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25 chicken soup recipes that'll warm you up from the inside out

Nothing beats a steaming bowl of chicken soup on a chilly day.
/ Source: TODAY

Is chicken soup really good for the soul? While the notion hasn't been scientifically proven, it is absolutely certain that a steaming bowl of chicken soup is one of the most comforting foods of all time. Warming broth and tender chicken make the base of this soothing and endlessly customizable dish. Noodles, vegetables, grains, spices, beans, dumplings, citrus, herbs and so much more can be added to the simple soup for extra bulk, nutrients and flavor.

In addition to being an amazingly versatile dish, it's budget-friendly, easy to prepare and can even help soothe the symptoms of a cold. While the canned, store-bought stuff is good in a pinch, nothing beats homemade. These recipes showcase the variety, healthy benefits, full flavor and everything else a hearty bowl of chicken soup has to offer.

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

Katie Lee's chicken soup is as classic as it gets. It builds on a flavorful base of celery, carrots and onion then gets some heft from chicken breasts and egg noodles. With simple seasonings and a few fresh herbs, this soup comes together quickly and provides instant comfort.

This is Dylan Dreyer's favorite chicken noodle soup. "When I had the flu in Korea during the Olympics, I ate the best chicken soup and I think it's because they used ramen noodles," she says. "So, that's how I make it now. I always try to make sure I keep some frozen … it's perfect when a cold is going around!"

Move over, chicken noodle soup: This new recipe is addictively flavorful, creamy and totally hits the spot. It's the perfect remedy for a pesky winter cold, thanks to its citrusy lemon and soothing, warm temperature. Plus, this simple dish is ready in just 30 minutes.

When it is cold outside, chicken soup is a must. This soup gets extra warmth from toasty Jamaican-style curry powder, seasonal squash, earthy yams and delicate spinners. A gentle simmer helps cook all the ingredients evenly, but the soft bubbling also makes the long, tapered dumplings dance and spin in the soup as they cook — hence the name "spinners."

Nkrakra (Light Chicken Soup)

This light and spicy broth is so wholesome and warming on chilly winter days. It's also wonderful for staving off cold symptoms. The fiery flavors and spicy tingle from the Scotch bonnets, extra-hot chile powder and guinea pepper are sure to clear even the foggiest heads and stuffiest sinuses. It works every time!

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

For Adam Richman, chicken soup with matzo balls is nostalgic and joyful. "Every good Jewish boy loves his mother's chicken soup. It's part of our DNA," he says. "It is penicillin when we are sick; it is comfort food when we are sad; it is communal food when we are celebrating; and it has its roots in the traditions of relatives that we no longer have with us or ones we never got a chance to meet. This is both part of my tradition and part of my childhood, and with just one spoonful I am immediately transported back to the happy, wonderful times of youth."

Southwestern ingredients give this soup refreshing flavor. This recipe is great for using up leftovers, only requires six ingredients and also freezes beautifully for those days when there's no time to cook. Just defrost and you have a balanced meal in minutes.

Chef Marcus Samuelsson created this recipe in honor of food historian Dr. Jessica B. Harris. "Jessica is a cherished chronicler of African foodways throughout the diaspora," he writes. "Her experiences have taken her all over the world and she's wined and dined with the best of them. Jessica, through her work, honors so many unsung Black figures whose names we don't know, who shaped Southern food and changed the course of American cooking. This comforting recipe is a small tribute to their ingenuity."

Healthy 1-Minute Chicken Soup

This is an excellent throw-it-all-in-a-pot, low-carb meal. You can add so many different kinds of vegetables to this soup and it's such a great way to utilize leftovers! Plus, it literally only takes one minute of time in the pressure cooker.

Leftover roast chicken gets new life in this easy and comforting soup. Leafy kale, turnips and mushrooms add a big vitamin boost and a burst of lemony flavor adds bright notes to this filling and flavorful soup. A drizzle of olive oil and fresh parsley at the end rounds out the richness and adds even more satisfying texture and taste.

Natalie Morales' chicken soup with dumplings is thick, creamy and incredibly comforting. A few clever shortcuts and a slow cooker make it a low-maintenance dish. It's an easy and satisfying soup the whole family will love.

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

America's Test Kitchen

A lot of chicken soups have to simmer for hours before they get that rich chicken flavor. This comforting, deeply flavored chicken noodle soup is easy enough to make even when feeling under the weather. Browning chicken pieces before simmering them in the broth creates an intensely chicken-y soup base. A standard mix of vegetables simmered alongside the chicken enhance broth's richness. Instead of predictable egg noodles, bite-size broken spaghetti pieces give it a nostalgic nod to canned versions but have loads more flavor.

