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Gluten-Free Chicken Soup for Body and Soul

Gluten-free chicken soup for body and soul
A gluten-free chicken soup to cure all ills...

Gluten-Free Chicken Soup for Body and Soul

We've been living on soup since Sunday. No, not turkey leftovers soup. Jewish penicillin soup. You see, Steve- that ordinarily upbeat and tenacious husband of mine- has been feeling a tad under the weather these past few days. In truth, more than a tad. He's caught a nasty cold. The kind of cold where you ache all over and do nothing but lay in bed watching a marathon of Lost on your laptop because to even zombie-walk to the sofa loveseat too-small-to-lay-on requires functional navigation skills and balance beyond your sinus-throbbing capacity.

Poor guy.

Lucky for me, I've not succumbed to the zombie-walk inducing bug.  Yet. And just in case, I've been cranking out soups. An ounce of prevention and all that. And medicine. Because when I'm not in top gluten-free goddess form conserving energy means dragging out the Crock Pot for some easy slow-cooked comfort.

This is a simple healing soup with the goodness of cabbage (so beneficial to a celiac's tummy) and lots of garlic (an all-purpose fighter of evil and undead mayhem not to mention, a natural immune booster and cold-fighter). Green chiles.

I made this recipe like a peasant-style stew, starting with a layer of split chicken breasts on the bottom of the crock pot- drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, of course. Then I added eight cloves of fresh chopped garlic, lots of cut-up veggies, herbs, a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, green chiles, and just enough organic chicken broth to cover the veggies. Good stuff.

But is my chicken soup powerful enough to stave off zombies?

Ah, that is the question. And here is another. I ask you (in honor of my zombie literate son who knows from zombies).

Please. Do zombies run? Go.

Chicken Soup for Body and Soul Recipe

This isn't your Bubbe's chicken soup. And she might not approve of the liberties I've taken crankin' up the standard Jewish flavors more than a simple notch. But. Tradition is one thing. Great taste is another. I say, be flexible.


Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
3-4 split chicken breasts (free-range organic, if possible), rinsed, patted dry
8 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 heaping cups thinly shredded cabbage (bagged cole slaw mix is fast and easy)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut up
1 yellow summer squash, cut up
2 zucchini squash, cut up
6 to 8 baby Yukon Gold potatoes, cut up
1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles- mild or hot, to taste
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon each of: dried basil, oregano and parsley
Hot red pepper flakes, shake to taste
1 14-oz. can Muir Glen organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 or more cups organic chicken broth, as needed
A dash or two of balsamic vinegar to taste


Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil into the bottom of a Crock Pot or slow cooker. Lay the chicken breasts in the bottom; top with half the chopped garlic. Season with sea salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, bell pepper, yellow and zucchini squashes, potatoes, and green chiles; and toss them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt, ground pepper, herbs and a shake or two of hot red pepper flakes. Toss to coat.

Pour the veggies into the crock in an even layer. Pour on the diced tomatoes. Add the chicken broth and a dash of balsamic vinegar, to taste. The liquid should just about cover the veggies. If you like more of a brothy soup than a stew, add more broth.

Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, until the chicken is tender and easily breaks apart into pieces with a large spoon (my chicken was very cold when it went into the pot, so adjust your cook time accordingly, if you need to).

Taste test for seasoning adjustments. I added a pinch of brown sugar to mine to balance the tomato-garlic and spice. Stir in any seasoning adjustments and serve.

Makes four hearty servings to soothe you- body and soul. This recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free.

Karina's Note: 

Like slow cooking gluten-free? Check out:


  1. This looks tasty, and definitely a big change from the traditional Jewish chicken soup I usually make (clear broth, no veggies floating in it except dill and carrots). Looks like a hearty stew. I might have to try this out!

  2. Oh my. I am making this..tomorrow.

    I have not been feeling well, and this, looks perfect.

    Thank you!

  3. Anonymous14:33

    Oh, Karina, this looks yummy! I'm on a crock pot kick this week, so this is perfect. Just got everything in the pot (everything that I had on hand anyway :) ), and now for the hard part - waiting until it's done!


