Student Suppers: A Basic Chicken Soup

Mummy, I’m sure you’re probably reading this, so I’m very sorry to admit the idea, method and recipe for this soup all came to me while I was distracted during a class on Ancient Epic. I’m so sorry, and I promise I will try and focus more in class, but then again I am not sorry that I managed to think up a delicious yet simple soup with what I knew I had leftover in my fridge, which I know my readers will love too. Will you forgive me?

The reason this is a good, basic soup is that it provides a base that you can add to or detract from, depending on what you have left over or what you have to use up. It yields about 4 small bowls (to be served with bread) or three very large ones. I’d like to try adding more liquid, and add some bacon to make up for watered down flavour, to make it a serves 6 soup. Or, try using pasta instead of the rice (trust me to run out), or noodles to turn it into a Chicken Noodle Soup, but I was saving those to make Chicken Chow Mein. The only thing I think is a necessity to the recipe, which were actually an afterthought at the time, are the mushrooms. When I added them to the pan they created the most wonderful flavour boost to the broth.

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A Basic Chicken Soup

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: British


This easy, classic chicken soup is filling, nourishing and made with a poached chicken breast so there is no need to mess around with a whole roast chicken.


  • 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
  • 1 Leek, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 2 Celery Sticks, chopped
  • 2 Large Carrots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil 
  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • 1 Chicken Stock Cube, in 1.1 Litres (5 Cups) Water
  • 2 Handfuls Mushrooms, sliced
  • 30g (1/3 Cup) Brown Rice 
  • 2 tsp Fresh or Dried Thyme
  • Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper 


  1. Add the stock and the chopped garlic to a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, add the chicken breast and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a very large pan and gently fry the vegetables for about 10 minutes until they are soft. Set aside.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it to a chopping board and pour the liquid into the large pan with the vegetables  returning it to the heat.
  4. Use two forks to shred the chicken (this should be pretty easy) and add it to the pan also. Season with lots of salt and pepper, add the thyme and the brown rice. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer with the lid on over a medium heat for 25 minutes.
  5. Stir in the sliced mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes – serve with crusty bread if desired and enjoy!