handy vegetable Chopper and Slicer

Prepworks by Progressive Fruit and Vegetable Chopper
Prepworks by Progressive Fruit and Vegetable Chopper

If you're not good at chopping vegetables with a knife, then this vegetable slicer is a great kitchen tool that not only slices, but dices into those nice uniform cubes.

Prep your carrots, celery, potatoes, and onions ahead of time and place in ziplock baggies for later. Fixing soup then becomes a snap when all you have to do is empty a bag of chopped veggies.



  1. Place the chicken, or pieces in a large stock pot and cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately one hour or until the chicken is falling off the bone when pressed with a large spoon.
  2. Remove the chicken pieces from the stock, place in a bowl and put in refrigerator to cool.
  3. Gather vegetables from refrigerator or freezer, this is the fun and creative part (also allows you to clean out the fridge)
  4. Chop any whole vegetables such as onions, carrots and celery into 1/8" pieces and put aside.
  5. Now is the chance to use the partially used bags of vegetables in the freezer. You know the ones, 1/2 cup of peas left, 1/2 cup corn, it can all be added to the soup.
  6. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator, it should be cooled by now, remove the meat from the bones, cut into small pieces and add it back to the liquid.
  7. Add the frozen vegetables and raw veggies to the chicken
  8. Add the spices, and bring soup to a boil, reduce and simmer for one hour
  9. Add noodles and simmer for approximately 30 more minutes.
  10. Water can be added if you got carried away with adding vegetables and "other good stuff"
Fiesta Scarlet 451 9-Inch Rimmed Soup Bowl
Fiesta Scarlet 451 9-Inch Rimmed Soup Bowl

Serve your soup creation in a fancy soup bowl, presentation is part of the dining experience which makes a meal special. There is a reason why restaurants use warm colors in their decor. Red and oranges are said to stimulate the appetite.

But I just like the color red, just about everything looks good in a red bowl, including soup and salad.

Stay Fit Soup/Meal Container, EZ Heat
Stay Fit Soup/Meal Container, EZ Heat

Take your soup to work for lunch, camping, deer hunting, fishing, just about anywhere with this all in one soup mug, cover and spoon.

This soup mug holds over three cups of soup, and is microwave safe. Makes a great gift for birthdays or Christmas.



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    • AJ Weberman profile image

      AJ Weberman 

      2 years ago from Manhattan, New York

      It definitely is an "everything but the kitchen sink" dish!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Romine 

      4 years ago from Nebraska

      @Susan Zutautas: Thanks, the only problem with it is when I make an awesome soup and my kids ask me to make it again, I can't. Don't have the leftover gravy from the roast with mushrooms and onions, the last of the homemade salsa, or the tiny bits of pearl onions etc...

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Some of the best soup recipes I've created have been from cleaning out the refrigerator :) Sounds Yummy, and I've add it to my list. Thanks!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Romine 

      4 years ago from Nebraska

      @anonymous: Will have to remember that to add it to the options. Thanks

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Wild rice is a great option too!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      What a great recipe. I love anything that lets me use leftovers in the fridge.

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Romine 

      4 years ago from Nebraska

      @EdTecher: You can also use the last remaining bits of salsa, made a slightly Mexican chicken soup.

    • EdTecher profile image

      Heidi Reina 

      4 years ago from USA

      I like the idea of using bits of pasta from the bottom of boxes accumulating in my pantry. I'll have to try to spaghetti sauce too.

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile imageAUTHOR

      Dawn Romine 

      4 years ago from Nebraska

      @Nancy Hardin: You would be surprised what goes into soup at my house, sometimes the soup starts off as one thing, and then turns into something else. Like Mexican Chicken soup when I had in some salsa.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Well done! Great idea to use up those bits and pieces of vegs and things we all have left over.


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