The Best Creamy Chicken Soup

This creamy chicken soup is the perfect cold weather soup. Thick and hearty, it comes together fast and is perfect in bread bowls…or not!

creamy chicken soup in white bowl with spoon and breadstick

I tried to come up with a million other creative names for this soup. But eventually I abandoned the effort. 

Why? Because this creamy chicken soup is so amazing, it doesn’t need a fancy name to prove it. 

Yes, it has vegetables. Yes, it has some absolutely delightful out-of-the-box pantry seasonings. But at the end of the day, it’s creamy chicken soup. 

The best creamy chicken soup I’ve ever had. 

creamy chicken soup in white bowl with parmesan sprinkled on top

Ultra Creamy Chicken Soup

This soup is really easy to make. 

  1. simmer a bunch of vegetables in broth, bouillon and seasonings
  2. add milk and a simple roux (butter + olive oil + flour)
  3. thicken until rich and creamy
  4. add chicken

What sets this soup apart is how rich and creamy it is after thickening with the milk and the roux. And it gets thicker and more flavorful with time. As in: leftovers are a really, really desirable thing with this creamy chicken soup.

vegetables and broth in pot, adding chicken bouillon to pot, adding spices to pit, adding roux to pot

Let’s Talk Seasonings

There are a few seasonings in this soup that may come as a bit of a surprise. 

First, turmeric. I’ve never added this vibrant, earthy spice to a creamy chicken soup before, but it’s amazing. It lends a pretty color and a subtle but delicious warm, peppery flavor. 

Second, herbs de provence. This may not be a seasoning blend you have hanging around your cupboard, but if you are inclined to try something new, I’d highly recommend picking some up! (It’s delicious on eggs, roasted veggies, chicken…)

Herbs de provence is a blend of aromatic spices often used in French cooking. If you don’t have it, I’ve given some suggestions for substitutions in the notes of the recipe. The flavor of the soup won’t quite be the same without it, but you can experiment! 

ladle in pot with creamy chicken soup

Since Alli, an awesome MKC reader, sent me this recipe last month, I’ve made it many times. For our family. To feed missionaries living in our area. For a take-in meal to several friends. 

It was our favorite way to use turkey leftovers this year after Thanksgiving.

This soup is simple enough to be super kid-friendly, but so delicious, it’ll have the adults raving, too.

That little sprinkling of Parmesan, Asiago or Gruyere cheese on top kicks it straight up into gourmet territory. YUM.

spoon dipping into white bowl of creamy chicken soup with parmesan on top

Divine breadsticks or bread bowls
Fresh fruit or green salad

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Creamy Chicken Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
creamy chicken soup in white bowl with spoon and breadstick

Ingredients

Soup:

  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, diced carrots (about 3-4 medium carrots)
  • 3/4 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion, (1 small onion)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I use low sodium)
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon or 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon paste or granules (optional - see note)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons herbs de provence (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half (or a combo - see note)
  • 3-4 cups cooked, chopped chicken
  • Shredded parmesan, asiago or gruyere cheese, for topping (optional)

Roux:

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. For the soup, in a 4-quart or larger saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery and onion. Pour in the broth and add the chicken bouillon, bay leaves, parsley, herbs de provence, turmeric, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, uncovered or partially covered, for 12-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  3. For the roux, while the soup simmers, in a small saucepan, add the olive oil and butter and cook on medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the flour and whisk to combine until a smooth paste forms. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add the milk (and/or half-and-half) to the soup and heat through. Add the roux to the soup and cook, stirring or whisking constantly, over medium heat until the soup thickens and gently simmers, 5-7 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chicken, season to taste with salt and pepper (this is important for flavor!) and heat through.
  6. Remove the bay leaves and serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan, asiago or gruyere on top.

Notes

Half-and-half: the more half-and-half you use, the creamier this soup will be but milk works great, too. I suggest using at least 1% or 2% (not skim).

Herbs de Provence: if you don't have herbs de , you can try adding a few substitute pantry spices although the flavor will be slightly different. Try a pinch of basil, oregano, thyme, sage, and rosemary.

Bouillon: the chicken bouillon (cube, paste or granules) intensifies the overall flavor of the soup. If you leave it out, season well to taste (with salt and pepper).

Potatoes: potatoes make a great addition to this soup. I add peeled, diced potatoes (usually Yukon gold, but any variety would work) with the broth.

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Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe an awesome MKC reader, Alli R., sent me