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Traditional Chicken Soup

This is a traditional Chicken Soup here in Northern Ireland.

It’s delicious and nourishing and just the thing on a cold day. This is the soup my mother always made and served in the traditional way with boiled potatoes, which you peeled and added yourself at the table.

Servings: 6-8

Cooking time: 3 hours

traditional chicken soup recipe

Ingredients – Chicken Soup

  • 2 onions
  • 4 leeks
  • 1 large bunch soup celery (or 1 full head of celery)
  • 3 carrots
  • 7 small waxy potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Large bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 6 – 7 dessert spoons of soup mix (wash well)
  • Chicken stock


  • 1 whole chicken (ideally organic, free range)
  • 1 onion peeled and cut in quarters
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Few stalks fresh parsley or thyme
  • 6 peppercorns
  • Good pinch salt
  • Few sticks of celery washed and cut in half
  • 7 litres Cold Water

soup celery, chicken soup recipe
Soup Celery on the right


  1. Begin by making a chicken stock.
  2. Wash the chicken well and put in a large pan and cover with cold water.
  3. Add the stock vegetables, herbs, peppercorns and salt.
  4. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for approximately 2 hours. Skim often to remove any scum from the surface.
  5. Remove the chicken and strain the stock through a fine sieve.

To make the Chicken Soup

  1. To make the soup, heat a large pan on a gentle heat and add a good splash of olive oil.
  2. Peel and chop the onions finely and add to the pan with a good pinch of salt.
  3. Wash and chop the celery and carrots finely and add these. Add more oil as needed.
  4. Peel and chop the garlic finely and add.
  5. Then peel and dice the potatoes and add.
  6. Wash the leeks really well, chop finely and add to the pan.
  7. Cook on a medium / gentle heat until the vegetables are softened.
  8. Then add enough of the stock to cover the vegetables well.
  9. Add the soup mix and simmer gently for about an hour.
  10. Add more stock as needed.
  11. Add lots of freshly chopped parsley to finish.
  12. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Notes – Chicken Soup

I make this soup this by making the chicken stock first as I prefer it that way. Traditionally you would just make the whole thing at once, so you can skip this step if you wish.

Soup mix which is widely available here in N.Ireland is a mix of dried pulses and grains. The main ingredient is pearl barley and in addition red lentils, yellow split peas and green split peas. You could make up your own mix.

Keeps well in the fridge for a few days. Freezes perfectly.

You can find more of my favourite soup recipes on the Recipes page. Or join us for one of our seasonal cooking or baking Classes and learn more about the traditional recipes in N.Ireland.

chicken soup veg recipe



What a lovely morning!!!! I have been waiting for this class since before covid hit and it definitely didn’t disappoint- I enjoyed every minute- a beautiful Victoria Sponge- Scones to die for and fairy cakes -not to mention the melt in your mouth Chocolate brownies- pure indulgence

Sharon Callaghan

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