This is the best way to make homemade cream of chicken soup ever, I promise. I’ve tried SO many recipes out there, but none of them were what my mother in law could make. Finally, after having tried so many recipes, and listening to my husband say that it wasn’t the cream of chicken soup unless it was mom’s recipe, I gave up and asked her for her recipe.
This soup is honestly the best you will have tasted. I’m am going to tell you all the tips she taught me, and the secret ingredient that many recipes don’t have. (This is what makes it really good) And my favorite point of this recipe yet…. you can have this delicious soup ready in 20 minutes!
We eat soup every Sunday for lunch. We always go to church Sunday mornings and by the time we come home, the kids are hungry and I don’t feel like making lunch, so I’ve gotten into the habit of making soup on Saturdays so that on Sunday we can have lunch as quickly as possible when we get home. With the added bonus of no extra dishes since it was already made, so its really easy clean up.
Let’s get into the recipe, I’m first going to share with you step by step the tips and tricks to get this recipe at its best.
If You Want to Make Real Cream of Chicken Soup, Use Real Chicken
Haha, ok, maybe I should say chicken off the bone. While the very best way (and easiest in my opinion!) is to boil a whole chicken ahead of time and take the meat off the bone, shred, and then portion off into 2 cups per bag and stick them in the freezer for future use.
I love using my Kitchen Aid Mixer to shred large batches of chicken, get done in 2 minutes! Add your hot chicken to the bowl, attach your paddle and mix on low for about a minute. Do about 2-3 cups at a time.
If you don’t all have a whole chicken or don’t want to spend time earlier shredding a whole chicken, boil any chicken that still has the bone in it, using chicken legs or thighs. The flavor that you get off of the meat from the bone is much better than meat with no bones.
All of this being said, though… if you don’t have any bone in chicken, yes you can use chicken breast, the meat just won’t taste quite as good.
Why You Need to Pre-Boil your Vegetables for Cream Soups
While this is in the recipe I wanted to point out the significance of it. You need to pre-boil your vegetables, a cream soup you cannot boil (another tip there!) If you boil the cream soup you will break down the roux, and it will no longer be creamy. So you need to pre-boil your vegetables or you will have raw vegetables in your soup.
Don’t Omit the Cabbage or Cauliflower.
This is the secret ingredient. Only, use one or the other. Do not use both I promise. This is what makes this chicken soup so much better than many other recipes out there. I love this addition. If you don’t have it in your house, yes, you will still get a good cream of chicken soup, but it won’t be as good. It just won’t be. It’s the gasses that the cauliflower or cabbage give off that make the other flavors really explode.
Let’s Make Cream of Chicken Soup Now!
If you don’t have shredded chicken pre-done, then put your defrosted bone-in meat to boil. Place the meat in cold water and bring to boil over med-high heat, once it starts boiling turn down to medium. You want to have about 2 cups meat when you’re done, so use about 2-3 bone-in pieces.
Dice up your vegetables, and put all your vegetables in a small saucepan and add 2 cups water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil over medium heat.
Pour 3 cups milk into a measuring cup. On this note, if you want, you can do a full 3 cups milk, or half water and half milk, just keep in mind that the more milk you use, the creamier your soup will be. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Adding hot milk to your roux will make the process go so much faster.
Meanwhile to make your roux, melt 1/2 cup butter in a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Once the butter is melted add seasonings then 1/2 cup flour.
Stir until it forms a lump. When making anything with a roux, I highly suggest using a spatula or a flat-bottomed wooden spoon. Using a flat bottomed one reduces the chance of it cooking onto the bottom of your pot since you cover a much larger area when stirring.
Over low heat pour about 1/2 cup hot milk into roux at a time, stirring until smooth before each new addition. Once all your milk is incorporated, take about 1 cup of the broth from boiling your vegetables, by now your vegetables should be soft! To make this easy as possible, I just dip my measuring cup in along the edge and let water filter in, it really isn’t a big deal if some vegetables find their way it.
Add about 1/4 cup water at a time. Only add about 1/2 the amount of water. Continue stirring until a few bubbles pop up, make sure your heat is on the lowest setting, you really don’t want it to start boiling. If it still seems too thick add the remaining a 1/4 cup at a time.
Once all the liquid is incorporated. Drain the rest of the water out of the vegetables and add your vegetables to the soup. Take your soup off of the heat. It does not need to be cooked any longer at this point. In fact, you don’t want it to cook this cream of chicken soup longer because then it will start to boil and you will break down the roux. Season to your taste with salt and pepper.
Shred your chicken if need be, and add it to your soup. By the time your soup is finished, so should your chicken.
Serve with garlic bread or croutons!
Awesome Soup Reheating Accessories!
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 3/4 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 medium diced onion
- 1/3 cup chopped cauliflower or cabbage (Do NOT use both!)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cube chicken bullion (or 2 tsp)
- 1 tsp fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1. Set chicken to boil. Dice up your vegetables and bring to a boil with 2 cups water. Heat milk in the microwave. Meanwhile melt butter in a medium-size saucepan, and spices and flour, stir until it forms a ball. Over low heat slowly incorporate milk, about 1/2 a cup at a time. Once all the milk is added, let a few bubbles pop up, DO NOT BOIL THOUGH. Add 1 cup water from your vegetables, adding 1/4 cup at a time until the soup is as thick or as thin as you want it. Remove from heat. Drain the remaining water from your vegetables and add vegetables to your soup. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Add shredded chicken. Serve with garlic toast or croutons.