  4. Hi Karina,

    Hey - I've got a dinner happening in my crock pot today, too! Barbeque chicken. It smells heavenly. Can't wait to try your recipe!


  5. torrey19:05

    I just have to say that I showed this recipe to my non-GF friends and they are SO excited to make it! We all just bought Crock Pots, so we're in a Crock Pot frenzy! THANK YOU!!! :)

  6. 8 cloves? 'Zat the best you could do? ;) Really, your South-Western Winter certainly seems to be much less bearable than ours here in the North-East. Hang in there, Goddess ...

    Also, LOL Crazy Torrey!

  7. Is it just me or are your photos getting more beautiuful every post?

  8. This looks fabulous--I don't know why it didn't occur to me that I could make soup in a crockpot! Ideal, since we're still kitchen renovators.

  9. In Canada, most of our Worchestershire sauce is taboo (made with a barley malt vinegar, so unless we have some American on hand, I used a pickapepper sauce. I didn't have any fire roasted tomatoes or a crockpot but I did make this with some sundried and a can of diced and cooked over slow (and added some frozen drumsticks that were kicking around) and it was fantastic.

  10. Hi Emma's Mom! Yes, that's a good point for our Canadian readers - and we have many! Thanks!

    When you improvise - as you have - and put your own spirit into the dish, you add the most important ingredient. Love.


  11. Hi Karina,

    I made this over the weekend and we purred, bowl after bowl (after bowl).

    I usually share samplings with a friend, but not this time! We were piggies and enjoyed every last spoonful.

    Thank you for your fantastic blog and for sharing your lovely knowledge and recipes.

    I found you through TipNut recently and I'm a fan.

    My best,

  12. this looks like one heck of a soup, and very flavourful too.

    got it bookmarked. yay.

  13. That looks wonderful, nothing better than chicken soup to boost you when you're not feeling too good.

  14. You're making this vegetarian drool! That looks fantastic.

  15. This looks amazing. I was just thinking I might do one more crock pot meal to finish out the Boston cold weather and then I'll officially transition gracefully (ha) into Spring. This will be definitely be the meal! I bet this will soothe my temperamental tummy. Thanks!

  16. Looks delicious. I loved that you've put lots of veggies in here.

  17. Diva- It is- if I may say so. Cures all ills!

    Culinarytravels... Absolutely- there's a reason we call it Jewish penicillin. ;)

    Lauren- I've made way more vegetarian soups in my day than flexitarian (truth be told!). Use this as base recipe and add beans for protein if you like- such as white beans or chick peas. Yum.

    Sally- If I remember Boston, I wouldn't put my Crock Pot away just yet ;)! Actually I use mine all summer long. It's a fab way to cook without heating the entire kitchen!

    Marc- Thanks- it's basically a no-recipe soup. Right up your alley! ;)


  18. Karina,

    I would love to see more crockpot meals for the summer!! It also uses very little electricity and is great for busy folks!

    Take care!

  19. I was planning to make this in the coming week, and was wondering ... have you tried it on the low setting? Think it would take about 7 hours, with thawed chicken?


  20. Justine- I think that 7 to 8 hours on Low would work- depending upon the size of your Crock Pot. Is that the timing you have used for similar recipes? If so- I think you should be fine.


  21. Justine21:49

    It worked beautifully ... thanks!

  22. Anonymous20:12

    I am considering making this soup for someone going through chemo and on a strict diet. She can have very little salt or fat. Is there much sodium in this soup? What about using boneless, skinless chicken to decrease fat? Is that necessary since breasts aren't too fatty?

  23. I may be a writer, but my reading comprehension in the kitchen really leaves something to be desired...
    As a gluten-free girl looking for a chicken soup recipe the other day I was so excited to find your blog and this recipe. I happily purchased cabbage and chilis and the rest and was all set to whip up this soup tonight for dinner. How exactly did I miss the whole "crock pot" part? In the end, it worked out quite well on the stove (my husband even took his eyes off the college football games long enough to enjoy it!) - but I look forward to trying the slow cooked version as well.
    Can't wait to explore your site further!

