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Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup (Healthy-ish!)

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup, made from scratch, is an easy and healthy-ish dinner, filled with all your favorite vegetables like carrots, celery and onion, and wonderful mild spices like turmeric, paprika and bay leaf. Packing the flavor without weighing you down!

 

Three bowls with chicken and vegetable soup, flatlay.

 

The ultimate comfort food is a warming bowl of soup. Every sip warms us through the core, and adding nutritious vegetables and chicken and we have a filling and delicious meal. Of course, soup is also a great excuse to dig up those bacon and cheese dinner rolls from the freezer!

 

Always have bread rolls in your freezer, rule #1. This also applies to ‘dessert rolls’, which includes cinnamon rolls, basic sweet buns, vanilla crescent rolls and Norwegian vanilla custard coconut buns.

 

Have them all in the freezer, because you never know when that craving hits. In a 300F (150C) oven for 10-15 minutes, and you have what feel and taste like fresh buns out of the oven!

 

Hand dipping a bacon dinner roll in the soup.

 

This creamy vegetable and chicken soup can be made all year round, from cozy soup season in the winter, or when the vegetables are at their best in your garden. You can customize the soup to whatever vegetables you have, herbs you prefer and overall what soup mood you’re in today. 

 

What can I add to soup to make it thick and creamy?

 

For starters, to make a creamy soup you usually add milk or heavy cream. This recipe uses milk to make it a little healthier, but heavy cream would make it even creamier. If you can’t eat dairy, coconut milk is a great option. Both light and full-fat can work beautifully. 

 

A spoon with creamy turmeric vegetable soup.

 

To make the soup thicker, yes, the milk and/or heavy cream will help thicken it, but sometimes that is not enough. You can use thickeners like potatoes, rice, cornstarch and a roux. Whatever you choose, is fine. For this recipe, I made a roux. 

 

A roux is a mixture of equal parts flour and fat (oil or butter) by weight, that forms into a paste, and once combined with the soup, the soup will thicken. In a saucepan on medium heat, add the fat and once it’s hot, add in the flour. Whisk until it forms a paste, and let it cook for about 1 minute to get rid of the floury taste.

 

Roux in a saucepan with a black whisk.

 

To make brown sauces, this roux is simply cooked for much longer to brown. Here though, 1-2 minutes is enough.

 

If you want to use potatoes, you can simply add a tiny piece of potato (like 1 tbsp sized), to the soup, and the starch will thicken the soup. You could also mix 2 tsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water before mixing it in the soup, and it will become thicker rather instantly. 

 

Rice is also a great way of thickening up the soup, and adding rice will make the soup more filling and comforting too.

 

Creamy chicken and vegetable soup in a green bowl. Two dark bowls in the background.

 

Make creamy chicken soup with rice

 

You will need to omit the roux, and add more liquid to the soup. So when you’re adding all the chicken broth, add an additional 1 cup of water or broth. I prefer to use brown rice or wild rice (or a combination) in soups, but jasmine or basmati works too.

 

Brown and wild rice needs longer cook time, about 40 minutes, while white takes closer to 20 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of your preferred rice when it is about that long left of the cooking time. But either way, just cook until the rice grains are done, no need to worry about drying out the chicken, because it is encapsulated in all this delicious broth.

 

If it is still too thick, just add more water or broth as desired. If you find it too thin, add 1 tsp cornstarch mixed in 1 tbsp water. 

 

A ladle with soup.

 

How to make soup more flavorful

 

I think this soup already is packing a lot of flavor, and especially considering how easy it is to make. But there are some ways in which you can get any soup more flavorful:

 

  • Brown (sear) the chicken to get more flavor on the chicken with that golden crust. This is what I do in this Thai chicken noodle soup.
  • Roasting the vegetables in the oven will develop and deepen the flavors of the vegetables. For example, this roasted tomato soup tastes very different from my easy tomato white bean soup (although both are delicious!)
  • Homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock/broth will always make everything taste better, I don’t have a recipe for this but you can try Went Here 8 This’ Crockpot Chicken Broth or That Girl Cooks Healthy’s Vegetable Stock.
  • Fresh high quality ingredients. What you put in, is what you get! So unflavorful vegetables will also lead to an unflavorful soup!
  • More spices and flavor enhancers like garlic, ginger, herbs, turmeric or chilli for more heat.

 

A large saucepan with soup sprinkled with all the spices.

 

 

How to make this creamy vegetable and chicken soup even healthier

 

This soup is already fairly healthy. It is packed with nutrition from the vegetables and chicken, but also from the milk and spices. There’s two things that can be better, and that is using a potato for thickener and omitting the butter. 

 

You could omit the roux to make it gluten-free. Use a small potato in the soup instead, to help thicken the soup. Add it before simmering for 45-60 minutes. Or use any of the other tips mentioned above to thicken the soup.

 

I’m a firm believer in making tasty food, and will therefore not omit the butter. As butter is the tastiest thing on earth. Yes. However, it is perfectly do-able and the soup will still taste fantastic.   

 

Sliced carrots, onion and celery in a large saucepan.  

