Chicken Soup With Dill

In the case of this soup, although spicy ginger root lends a lovely peppery background note and bright, tangy lemon dances front and center on your tongue – it’s the dill that truly gets the standing O.

Vertical image of a white bowl filled with stew and fresh herbs on a blue napkin, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

Fresh herbs are my friends, and they have been for as long as I can remember. My dad took the art of homemade cuisine very seriously, and leaning on fresh aromatics for flavor (rather than store-bought seasoning packets) was simply a way of life in our kitchen.

Dill, in particular, was one of my very best buds.

The first recipe I remember getting to prepare tag-team with my dad was his famous crab cakes. I still make them today but with my own variations (like this Tex-Mex twist with cumin and cilantro). In his version – which my sister and I feverishly requested at every opportunity – fresh dill was the star of the show.

I know, I know. Enhancing seafood with dill isn’t reinventing the wheel, but you’ve never had my dad’s crab cakes. Unless you’re reading this and you happen to be my mom or my sister (Hi, guys!).

Vertical top-down image of a white bowl with a vegetable and shredded poultry stew with a spoon on a blue napkin.

The simplicity behind the meal’s humble, yet earth-shatteringly delicious flavors was part of the wizardry. And I’ll never forget when my dad let me behind the curtain.

Dill holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the very first fresh herbs I handled as a child. Before I was old enough to use a knife, my dad gave me the precious responsibility of “giving it a haircut.”

With my trusty shears, I would stand on a stool beside him, snipping feathery fronds onto the cutting board (and his feet) while he methodically chopped onions, celery, and sweet peppers. The dill’s licoricey scent would waft through the air and probably proceeded to travel halfway down our street.

It’s pungent stuff, after all, despite the leaflets being exquisitely delicate. The herb enhanced the rich, buttery patties with citrusy flavor and I’ve never stopped adoring how it stands out as the perfect flavoring in so many savory dishes.

Vertical image of a white bowl filled with a stew of shredded poultry and assorted vegetables and herbs on a gray wooden surface in front of slices of lemons.

But again, we’re not really talking about anything out of the ordinary here.

In fact, it’s sticking to “ordinary,” traditional, or classic culinary principles that often produces the most wonderful outcomes. And I think we all can agree that chicken soup with dill is about as classic as it comes.

The herb is a regular in many matzo ball soup recipes too.

Okay, enough ranting and raving about herbs.

No, wait! One more thing. If you absolutely must use dried dill, I won’t judge you. There will be a slight sacrifice in flavor as only the fresh variety has that graceful grassiness, but your palate will still get the idea.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. On to the other elements of this fine dish.

Vertical image of a ladle over a large pot of stew on a blue napkin next to slices of lemons.

A classic mirepoix of chopped onions, carrots, and celery bulk up and give life to the base. Garlic and ginger provide plenty of aromatic perfume, while cooking the chicken breast in the broth also amps up the flavor.

If you’re nervous that stirring in the lemon and dill just before serving won’t give them a chance to marry with the soup, no need to worry. You want to finish with these big punches of flavor so they’re bright and fresh, the first elements that tickle your taste buds.

Hopefully, this recipe will welcome dill into your life as a forever friend if you haven’t reached that point in your relationship already, in the same way that it did for me many years ago. And if it doesn’t, oh well. There’s always parsley.

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Horizontal image of a white bowl with a stew next to a blue napkin, metal spoon, and a wooden cutting board with slices of lemons and fresh herbs.

Chicken Soup with Dill


  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x

Description

Fresh herbaceous dill, bright lemon juice, and a spicy kick of ginger are the surprising standouts in this comforting chicken soup.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated (or minced) fresh ginger
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts 
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)

Instructions

  1. Place a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter begins to foam and lightly sizzle, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the veggies begin to soften, for about 5 minutes. 
  2. Season with the salt and pepper, and stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 more minute and then pour in the chicken broth. Add the chicken breasts and bring the broth to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside on a rimmed plate to catch any juice. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat with two forks. 
  4. Return the shredded chicken (and juices from the plate) back to the pot over medium-low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the dill and lemon juice, and season to taste with additional salt if necessary.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup

Keywords: chicken, soup, dill

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep the Veggies and Aromatics

Peel and chop the onion and carrot. Dice the celery, and mince the garlic and ginger. Juice the lemon, and discard any seeds.

