Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Best Homemade Chicken Soup

There are a lot of things you can do with a whole chicken but one of my favorite things to do is make soup in my Crockpot because it's easy, delicious and super healthy. By starting with the whole chicken, you don't need to add chicken broth - the chicken makes the broth for you! It turns out absolutely divine and is perfect as leftovers or to freeze for later.

I use my slow cooker to make this because it's more energy efficient than using my stove. This isn't a magical "set it and forget it for 8 hours" recipe but it requires very minimal work from you - which is perfect for a day when you'll be home working on other stuff. Your soup can cook while you toodle around your house working on other projects.


  • 1 whole chicken* (about 5 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large onions
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 5 large carrots*
  • 1 head celery*
  • 2 tsp dry thyme*
  • 2 tsp dry oregano*
  • 1 tsp dry basil*
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dry parsley flakes*
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
*I recommend purchasing these ingredients as organic where available to avoid GMOs, pervasive pesticides and questionable farming practices.

How to make chicken soup from scratch in your slow cooker - this is the best recipe!


  1. To make the broth, add your whole chicken (include any giblets that came packed inside it - minus the bag) to your Crockpot along with the vinegar. Cut one of the onions into quarters and add to the crockpot. Cover chicken and onions with water, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of sea salt and turn your slow cooker on high.
  2. After about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, your chicken should be cooked and tender. Remove the chicken from the pot and set on a cookie sheet to cool. Remove the onion quarters from the broth and discard.
  3. While your chicken is cooling, dice the remaining onion, slice your carrots into coins and chop your celery (I use a food processor for this part - it saves SO much time!). Add your cut veggies and spices to the broth in the slow cooker and stir.
  4. Once the chicken has cooled a bit, use a fork and a knife to pull the meat away from the bones and skin. The chicken should be very tender, making this very easy to do. Discard the bones and skin and add the chicken pieces back into the slow cooker. Don't worry about chopping or shredding the chicken yet - just add the pieces back to the pot as they are.
  5. Allow the soup to cook on high for 1 hour more or on low for 2 or more hours. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken (I don't even remove to chicken to do this - I just stab one fork into the soup until I find a large piece of chicken. Use the other fork to shred it in the bottom of the pot). Set the slow cooker to the "warm" setting until ready to serve.
how to make chicken soup from scratch with a whole raw chicken

About the Author: 
Carissa is a green lifestyle expert and professional recipe developer. The owner and lead writer for Creative Green Living, she is also the author of two e-books including the best-selling beverage cookbook, Infused: Recipes for Herb & Fruit Infused Water, Tea and More. You can also find her recipes featured in The Non-GMO Cookbook as well as in periodicals like Urban Farm Magazine. Her goal is to empower families to make healthier choices that are easy, taste great and are fun!
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