 

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup Recipe

 

To make this chicken and vegetable soup, you will have to first make the roux. In a small saucepan, add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter to medium high heat. Once hot, add in the flour and whisk until it forms a paste. Cook for about 1-2 minute or until it turns a light golden color. Slowly, whisk in about 1/2 cup of chicken stock, whisk vigorously until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. 

 

A green bowl with chicken soup that is garnished with shredded cheese and parsley.

 

In a large saucepan, add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium high heat. Once hot, add in the carrots, celery and onion and cook until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the leek and minced garlic and cook for another minute. 

 

If needed, add a splash (about 2 tbsp) of dry white wine, cooking sherry or even water to the saucepan and scrape the bottom to deglaze the pan. Here’s a lot of delcious flavors.

 

Now slowly pour in the rest of the chicken broth and the roux in the first step. Stir well while you bring it up to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Now add in all the other ingredients apart from chicken and garnishes. Simmer for 45-60 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings.

 

Creamy soup in a large, red saucepan.

 

Pan fry vs rotisserie chicken

 

If you’re in a hurry, a rotisserie chicken is a convenient choice. As I mentioned above, you get more flavor by searing the chicken, and if that’s enticing to you here’s how you do it: pan fry two cubed chicken breast in 1 tbsp oil, on high heat for about a minute or two to get a nice sear, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let them continue to cook in the soup. 

 

When ready to serve, discard the bay leaf and garnish with fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of cheese if desired. I love to serve it with good bread like these cheese and bacon dinner rolls or whole wheat bread rolls for a healthier option. 

 

Creamy chicken and vegetable soup in a green bowl with a vintage spoon.

 

Did you like this chicken and vegetable soup? Here’s more soup recipes I think you will like:

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year. 

 

In order to keep the blog up and running this post may contain affiliate links, it will be at no extra cost to you, please read the disclosure for more information.

 

 

Hand dipping a bacon dinner roll in the soup.

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup (Healthy-ish!)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup, made from scratch, is an easy and healthy-ish dinner that is packing the flavor without weighing you down!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (divided, or any high-heat oil)
  • 2 tbsp butter (divided)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (divided, about 800ml)
  • 3 medium carrots (cut into 1/8” slices)
  • 1 celery stalk (cut into 1/8” slices or finely chopped)
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 3 tbsp leek (finely sliced, optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine, sherry or water (if needed)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (or a mixture with heavy cream, about 350ml)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley (or 2 tbsp fresh parsley)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (mostly for color, optional)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 chicken breast or 2 cups cooked chicken
  • Fresh parsley (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. First make a roux: In a small saucepan, add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter to medium high heat. Once hot, add in the flour and whisk until it forms a paste. Cook for about 1-2 minute or until it turns a light golden color. Slowly, whisk in about 1/2 cup of chicken stock, whisk vigorously until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Cook the vegetables: In a large saucepan, add 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter over medium high heat. Once hot, add in the carrots, celery and onion and cook until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the leek and garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Deglaze the pan: If needed, add a splash of dry white wine, cooking sherry or even water to the saucepan and scrape the bottom to deglaze the pan. Here’s a lot of delcious flavors.
  4. Make the soup: Now slowly pour in the rest of the chicken broth and the roux in the first step. Stir well while you bring it up to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Now add in all the other ingredients apart from chicken and garnishes. Simmer for 45-60 minutes, then taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. The chicken: Meanwhile, for convenience, you can add shredded rotisserie chicken. For more flavor, you can sear two cubed chicken breast in a skillet with 1 tbsp oil on high heat for about 1 minute on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to let them cook in the soup.
  6. Time to serve: Discard the bay leaf and garnish with fresh parsley, serve with good bread.

Notes

Add rice to the soup: If you want to add rice to the soup, omit the roux. Add 1/3 cup of your preferred rice when it is about the same time as the cook time for the rice left. Add an additional 1 cup of liquid. If it is too thick, add more liquid and too thin; add 1-2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water.

To make it gluten-free: Omit the roux and when you are adding all the soup ingredients, add a small potato instead. You can also use 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a little water.

How to store: The soup can be freezed in freezer safe containers for about 3-4 months, or stored covered, in the fridge for about 3 days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 17.3gSaturated Fat: 5.4gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 622mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2.3gProtein: 23.1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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Chef Dennis

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

My family loves a good soup and they gave your recipe Five-Stars!!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

I appreciate that, Dennis. Glad you liked it!

Kirtika saha

Monday 22nd of February 2021

It's looks so delicious. They are really amazing article. Thanks for sharing nice information.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Thank you.

Addison

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Such a hearty and flavorful soup! I love this for a chilly winter day or night!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Thank you so much, it is perfect for colder days!

Genevieve | Fitty Foodlicious

Monday 22nd of February 2021

This soup looks AMAZING! It looks so creamy and delicious, pinning for later.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Thanks so much Genevieve!

Julie

Sunday 21st of February 2021

I've been looking for a great chicken soup and this is it! So cozy and fulfilling. My family loved it and I'll be making it again.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Thank you so much, I'm glad you all enjoyed it.

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