Horizontal image of prepped raw meat and chopped vegetables and aromatics on a wooden cutting board next to a green juicer.

Group the dill fronds together and pinch them off the stems before chopping. You can also use a sharp knife to separate the fronds from the stems. Holding a small bunch of the dill in your left hand, and using a quick motion with your right hand, slide the knife away from you down each stem to shave the fronds off.

You can use a paring knife or the back of a spoon to peel the ginger before you mince it. Look through this ginger guide for other helpful tips on prepping and storing this flavorful root.

Step 2 – Saute the Veggies and Add the Broth

Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large soup pot or Dutch oven that you’ve set over medium heat.

Horizontal image of cooking chopped vegetables in broth in a pot.

When the butter begins to lightly foam, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are very fragrant and have begun to soften. This should take about 5 minutes.

Season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper, and then stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 more minute.

Pour in the chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release any tasty bits that are stuck to the bottom. (Are you fond of these? Good, because that’s also what they’re called!)

Using homemade chicken stock is always best in my book and it imparts the richest flavor, but a good-quality store-bought version is totally fine here. Skip the salted varieties, and go for salt-free or low-sodium broth so you have the freedom to add your own as you like.

For an added layer of flavor, you could also deglaze the pan first with 1/4 cup dry white wine. Reduce the liquid for about 1 minute and then pour in your stock.

Step 3 – Cook and Shred the Chicken

As a shortcut, you could skip the raw poultry and use shredded rotisserie chicken meat instead of cooking it from scratch. If you go that route, allow the broth to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes with just the veggies and aromatics so the flavors can come together, and then stir in the shredded rotisserie chicken so it has time to warm through just before serving.

Horizontal image of shredding poultry breasts on a wooden cutting board with metal forks.

To cook the chicken from scratch, carefully drop the chicken breasts into the broth and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer until the chicken breasts are cooked through. Depending on their thickness, this should take about 15 minutes. You can use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is at least 160°F.

Remove the chicken from the pot with tongs and set it aside on a rimmed plate to catch any juice.

Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat. I think using two forks is the way to go here.

Step 4 –Add the Chicken, Dill, and Lemon, and Serve

Return the shredded chicken (and any juices that were collected on the plate) back to the pot over medium-low heat and stir. Cook until the chicken is heated back through, for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Horizontal image of a pot with chicken soup on a blue napkin next to a plate of lemons and a metal spoon.

Stir in the dill and lemon juice. Season to taste with additional salt if necessary.

Divide among bowls and serve.

Chicken Soup for the… Well, You Know

Ready to chow down? If you’re craving a thicker, more stew-like broth (deep within your soul!), I’ve got you covered.

Horizontal image of a white bowl with a stew next to a blue napkin, metal spoon, and a wooden cutting board with slices of lemons and fresh herbs.

Start with about 2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch, measure it into a small bowl, and whisk in an equal quantity of cold water. Congratulations! You’ve made a slurry.

Whisk your slurry into the soup pot, and continue to stir until it’s thickened to your liking.

Otherwise, keep it as is! I know that’s how I like it.

Some swirl in vinegary hot sauce for an added spicy kick. Some crumble in salty crackers. How will you customize your bowlful?

Share your soup traditions in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.

For more comforting concoctions to eat with a spoon, give these soup recipes a shot next:

Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on January 15, 2014. Last updated on February 26, 2022.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Fanny Slater

Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”

33 thoughts on “Chicken Soup With Dill”

  1. I have made chicken soup before but have never even thought of adding dill to it. I bet it gives it great flavor. I am wondering if I would need to change anything if I wanted to add noodles into it. Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Interesting recipe, I always associate dill with salmon and other fish. Never tried it with chicken, will let you know how I get along with this one.

