Chicken soup is often the perfect entry-point dish for anybody starting an elimination diet, but even then, I often need to modify the recipe to accommodate individual needs.

The first ingredient to consider is the broth, which can be made about a million different ways. Should it be only meat broth or long cooking bone broth? It depends on how sensitive you are to glutamates. Should it be made with apple cider vinegar? No if you have histamine intolerance. Should it be made with vegetables? I personally don’t as I find meat, bone and good quality water perfectly sufficient to make a healing and delicious broth.

Bouquet garni of 1 bay leaf, 1 rosemary sprig, 1 thyme sprig, about 10 peppercorns and 10 coriander seeds

Now, let’s talk about the vegetables in the actual soup. Here too, there are many issues to consider.

Some people can’t tolerate onion or garlic as they both contain fructans (oligosaccharides). That’s OK, you can make chicken soup without onion or garlic and it will still be tasty.

I like to use butternut squash and cabbage, but if for some reason those don’t work for you, compensate with similar quantities of other vegetables. I’ve used sweet and white potatoes, green plantain, jicama, radish, turnips and, of course, other kinds of squash instead of the butternut squash. The cabbage I’ve replaced with kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choi, summer squashes, and various kinds of mushrooms.

If you don’t tolerate fiber, you might also need to use fewer vegetables.

When you think about all the possible combinations of ingredients —and the many different foods an individual might not tolerate, you could conclude it’s impossible to write a universal recipe for chicken soup. And you might be right. But I like a challenge. So here I give you my best attempt at Chicken Soup for Everybody.

A Chicken Soup Recipe for Everybody


15 min


About 1 hour

Serves: 6 to 8 servings


8 cups of homemade chicken broth 1 large bone-in (hopefully pastured) chicken breast -- 1.5 lb aprox 1 bouquet garni consisting of 1 bay leaf, 1 rosemary sprig, 1 thyme sprig, about 10 peppercorns and 10 coriander seeds 1 tablespoon of ghee (or lard, suet, or coconut oil) Mirepoix, made with 1 large onion, 1 celery sprig and 1 small carrot, all finely diced 2 large cloves of minced garlic 2 cups of diced butternut squash 2 cups of shredded cabbage Lots of minced parsley Salt and pepper to taste  


  1. I like to cook the chicken first as to avoid overcooking it. In my Instant Pot, I put the chicken breast, broth and the bouquet garni. I program the pot for 2 minutes at High Pressure. On the stove top, you can simply bring the whole thing to a boil and simmer the chicken breast until it's done and easy to separate from the bone, about 20 minutes.
  2. Empty the Instant Pot, reserving broth and chicken breast separately as to allow the meat to cool off and debone it comfortably.
  3. Turn the Instant Pot back on using the Sauté setting and add a tablespoon of ghee and the mirepoix. Let it cook for a few minutes until it develops some color and add the garlic, then let it cook for a couple more minutes and add a generous amount of salt — about a teaspoon.
  4. Add the broth and bouquet of garni back along with the squash and cabbage and again program the Instant Pot for 2 minutes of High Pressure. On the stovetop, simply cook until the squash is soft — about 15 minutes after you get a lively simmer.
  5. Debone the chicken breast, saving the bones for your next batch of broth, then dice the meat and add it to the soup. Taste it to adjust the salt and pepper, remove the garni and finish the soup with abundant parsley.

About Andrea

I am a health concierge of sorts — a combination of nutritionist, coach, teacher and chef. I vet GOOD science from nutrition and health sources I trust and translate it into a customized daily practice for you. Think of me as a project manager. The project? YOUR health recovery.