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Chunky Chicken Soup

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December 6, 2011 | Issue 377

Chicken Soup: Not Just for Sick Day

Chunky Chicken Soup with Buckwheat

For generations, chicken soup has been a remedy of choice for mothers with sick children. The lean protein and nutrient-rich vegetables help boost your strength to fight off a cold. But this power combination of vegetables, whole grains and health-enhancing herbs can be enjoyed any time. Our recipe calls for buckwheat, a whole grain that's a good source of fiber and magnesium. It's also gluten-free and is not a member of the wheat family so it is appropriate for those with celiac disease.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 210 calories, 5 g total fat (1 g saturated fat),
15 g carbohydrate, 25 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 530 mg sodium.

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/3 cup whole-grain buckwheat
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 large celery rib, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3/4 cup frozen pearl onions, or fresh chopped onion
  • 4 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided*
  • 2 cups roasted chicken breast, in bite-size pieces
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

*To reduce sodium content to 80 mg per serving, use low-sodium chicken broth.


  1. Heat oil to medium-high heat in medium-size saucepan. Add buckwheat, stirring constantly, until grains are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Off heat, pour in water, taking care, as liquid will spatter. Return pan to stove, reduce heat to simmer, and cook, covered, until buckwheat is al dente, about 15 minutes. Set covered pan aside.
  2. Place carrots, celery and onions in large saucepan. Add 1/2 cup broth, cover and simmer over medium-high heat until vegetables are crisp-tender, 10 minutes. Add remaining broth, chicken and cooked buckwheat. Add salt and pepper to taste. When soup is hot, divide among four wide, shallow bowls. Garnish each bowl with 1 tablespoon parsley, and serve.

Note: If desired, in place of roasted chicken, gently simmer a 3/4-pound skinless and boneless chicken breast in broth in large saucepan. When it is white in the center, about l5 minutes, set chicken breast aside. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces. Clean out pot and proceed, cooking vegetables and completing soup as above.

Grocery list

Canola oil
Whole buckwheat
Frozen pearl onions, or fresh chopped onion
Fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
Roasted chicken breast
Salt and ground black pepper
Flat-leaf parsley

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Did You Know?

If you're allergic to wheat, buckwheat is a great alternative. Kasha, or roasted buckwheat, is a great source of the antioxidant rutin, which benefits circulation.

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