Zuppa ala Milanese

Zuppa ala Milanese

Anthony Scotto

This fresh vegetable-filled soup gets a hearty protein boost from crispy breaded chicken cutlets. The meaty bites add great flavor and texture to this easy weeknight dinner. The fresh vegetables and tomato-scented broth make this a great soup to serve when it's warm out as well as during colder months.

Cranberry sauce shouldn't only be served on Thanksgiving! The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, reimagines the classic condiment with slightly more savory spin and uses it as a flavorful mix-in for her wild rice chicken soup. "I love this recipe because it tastes like autumn in a bowl. It's creamy, comforting and delicious," she says. "Perfect for a cool fall evening."

Chicken Fat Matzo Ball Soup

Sometimes referred to as "Jewish penicillin," matzo ball soup is a feel-good dish that can cure everything from a cold to the blues. While schmaltz (or chicken fat) is very traditional, using home-ground matzo and a splash of vodka makes this recipe unique. However, the unconventional approach still results in beautifully fluffy matzo balls and a deeply flavorful broth.

Flavorful and delicious, this is a creamy, comforting version of the classic. Make it spicier by adding more jalapeño or smokier with chipotle chile powder in place of the regular chile powder. This is a great recipe for entertaining a group. Set up a toppings bar so guests can help themselves and add their own toppings.

Carbone's Italian Wedding Soup

Contrary to what the name might suggest, this soup does not get its name because it is served at Italian weddings. The nuptial name actually refers to the marriage of the fresh leafy greens and rich broth in this robust and rustic soup. The intermingling of prosciutto, Parmesan and garlic in the chicken meatballs adds even more gusto to this festively flavored soup.

When plain old chicken noodle just won't do, it's time to bring in some zingy flavors to wake up the palate. This Thai-inspired soup stirs things up with spicy curry paste, creamy coconut milk and a squeeze of tart lime. The crunchy veggies and chewy noodles add a ton of exciting textures to this tangy dish.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This delectable soup is jam-packed with flavor, protein and loads of colorful veggies — bell peppers, carrots, onions, celery and fire-roasted, diced tomatoes. While this recipe tastes amazing straight from the pot, it's even better the next day, once all the herbs and spices have mixed and mingled. Right before serving, top each bowl with crispy tortilla strips plus an assortment of garnishes, such as chopped cilantro, scallions, shredded cheese, diced avocado, Greek yogurt and sliced jalapeños.

With star anise and lemongrass, this broth is more reminiscent of Vietnamese pho. Making noodles at home might seem really tough, but it's actually very straightforward. The secret is in baking the baking soda to make the noodles springy and tender. For toppings, soy-marinated eggs are a must!

Chicken and Dumplings

If chicken soup seems too basic for a one-pot dinner, jazz it up with pillowy dumplings. Inexpensive chicken thighs not only taste better when slow-cooked, they also have more flavor than chicken breasts. It's a thick and hearty bowl of comfort and happiness!

Nana Lucy's Matzo Ball Soup

Nana Lucy's Matzo Ball Soup

Madeleine Smithberg

Normally, baking soda is used as the leavening agent to make matzo balls fluffy. In this recipe, seltzer is used instead to puff up the mixture. The rest of the recipe is by the book and makes a lovely, light soup that's perfect for lunch or to start off a festive dinner.

VanJess' Nigerian Pepper Soup

VanJess' Nigerian Pepper Soup

Jessica & Ivana Nwokike

This comforting, spiced Nigerian soup is filled with chicken, vegetables and potatoes. It gets its intense depth of flavor from three different seasoning blends, fresh aromatics and hot chiles. It is a hearty and warming dish perfect for serving not just when the weather is cold, but all year round.

Joanna Gaines' Creamy Chicken Poblano Soup

This chicken chile soup recipe is a nod to one of Joanna Gaines' first dates with her husband, Chip. "I've heard it said that food with a story tastes different," she says. "For Chip and me, this soup always takes us back to one of our first dates. We went to a restaurant in Dallas, and both ordered the chicken poblano soup — not because it was familiar to either of us, but because we had heard that it was the dish the restaurant was known for. Honestly, it was the best soup either of us had ever had. That restaurant and soup became a favorite go-to, and even though the restaurant has since closed, Chip and I still talk about those early days and that chicken poblano soup."

Yardbird Soup

Yardbird Soup

Marcus Samuelsson

Samuelsson used leftovers from his famous fried yardbird to create this amazing soup. "I love this soup because it's full of flavor and simple to prepare," he says. "It incorporates crispy fried chicken and tender egg ribbons which gives it a textural surprise. It's an easy dish that really presents as an elegant entrée and elevates fried chicken in an unexpected way."