  24. Hi Anonymous- Sorry, I just discovered this question. Sure whatever works for you is fine. Boneless and skinless will cut down on fat. Use low sodium chicken broth to cut down on salt. If the flavor needs brightening add a squeeze of citrus- lemon or lime.

    Epiphanygirl- Ah- well- I've made this soup both ways. Stove top style works too, and is ready much faster. Glad your game loving hubby liked it, too!


  25. This chicken soup recipe was revised from the archives. Comments above may reflect that (no answers to my zombie question).

    So- can zombies run?


  26. Xlnt flavors, Karina, even for non GF folks.

    Fantastic, restorative and even therapeutic: chix soup has activity against influenza virus!
    John La Puma

  27. Anonymous19:55

    I've been ill and on a soup kick as well, last week was your roasted veggie soup, this week is the spicy African soup and next week will be this one! I'm on the mend!

    Thanks :)

  28. This is one of my very favorite soups of all time. I make it several times a year and freeze for easy lunches. Thanks for posting it again and reminding me I need to make another batch.

  29. That soup recipe looks fantastic! Perfect for winter. I know what I'm making this week :)

    Since no one has yet to answer your zombie question, I'd like to offer my take on it... but it's going to be a really long answer, so please bear with me:

    Many zombie fans (myself included) do not consider _28 Days Later_ (or the sequel) to be a true zombie movie. Like in the _Resident Evil_ franchise, the cause of "zombification" is a virus. Therefore, the "zombie" horde are really infected humans. Theoretically, if a cure was administered before the body decays, they could return to normal. (Theoretically.) Traditional zombie movies generally attribute an outbreak to things like "space radiation" or dark magic, or leave the question unanswered. In these cases, a person will die and remain dead for a certain amount of time before the zombie-ness kicks in. If the body revives after rigo mortis, then the zombie shouldn't be able to run. However, in many movies the revivification occurs before rigor mortis. As much as I love the old-fashioned staggering zombies, I have to admit that it makes more sense for zombies to run, at least for a little while.

  30. Such a beautiful, hearty soup. Hope everyone gets well soon!

  31. I love the addition of tomatoes and chiles in this soup. Soup is so healing anyway, but that bit of heat from the chiles, IMHO, shows any potential germies the door! Totally making this and freezing up a bunch for lunches throughout the season!

  32. Hope Steve mends quickly and that you remain immune to this particular bug. The recipe sounds great - the perfect thing for a cold windy Kansas City night! I"m getting out my slow cooker right now.

  33. Anonymous11:05

    The fact that no one answers the zombie question is a testament to your recipe and beautiful picture. I too am looking forward to making it, I know it will smell so good with all that garlic!, I believe that zombies do NOT run. Which always slays me....that they can catch people so easily! Although I am not an expert, I have only watched bits and pieces of these movies.

  34. Anonymous17:36


    I'm confused. Your ingredient lists balsamic vinegar, but your instructions say worcestshire sauce. I think either would taste great, but I still haven't found a GF worcestshire sauce. Love your blog and your recipes and photos. Gorgeous and inspirational. I'm still new to the GF life. Cooking is not going to be a huge problem, except that I used to make my own pasta. Any recipes for fresh pasta?


  35. Great zombie info! Thanks, all. xox

    I've got the virus now, so this will be short and sweet...

    I used to use Worcestershire sauce but lately I've been using balsamic vinegar instead (hence the change in the recipe).

    In the United States Lea & Perrins brand Worcestershire sauce was gluten-free the last time I checked; I have heard that this is not so with Worcestershire sauce in Canada, however (different formula).

    Annie's also may have a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce- but again, please check with the company (I have not tried any blended sauces now for over 2 years due to soy allergy).

    Please check labels- as always! Formulas change.


  36. As for fresh pasta recipes- since I cannot use eggs, I have not attempted fresh pasta dough; I think eggs would be essential to homemade pasta. But. You never know...

    I'll keep it in mind!


  37. Man, I could go for some of this tonight.

    And I know two things: zombies don't run, and psychos don't explode when sunlight hits them.