    Reply
  3. In my part of world, its chilly and this dish i believe would work its magic on me, coffee re-runs aren’t doing me a huge favor, heat from my body is being depleted at a very high rate and its not a laughing matter…am putting this recipe on my to do list in the kitchen tomorrow {my, the errands that await me}…i ‘ll give my verdict afterwards :)…this is a lifesaver indeed.

    Reply
  4. I have yet to use dill as a seasoning in my dishes, especially a soup. The ginger in the recipe is awesome to include for a cold or cough because it clears congestion.

    Reply
  5. Yum. This chicken soup looks absolutely delicious. I like that it also looks to be a light soup, not heavy as so many soups are. I am trying to find Paleo recipes that sound simple to make and this one seems to fit the bill.

    Reply
  6. I love the fact that it’s nice and light, yet hearty at the same time. I think I’ll try this one out the first chill day we have in fall.

    Reply
  7. I haven’t tried the noodle-less chicken soup, but I agree that its a comfort food especially when unwell, it’s soothing! This soup wouldn’t definitely taste right without fresh dill. Thanks for sharing this scrumptious recipe!

    Reply
  8. I have been feeling under the weather this week so I’m going to try this recipe out. Chicken soup makes me feel a little bit better when I’m sick. I’ve never tried adding the herbs and lemon and ginger before. I can’t wait to try it because it sounds very tasty 🙂

    Reply
  9. Dill is one of my favourite flavours, but I’ve never tried it with chicken… looking forward to giving that a go.

    And thanks also for the tip about the ginger. I knew it could be frozen but thought it had to be prepared first, not just peeled from frozen like that. Anything that saves a bit of time in the kitchen is welcome with me!

    Reply
  10. I’ve never thought about making a noodle-less chicken soup before. I’m not sure if I would like it. It wouldn’t seem like it would fill me up. This recipe looks really good though, so I might have to try it. I’ve never thought about adding dill though. That is something new to me. I bet it gives a good flavor. I’ll be adding this to my recipes to try.

    Reply
  11. When I first looked at the picture I thought this was going to be a variation of matzo ball soup, but it is SOO much better. I absolutely love ginger and any soup that combines ginger, with lemon and dill is going to be a winner. I think my favorite part of this recipe is that there are no noodles or potatoes. Sometimes I just want a soup with little to no carbs.

    Reply
  12. I think it’s important to use fresh chicken (preferably free-range) so that enough flavor is imparted to the soup, but the meat itself also does not become tasteless in the process.

    Personally I tend to use macaroni instead of potatoes, I think it goes better with the soup! Alongside a small stalk of coriander for garnishing and a little extra flavor.

    Reply
  13. I love chicken soup. I especially love making it when I’m vacationing in the mountains. It’s feel so wonderful to eat it in front of a fire on a chilly, pine-scented day.

    Anyway, I’ve never tried cooking it with ginger and dill. This is a very interesting choice. Exotic. I like!!!

    Reply
  14. As others have said here, the dill makes for an interesting ingredient, makes me wonder what it would taste like as I don’t think I’ve ever had a chicken recipe with dill in it.
    What I like about this recipe are the large pieces of chicken in it. Sometimes I feel like I could eat chicken 7 might as week. That being said, this would be a light recipe to fix, light but still delivering the chicken that I tend to crave. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    Reply
  15. I love dill so much but I am never sure how to incorporate it in my meals because I don’t want to ruin it by not having the flavors go together but I must say that this recipe sounds delicious. I love trying new recipes and all the ones you have on your blog sound excellent!

    Reply
  16. Ahhh, you can never go wrong with chicken soup! I’m fascinated by the dill in this one too. I’ll give it a try, but I’ll definitely be passing it onto my brother too! He has finals right now, and he’s obsessed with all things super-herb-y (an obsession I never caught onto). He’ll surely love this as a midnight snack. 🙂

    Reply
  17. There is nothing like homemade chicken soup, is there. I generally put noodles in mine but find they don’t freeze well. Like you, when I make the soup, I make a huge batch. I have never thought of putting dill in chicken soup but I must say, your photo has my mouth watering. I will definitely be trying this next time around and will also leave out the noodles 🙂

    Reply
  18. Wow, such a quick recipe. The others I have seen involve hours of simmering. This is a great idea for a midweek meal, especially whilst it’s still cold outside. Of course, any leftovers can always be frozen too, so this would be an excellent meal to batch-cook.

