Winter Blues Chicken Soup

Recipe by Grace Leahy

Home smells like chicken soup.

Chicken soup smells like winter evenings in woven blankets over floorboards that never quite heat up enough. Like cutting boards piled with raw vegetables and chicken bones. It smells like pouring a bowl and having to pour it back because hey, don’t forget the cheese melts best when you put it in first. Soup is getting home after school and fishing through our packed, family-of-six-sized refrigerator to reheat it because, somehow, it always tastes just as good the second time.

This simple yet rich recipe will be sure to thaw you out this winter. It always works for my family.

The recipe makes 8 servings and lasts about 3 days in the refrigerator. It’s adapted from USA Weekend columnist Pam Anderson.


  • chicken broth 2 quarts
  • water 1 quart
  • store-bought rotisserie chicken 1
  • vegetable oil 3 tablespoons
  • large onions (chopped) 2
  • large carrots (chopped) 3
  • large celery stalks (chopped) 2
  • dried thyme leaves 1 teaspoon
  • sliced American cheese
  • Directions


    Bring broth and water to a simmer in large pot.


    Meanwhile, separate chicken from skin & bone.


    Set meat aside, add skin & bone to broth.


    Turn down heat, let broth sit for 30 minutes. (Longer for more flavor!)


    Strain broth through colander, into serving bowl. Discard skin & bones.


    Add oil, the onions, then carrots, then celery to a pan. Saute until soft, about 8 minutes.


    Combine in pot with chicken broth. Add thyme.


    Serve with slices of American cheese in the bottom of each bowl.