Light Chicken Soup

What could be better than a bowl of steaming hot soup on a cold winter day?  Chicken soup is one of my favorite comfort foods.  I like to make this soothing, light chicken soup with lots of fresh vegetables and ginger.  I like to add fresh ginger because of its medicinal attributes.  It fights cancer, inflammation, heartburn, sore throat, cough, congestion, upset stomach, nausea and more.  I make a big batch of this soup when I’m also feeling kind of under the weather. It just makes me feel better after having the soup.

To Make the Light Chicken Soup

The chicken I use in this soup includes the bones and skin for more flavor. They are discarded later after the chicken meat is pulled apart. Other ingredients like onions, celery, carrots and fresh ginger are added and slowly simmered with parsley, thyme, and lemon peel. The secret ingredient here is the lemon peel. It adds a very pleasant and interesting flavor to the soup. For the greens, you can use spinach, napa cabbage, baby bok choy or swiss chard. Any mild flavor greens will work here. You can add as much greens as you like, don’t worry about proportions. Kale will not be suitable for this recipe because of its pungent, mildly, bitter taste. The soup develops a deep flavor as it slowly simmers. Most of the cooking time is passive here.

This light chicken soup is one of my favorite soups to make. It’s delicious, comforting, and easy to make. To me it has healing powers.  It makes you feel good when you are feeling under the weather.  It’s the kind of thing that you can put all in one pot, leave it to simmer slowly, while you do other things. Then,  after you finish with your chores, there’s a nice bowl of soup waiting for you.

Light Chicken Soup

Servings 6 people
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes


  • 2 chicken breast with skin and bones
  • 3 chicken thighs with skin and bones
  • 3 chicken drumsticks
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and chopped
  • 3 inches lemon peel yellow part only
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs italian parsley
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 ½ Tbsp salt
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 4 cups spinach


  • Place chicken in a big pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, ginger, parsley, lemon peel, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, jalapeño and salt.
  • Cover pot and let boil on high heat. Before it gets to rolling boil, skim off the white scum with a ladle and discard.
  • Cover pot again and let simmer on medium/low heat for 1 hour. After 1 hour, take chicken out into a dish. Pull meat apart with fork and discard the skin and bones. Add chicken pieces back into the pot, cover and let it simmer for another 20 minutes.
  • Turn heat up to high and add spinach. Cover and let simmer for 2 minutes, just until spinach starts to wilt.
  • Turn off heat and let cool for a few minutes and serve in a bowl.


Use a potato peeler lightly to get peel of lemon making sure you don't get the white part of the skin. You can also use other kinds of greens like chopped napa cabbage or swiss chard in this soup.
Author: Elizabeth Segal
Course: Main Course, Soup
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