    Reply
  19. When I’m sick, I alternate between chicken soup and hot and sour soup, and it sounds as if I need to add this one in for some variety. I like the idea of combining the ginger and lemon, and I’ve never really used dill, so this will give me an excuse to buy some, and start using it regularly. This sounds incredibly easy and healthful, so I’m definitely going to try it.

    Reply
  20. I agree with this chicken soup is great anytime, especially when you are not feeling too well. The goodness of this soup helps to get rid of all those horrible bugs and makes you feel better in no time. Chicken soup, just the way our grandmothers made it.

    Reply
  21. I’ll have to save this recipe for when chilly weather rolls back around. Or the next time I catch a cold, haha. Wish I’d seen it the last time I was ill! It includes all the ingredients I like to use when I feel under the weather, so it’s perfect for that.

    Reply
  22. What a great idea! I have never used lemon, ginger or dill in my chicken soup before…but I am excited to try it. And I so agree which the other commenters–nothing feels better for a scratchy throat and stuffy head than chicken soup! When I was in college, a group of profs and students were doing research to find out what Grandmas already knew; chicken soup does have actual nutrients in it to bring quicker healing to colds!

    Reply
  23. A big fan of soup, this recipe sounds amazing! The flavors of dill and lemon are awesome in general, I can only imagine how well they go together in this soup. I will be making this today!

    Reply
  24. Chicken soup is my favorite dish during the winter. It is so comforting on a cold evening. I also love it because compared to a lot of other soups it is relatively healthy. One of the things I’ve done recently is throw a handful of spinach and ragotta balls in 30 mins before it is done. It adds such flavor.

    Reply
  25. I have been looking for an interesting chicken soup recipe. I was pantry surfing and found some chicken stock, cream of chicken, and a can of carrots. This had my mind and mouth watering thinking about some good old chicken soup. I can use my lasagna noodles so they will not go to waste. I will try the lemon and dill which seems to add a flavor variation that my family will love. We are crazy about lemon because it adds a bit of freshness to any dish.

    Reply
  26. This is one of those perfect recipes for winter time. My family are always ready to try any soup or chicken dish as these are usually warm and filling. Dill is a nice addition which I would never have considered. Thanks for another great recipe!

    Reply
  27. This looks really cool! I thought it was some type of egg soup for some reason before I actually read the ingredients at the first time. It actually reminded me to the miso soup that I read the other day on this blog, it seems a perfect meal for winter and just rainy days in general that seems to be so common nowadays. I haven’t tried a lot of soups in my life, because they are not a common thing on my country or just on my household in general, but it’s always good to try new things, right?
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  28. I love soup more than most other food categories, so I was eager to try this recipe. First, I don’t like the combination of ginger and dill together. In fact, I love dill and ginger separately, but the dill in particular doesn’t seem like it belongs in this soup to me. It just seems really out of place. However, I also can’t wrap my head around a chicken soup not containing a noodle, rice, or a wonton SOMEWHERE, so this recipe was probably not destined for my recipe collection anyway.

    Reply
  29. I just tried this today! My family always has these ingredients in our kitchen. But instead of fresh dill, I used the dried one. It still tasted great nonetheless. I thought of not including the grated ginger because I thought the taste would overpower the soup, but I was so wrong! I didn’t expect it to actually make the soup taste so much better.

    Reply
  30. Today, the only things that I had in my fridge were chicken pieces, dill, carrots, leeks and ginger. I made a soup and from what I see now, my family absolutely loved it. I only googled later and realised that it was okay to add “dill” to my soup. I will be doing this more frequently. Warm greetings from cold Johannesburg

    Reply
  31. Made this soup and it is amazing! I was a little worried about the lemon, but it worked, loved the flavor it added. This is a keeper ????

    Reply

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