Sunday, November 4, 2012

Divorce Soup (or Chicken Soup for Saner People)

The first good month or two after my ex husband left I could not keep much food down, except for chicken soup. Because I have a penchant for the ridiculous, I began to refer to it as "Divorce Soup" (as opposed to "wedding soup").  My friends and family picked up on it and the name started to take on a life of its own.

There isn't anything spectacular about the recipe. Thanks to my mom and grandma I have a pretty ingrained habit of boiling chickens for broth on a weekly basis and reserving the meat. I just combined the two and added some vegetables. You'll notice that I don't include noodles in the recipe. I don't eat grain anymore...but if you want noodles, by all means add noodles. Shiritaki noodles work as a good substitute if you eat like I do.

You need a soup pot or dutch oven, large enough to comfortably hold a chicken covered by about an inch of water. Keep in mind that you need enough room in the pot for the chicken to come to a boil. You don't want your chicken or chicken juices to leap out of the pot.

1 whole chicken, rinsed (make sure you check the cavity and pull out the innards).  If you are trying to be more frugal, use about 6-8 chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken.
1 onion (cut in half, don't bother peeling)
2-3 stalks celery (I cut the leafy heads off celery and reserve them for this)
1 bay leaf (optional) I omit this if I plan on making my udon (I substitute shiritaki) soup.

Throw chicken in pot with vegetables and aromatics. Cover with cold water by about an inch or so (cold is important if you want a nice, clear broth) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the meat is falling from the carcass.

Remove carcass from broth.  When it has cooled sufficiently, pick meat off bones and set aside.   Discard the veggies and skin and bones and other nasty bits.  Strain the broth and return to the soup pot.

At this point I add:
2-3 chopped carrots
2-3 stalks of celery

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Add salt and pepper if desired.  Add the meat and simmer for 10-15 minutes (you would add noodles at this time if you want them).  If I have fresh parsley or dill on hand I will add that to the soup before serving.  It is entirely optional however.


  1. I thought divorce soup was a big pitcher of margaritas.

  2. Ha! Well, that too. Or a few gallons of whiskey.

  3. Making this today to take to work this week 💜