Do you remember those old commercials where the kid would eat the soup after a cold day of playing in the snow?
Then it flashes to the adult version of that kid eating the same bowl of deliciousness, getting all those warm and yummy feelings from the same dish.
That pretty much sums up my feelings about this amazing homemade cream of chicken soup.
When I hear the phrase “cream of” something, I usually think of the condensed stuff in a can. You know, the mushroom and other condensed soups that you might use in casserole recipes – as opposed to actually eating them in a bowl with a spoon.
Let me tell you right now that this dish is nothing like those premade versions.
Instead, this is like the chicken and rice soup that probably grew up eating. And even if you didn’t eat chicken and rice in this way, you will be familiar with the staple flavors in this recipe.
It also includes a lot of the ingredients that you see in a traditional chicken noodle soup.
The dish starts with the classic mirepoix combination of celery, carrot, and onion. This simple step of cooking down the vegetables gives so much depth of flavor that you can’t get by simply using chicken broth on its own.
After you add some flour, the liquid thickens up to a beautiful texture so it’s not just a brothy mixture. Without being too heavy, it has a lot of character to it when you add in the chunks of vegetables, chicken, and rice.
One thing that really makes this recipe stand out is its creaminess. Unlike your standard chicken and rice or chicken noodle soups, this recipe has an added richness that you’ll find irresistible. I know I do.
It’s the creaminess that really takes the dish to a new level of comfort, and it’s a homemade meal that really sticks to your bones.
That’s a phrase my grandmother would always use. I know “stick to your bones” sounds a little weird, but in a way, it’s totally comforting to me. Just hearing the phrase makes me feel all warm and happy, from the inside out.
Anyway, this is the ideal recipe to bring out when you are feeling a touch under the weather, or if you’re huddled under the covers in need of a homemade cure for what ails you. It’s super easy to make, and it stores easily in the refrigerator so you can continue to eat it over the next few days.
With this recipe, you might never buy premade cream of chicken soup again!
Have a friend or family member who’s not feeling too well? This recipe makes a great gift to bring over to help out someone special.Print
When you’re craving a spoonful of comfort, a bowl of the best homemade cream of chicken soup is all you need to warm up.
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium stalk celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or a gluten-free blend)
- 5 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 3/4 tsp dried parsley, or ½ tsp finely chopped fresh
- 3/4 tsp dried oregano, or ½ tsp finely chopped fresh
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken breast
- Heat a saucepan over medium heat and melt butter. Saute onion, celery, and carrots until softened, for about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Whisk in flour and continue cooking while whisking constantly until thick and golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook.
- Slowly pour in chicken stock, whisking as you pour to combine well. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until flour has been incorporated and mixture is bubbling lightly.
- Add salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, and rice. Stir, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened for about 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in cream and chicken, and continue to cook for a few minutes, to heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, as desired.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Comfort Food
Keywords: chicken soup, cream of chicken soup, cream of chicken, winter
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Chop, Prep, and Measure Ingredients
If you haven’t already, cook some rice, and some chicken breast. Chicken should be trimmed of fat and either poached, roasted, baked, or grilled – the choice is really up to you! This is a great way to use up leftovers, if you have them on hand.
Wash all of your produce well.
Peel the onion and chop half of it. Reserve the other half for later use.
Peel the carrots, remove any strings from the celery as needed, and chop both. You want all of your mirepoix vegetables to be cut into pieces of about equal size, so they will cook evenly.
If you’re using fresh herbs, remove the stems and finely chop the leaves. Don’t worry if you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, either ready for picking in your garden or purchased from the grocery store – it’s perfectly fine to raid your spice rack for this recipe. Thyme also makes a nice alternative to the oregano if you’re seeking a slightly different flavor profile.
Dice or shred the chicken breast and measure out 2 cups total.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed in the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Cook
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. I prefer to use unsalted in most of my cooking since I can control exactly how much salt I add to a dish, but if salted is all you have, it’s absolutely fine to use in this dish.
Once it’s melted, add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pan. Cook until softened, about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally, and make sure the onion is now allowed to brown or burn.
Add the flour and whisk constantly, continuing to cook until the vegetable roux mixture is thick and a light golden brown. This should take about a minute or two. Don’t allow the mixture to get too brown; remove from heat or turn it down if you need to.
While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the chicken stock. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the flour has been fully incorporated. The mixture should be lightly simmering.
Stir in the salt, freshly ground black pepper, parsley, oregano, and rice until combined. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
Step 3 – Finish and Store or Serve
To finish the soup, stir in the heavy cream and chicken.
Continue to cook for a few minutes, until the mixture is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cooled soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Enjoy Now, or Freeze for Later
Freezing soups is one of my favorite things to do in the winter, because you never know when a cold or flu might strike, or when you might need something satisfying at the end of a long day when you’re too tired to cook.
To freeze this soup, be sure to let the soup come to room temperature before portioning it out. Divide it into small portions in airtight containers or freezer bags propped up in a container with high walls. You can freeze these for 3-4 months.
When you’re in the mood for a bowlful, dip the bag or container in hot water to release the soup, then warm it up on the stove or in the microwave. Frozen soup can also be defrosted in the refrigerator overnight.
Need more comforting soup recipes? Here are some of my favorite chicken soup recipes to enjoy through the winter months:
Who will you share this comforting soup with? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe after you’ve tried it for yourself.
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 4, 2011. Last updated: January 1, 2020 at 2:56 am. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
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 Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.