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The Best Chicken Soup Recipes, According to Eater Staff

These are the bowls that sustain us through cold and flu season

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A bowl of chicken soup, served with slices of crusty bread. Shutterstock

Placebo effect be damned, sometimes there’s nothing like a bowl of chicken soup, whether you’re stuffed up with a cold or just reeling from another long winter. Chicken soup can be as labor-intensive as you want it to be — you can make your own chicken broth (it’s a great way to use up a leftover chicken), or take some shortcuts with your favorite box of stock. Either way, we’re happy to plant our faces above a bowl, soaking up all that good steam. These are the chicken soup recipes that keep Eater staff going through the long cold season and beyond.

Chicken and Rice Soup With Ginger and Turmeric

Alexa Weibel, NYT Cooking

During cold and flu season — which, in my house, is approximately seven months long — it can feel like I’m throwing together some kind of chicken soup every week. I’m normally a devoted member of the My Mother’s Matzo Ball Soup Club, but when the mucus won’t quit, I need something with a bit more potency. Alexa Weibel’s chicken and rice soup with turmeric and ginger exists somewhere in the cultural limbo-land between soup and congee, and it’s chock-full of supposed immunity boosters that provide deep flavor and a NyQuil-sized dose of comforting warmth. The quality of your stock is key here: The best version I ever made used a super-rich homemade stock I’d been stashing in the freezer for a hot minute; the most meh came from a box of Swanson. Both resulted in a cozy nap on the couch, so no complaints. — Lesley Suter, special projects editor

Lemony Chicken Soup With Fennel and Dill

Alison Roman

I love a classic, just-like-mom-made chicken soup, especially when I’m under the weather. But sometimes I want something more: a jolt of lemon, a shower of herbs. For this reason, I’m glad Alison Roman’s palate often mirrors my own cravings; her chicken soup calls for lots of fennel and dill, two of my favorite flavors. As always, I take some liberties with the recipe: I’d rather have egg noodles in my soup than potatoes, and I’m more likely to use leftover roast or rotisserie chicken than cook it specially for the soup. No matter, this soup is proof that even the classics could use a zhuzh sometimes. — Bettina Makalintal, senior reporter

Chicken Pho Noodle Soup (Pho Ga)

Andrea Nguyen, Viet World Kitchen

Back when Bun-Ker, a slip of a Vietnamese restaurant, resided in Ridgewood, I used to obsess over its pho ga. And while I wasn’t a chef and didn’t use fancy chicken like the restaurant did, I did feel like I could make a decent version that would be as satisfying at home. I tore through a bunch of Vietnamese cookbook variations, but should have landed upon Andrea Nguyen’s version in the first place. It’s not hard, but it’s time consuming, with its caramelized onion and ginger, cleaver-cracked chicken bones, plenty of fragrant coriander, and, if you wish, an apple as a substitute for rock sugar. I generally make enough for eight to ten quarts at a time so I can heat up a bowl at home whenever a craving strikes, adjusting the flavors as I go with plenty of basil, bean sprouts, cilantro, and fish sauce. — Melissa McCart, Eater NY editor

Avgolemono Chicken Soup With Rice

Grace Parisi, Food and Wine

When I’m sick, I want soup. Specifically, I want this creamy, hearty avgolemono, which is super quick to make and requires only a few ingredients, most of which I usually have in my pantry: lemons, rice, chicken stock. Ideally, I’m using homemade stock that’s been stashed in the freezer, but the boxed stuff is also fine when you’re under the weather. I like to garnish my bowl with a ton of black pepper, extra lemon, and an unreasonable amount of dill. — Amy McCarthy, reporter