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Ginger and Turmeric Chicken Soup

Ginger and Turmeric Chicken Soup

Course: Soups



Since March 2020, this soup has been in HEAVY rotation in my house. It’s a kicked up version of my very popular One Pot Homemade Chicken Soup, and contains lots of immune boosting ingredients that also boost flavor. Adding bok choy and rice noodles imparts fun slurpability and additional staying power. This soup gets another hit of flavor from a dash of toasted sesame oil at the end (my favorite brand is La Tourangelle). Optional, but recommended, a few sliced chilis to give the soup an extra bit of nose clearing goodness, which is always welcome when battling a case of the sniffles.


  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil), divided

  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken (breast or thigh will do)

  • Kosher salt

  • black pepper

  • 3-4 green onions, white part only, sliced (slice and reserve one green onion top for garnish)

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated (I use a microplane grater to grate the garlic finely)

  • 1 inch knob of ginger root, minced or grated

  • 2-3 tsp grated fresh turmeric (again, using a microplane grater is an easy way to do this)

  • 1 1/2 cups carrot, thinly sliced

  • 1 1/2 cups celery, thinly sliced

  • 6 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced

  • 4 baby bok choy, cleaned thoroughly and cut into quarters

  • 6 cups chicken broth

  • 4-6 oz. rice noodles (pad Thai style), cooked and cooled (see instructions below)

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

  • 1 serrano chili, sliced, for garnish (optional)


  • Heat 1 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Sprinkle the chicken generously with Kosher salt and pepper and add chicken to pot. Once the chicken is browned, flip over and brown the other sides.  Remove chicken from pot (but keep nearby).
  • Add the remainder of the grapeseed oil to the now empty pot and reduce the heat to medium. Add sliced green onion bottoms, garlic, ginger and turmeric to the pot.  Stir to combine and cook for about 1 minute.  Add celery, carrots, and mushrooms to pot.  Add a pinch of Kosher salt, a few cranks of black pepper, and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add 6 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then add the chicken back to the pot and cook for about 25 minutes. Keep the liquid at a simmer to ensure that the chicken meat doesn’t toughen up while cooking.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool until it can be safely handled. While the chicken cools, add the stock to the soup pot and bring the soup back to a boil. Reduce the soup to a simmer again. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1/2 inch pieces and add the chicken back to the soup.
  • Taste the soup and season to taste with Kosher salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for another 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.  Four or five minutes before serving, add the bok choy to the soup to allow it to soften. Divide the cooked rice noodles between the individual serving bowls and ladle the soup right on top. Garnish the soup with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, sliced green onion, sesame seeds, and sliced chilis, if using. 
  • How to cook rice noodles
  • Soak the rice noodles in room temperature water until softened, about one hour. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add a tbsp of Kosher salt. Add the noodles to the boiling water and stir. Cook for one minute, then test for doneness. They should cook quickly, usually less than 3 minutes. Noodles should be soft but still have a bite. When the noodles are done cooking, drain and rinse under cool water to stop cooking, loosening them with your fingers if they stick together. Reserve until ready to serve. If they stick together after cooling, wet your hands well, then use your fingers to gently separate them.


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