This is the ultimate cold weather soup. Inspired by my mother in law’s delicious turmeric chicken soup, this ginger turmeric chicken soup recipe makes frequent appearances in our rotation all winter long. It’s easy to make, and you’ll usually have most of the ingredients you need on hand – just pick up a couple turmeric roots on your next grocery trip that you can have ready for when the mood strikes.
As with traditional chicken soup recipes, you first make the broth with a whole chicken and aromatics. Then, the fun begins, and you can then add color, texture, and lots of flavor to your soup with grated veggies.
This is my go-to soup when I’m feeling stuffy or under the weather. There’s nothing like a steamy, rich broth with ginger to make me feel clear again.
Health Benefits of Flavorful Rhizomes Like Ginger and Turmeric
People have used ingredients like ginger and turmeric in teas, extracts, in culinary applications, and in capsules for a wide variety of purposes.
A lot of people regularly incorporate ginger for its potential health benefits. Ginger has been used all over the world for centuries for a range of ails including nausea, inflammation, pain, and for its antioxidant properties.1  While we can’t confirm whether it will make a difference in for you, we think it adds a warming brightness and is worth including in a steaming bowl of chicken soup.
We have a lot of information here on Mark’s Daily Apple on turmeric . People reach for turmeric when they have issues with joint pain, digestive upset, fever, respiratory issues, and more. What works for some people may not work for others, but it still adds vibrant color and an earthy depth to this chicken soup recipe.
- When grating the onions, celery, carrots, zucchini and potatoes, use the large holes on your box grater. When grating the turmeric, use a microplane or the tiny grating section on a box grater.
- For a richer soup, don’t bother straining the chicken fat that accumulates on the top of the soup. You could also add more butter to the pot when sautéing your veggies. If you don’t like cilantro, you can use parsley or dill instead.
- You can use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot instead of preparing the broth on the stovetop, but I found that the Instant Pot just isn’t large enough to fit the amount of broth, chicken and veggies I wanted to add to the pot and so prefer to use a large stock pot.
- This is a BIG pot of soup so it will make plenty to feed a family and have leftovers to boot. It also freezes well for quick lunches later!
Here’s how to make it.
Ginger Turmeric Chicken Soup Recipe
For the chicken and broth:
- 3.5-4 lb. whole chicken
- 3 carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 1/4-1/2 onion
- 3 knobs peeled turmeric
- 2-3 inch piece of peeled ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- handful of peppercorns
- 1 tsp. salt
- 14-16 cups of water (may be more or less depending on your pot size)
For the soup:
- 5 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup grated onion
- 1.5 cups grated celery
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 3 cups grated zucchini
- 1.5 cups grated japanese sweet potato (or regular potato)
- 1-2 knobs of turmeric, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- lemon juice
Place your whole chicken in a large stock pot. Fill the pot with water until the chicken is fully submerged, which for our pot was about 14-16 cups.
Cut the carrots and celery in 2-3 pieces.
Cut the turmeric, ginger and onion into chunks and smash the garlic.
Add the carrots, celery, onion, turmeric, ginger, garlic, peppercorns and salt to the pot.
Heat over medium high heat to bring the liquid to a boil. Once the liquid comes to a boil, you can gently skim off any scum that floats to the surface.
When the liquid is maintaining a healthy simmer, cover the pot and allow the chicken to simmer for about an hour.
After this time, flip the chicken over and then recover the pot. Simmer for an additional 45-60 minutes, or until the chicken easily comes apart when you pull it out of the pot using tongs.
Remove all of the chicken from the pot with tongs. Carefully strain the broth and remove the aromatics and veggies.
Allow the chicken to cool slightly and pick all of the chicken off of the bones.
Use a box grater to grate your veggies.
In the empty pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted and bubbly, add your grated onion, celery and carrots. Stir with a spoon and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until they’re soft.
Add your zucchini and sweet potatoes and continue stirring until soft. Add your broth back to the pot and bring up to a simmer. Add the shredded chicken and grated turmeric. Season with salt to taste.
Once the soup comes up to a boil, allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with more cilantro and fresh lemon juice, if desired.