As a self-proclaimed soup aficionado, I really don’t discriminate when it comes to warm & cozy soups – especially during the chilly winter months. But there’s something about this Golden Soup recipe that’s extra special.
It’s essentially a quick & easy-to-make turmeric chicken soup, but it’s loaded with feel-good veggies & the broth is infused with punchy ginger & turmeric. As a result, the whole pot of soup takes on next-level flavor & radiates with a beautiful golden glow. Finish it with a little lemon juice, & it tastes like golden-warm sunshine on a cold winter day.
Ever since we first shared this recipe early in 2020, this golden soup has brought comfort & warmth to countless PWWB readers’ kitchens. I sincerely believe it’s a recipe that’s good for mind, body, & soul during the winter months & I hope you love it just as much as we do. ♡ Happy cooking!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- ½ small butternut squash, peeled & diced into ¼-inch cubes (about 4 cups diced, may substitute with 1 medium sweet potato)
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled & grated or finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 48 ounces low-sodium chicken broth or stock (6 cups)
- 2 lemons, juiced (about ¼ cup)
- 1 bunch kale, destemmed & finely chopped (about 3 cups packed)
- optional: 8 ounces short pasta of choice, cooked to al dente according to package directions & drained
- Brown the chicken: Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel, then season generously with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Carefully add the chicken thighs to the pot, working in batches as needed to avoid over-crowding. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until deeply golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside. The chicken will not be cooked through at this point – that’s fine!
- Cook the veggies: Reduce the heat under the Dutch oven/pot to medium heat. Add in the onion, celery, carrot, & butternut squash, seasoning with ½ teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Stir to combine. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, until the veggies are softened & tender.
- Add the aromatics: Add the garlic, ginger, & turmeric to the pot. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, until toasty & fragrant.
- Simmer the soup: Add the browned chicken thighs from Step 1 back into the pot. Pour the chicken broth over top. Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low to maintain a soft boil & simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Finish the soup: Remove the chicken thighs from the pot & carefully shred. You can do so using 2 forks, or my favorite trick: pop them in a stand mixer & let the paddle attachment do the work for you (I swear this works!). Add the shredded chicken back into the pot, along with the lemon juice & kale. Stir to combine. Cook 2-3 minutes, until the kale has softened. Taste and season with additional salt or ground black pepper as desired.
- Serve: Ladle the golden chicken soup into individual bowls. If using, stir in a handful of the cooked pasta. Feel free to garnish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil or sprinkle on some finely chopped fresh herbs of your choosing. Serve immediately with a slice of buttered crusty bread, as desired – YUM! Enjoy!
- Ingredient Notes:
- Can I use chicken breasts? Sure! While I love the extra flavor & richness that chicken thighs add to this soup, you can certainly feel free to swap them out with boneless, skinless chicken breasts if that’s your jam.
- Turmeric is an ancient spice with a peppery & slightly bitter flavor with warm & earthy notes. While it’s readily available in the spice aisle of most conventional grocery stores these days, I’m particularly fond of this ground turmeric, which is responsibly-sourced single origin turmeric with amazing flavor. Learn more about turmeric in the Ingredient Spotlight, above.
- Can I make this chicken soup vegetarian/vegan? Yes! Swap the chicken out with two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas or white beans (drained & rinsed) & swap the chicken broth for your favorite veggie broth to make your golden soup totally vegetarian & vegan. Skip Step 1 of Recipe Directions, adding the chickpeas into the soup in Step 4.
- Storage: Golden chicken soup will keep, stored in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. Transfer cooled golden chicken soup to an airtight container. If you made pasta for your soup, store it in a separate airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top until warmed through. (Note: If you opted for a turmeric chicken noodle soup, it’s important to store the pasta separately – if left in broth or stock for a long period of time, pasta absorbs liquid like crazy, which not only makes the pasta soggy when you reheat it, but also messes with the overall ratio of liquid in your soup.)
- Freezing: Transfer cooled golden chicken soup to a freezer-safe container & freeze for up to 3 months – these are my absolute favorite freezer containers for perfect individual portions! Thaw frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight & reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through. (Note: Same concept for storing pasta separately applies to freezing – for best results, I actually suggest boiling pasta fresh when you reheat the soup.)
- 15-Minute Meal Prep:Most of the active prep time involved with this golden soup recipe is chopping up the veggies. With just a little prep, you can cut down on all active prep the night you want to throw it together. Pick & choose from the list below, or do it all & all you have to do at dinnertime is get cooking – easy!
- Base veggies: Peel & dice 3 medium carrots & 1 medium yellow onion. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (5 minutes active time)
- Butternut squash: Peel, deseed & dice 1 medium butternut squash into 1/2-inch cubes & store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You will use half of the butternut squash (~4 cups) in this golden soup; use the other half in another recipe you love (this Vegan Red Curry & these Vegetarian Skillet Enchiladas are PWWB community faves). (10 minutes active time)
- Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
- Calories: 297
- Sugar: 7.4g
- Sodium: 205.2mg
- Fat: 11.9g
- Saturated Fat: 2.4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 8.8g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 32.2g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 21g
- Cholesterol: 52.5mg
Keywords: golden chicken soup, turmeric chicken noodle soup, healthy, winter, easy soup recipe