  38. I have recently found your blog. A couple of months ago my nutritionist helped me transition into a gluten-free dairy free lifestyle. Dairy-free was easy. Gluten-free has actually been fun because I get to cook again and experiment (something my husband and I love to do). This chicken soup sounds absolutely delicious. I am going to try it this weekend with chicken then again with leftover turkey and homemade turkey broth. Thank you for your practical recipes, suggestions, and most of all your encouraging words to us new to all this.

    Also thank you to all those who post. I love reading them and am inspired and comforted that I am not alone.

  39. Looks delicious! I love the addition of green chilies and red pepper flakes. That will clear the sinuses!

  40. I made this soup many times since your first post of it. I can't do cabbage so I add a huge amount of spinach the last 10 minutes. I add sun dried tomatoes as well as the canned, as one of your other followers mentioned using those. Mine takes 4 cups of broth, and doesn't take as long, about 4 hours on high. I even used hatch chilies I had in the freezer, probably to many though, Woo, it was spicy.
    I even talked my allergy-free sister into making it and she and her family love it.

  41. Anonymous10:54

    This recipe looks amazing! I just made my shopping list and plan to try it tonight...

  42. This looks so good! I can't wait to try it, and it has been super chilly here in Texas, so it is time for soup for sure! I have a request for you... I would love a vegan, soy free, gf cutout cookie recipe for my little guy! He is turning 2 and is in LOVE with Christmas, and I wanted to do cutouts with him and leave them for santa. I have searched and searched and have yet to find anything sutible for him! Please can you help? He can tolerate all gf grains, (except for gf oats)but, he cannot have nuts and several fruits (bannanas, apples he can't have). Do you think this is possible? I would really appreciate it! Thanks so much!

  43. I just made this and it came out awesome! I just found out I'm allergic to gluten and I'm really loving your website.

  44. how would you make this if you don't have a crockpot? =(

  45. April- Make it in a soup pot and simmer, covered, till done; anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour depending upon the size of your pot and how high you set the heat.


  46. Anonymous18:42

    Karina, this is fantastic! And my kids loved it too. Thank you, dear girl, you are an answer to prayer! Christine

  47. Anonymous17:47

    Thanks, Karina! Great soup. I substituted Lundbeg's brown rice blend for the potatoes to cut back on the nightshades. Wonderfully delicious. My thermos will be full of it for a couple of days - nice not to have to worry about what to take to work for lunch.

  48. Anonymous17:58

    I decided to make this and it was excellent! The only real change that I made was increasing the spices (sage, basil, oregano and parsley to nearly doubled) to meet my taste. This was really good. I ended up using a full quart of stock and still could have used a little more... depending on the size of your veggies.

  49. Trista10:32

    I've made this soup a couple of times now, and I love it! It's so yummy and comforting, and a nice twist on one of my favorites - chicken noodle soup. Thank you!

  50. Dena14:48

    This is my all time favorite soup of the year. I have been back to this page so many times I should bookmark it. Thank you Karina!

  51. Dear Karina,
    It is a balmy 7 degrees at my house in the lovely mid-west so, today is the day I planned on preparing my first recipe from your site. I am so excited! I just finished putting the ingredients in the slow cooker for your "GF Chicken Soup for your Body & Soul" I was born and raised in Arizona, & when I read that the recipe called for roasted tomatoes and green chillies I had to make it first! I can't wait for dinner!

    I was diagnosed as gluten, casein & soy intolerant 3 weeks ago, (a few days before my 45th B-day). I was searching the net for any and all information that would help me with my daily meals. I love to cook & bake!(I am a mother of 6 kids and preparing meals is a major part of my daily routine). Coming across your website/recipes is so exciting for me! Thank you for all the time energy and effort it takes in making this lovely website and sharing your talent with others.

    Lime Tacos and Beef in Pomegranate Sauce is on the menu for later in the week.

    Warm Regards from Chilly Bourbonnais, IL.

  52. Dena15:11

    My favorite, favorite soup. I make it all the time. Making it again tonight. Thanks Karina! P.S. Are you publishing a cookbook?

  53. Anonymous13:01

    Hi, Karina --
    Thank you, thank you! I just love this recipe! It is absolutely delicious and makes the house smell so good while it is cooking. Even my persnickety husband wolfed it down.
    A Montgomery Village, MD Fan