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This Is Not Your Mama's Boring Vegetable Chicken Soup

I'm married to a picky eater, which makes cooking a challenge. I adjust recipes so we both can enjoy them, without too much compromise.

a recipe for yummy vegetable chicken soup

a recipe for yummy vegetable chicken soup

Do You Live With Picky Eaters Who Refuse to Their Vegetables?

Are you finding it challenging to come up with hearty meals for picky eaters? Does it seem nearly impossible to make things that aren't only healthy but also bursting with flavor? I'm about to show you a recipe loaded with colorful vegetables that don't leave you still feeling hungry. Finding healthy recipes, my husband and I both enjoy is a constant battle. The flavor must overshadow the taste of the vegetables if I expect him to eat it.

My husband eats this soup for lunch and brags to his coworkers how he has “found a way to eat his vegetables," even mushrooms! I've never been able to slip mushrooms into any recipe without him picking them out, so this is a win-win, and I love it, too. Whenever I cook with vegetables, I tweak the recipe to make it very flavorful, and he doesn't notice he's eating them!

My Vision for This Recipe

I had a vision of a vegetable/chicken soup combo to use as a weekly meal prep for our lunches, a grab and go of sorts. I scoured the web looking through numerous recipes for chicken and vegetable soup different from my mother and grandmother's soups.

I found the usual recipes using peas, carrots, and celery with chicken, which isn't what I envisioned. I wanted it to have lots of “nontraditional” vegetables, as well as some healthy green, like kale or spinach. I also wanted to use all organic vegetables and chicken bone broth for the base, rather than the common stock or salty bouillon. Lastly, I wanted to include bacon, one of our favorite foods, which helps mask the vegetable taste.

Non-Traditional and Healthy Chicken and Vegetable Soup

I stumbled upon a ketogenic/Atkins diet soup recipe that looked appealing and close to what I envisioned, so I decided to try it. It had many of the nontraditional soup vegetables I'd thought about, and even included a little bit of bacon! My husband tried it, and to my surprise, said he could see himself eating something like it if I could make it flavorful and filling!

I went to work reforming this “keto-diet” soup recipe. I used many of the same ingredients but in different quantities. I increased the bacon and substituted the water and chicken stock with mostly organic chicken bone broth. Each week I made this recipe, I tweaked something different—until finally, I found the perfect combination that suited his taste buds.

Preparation and Cooking Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

1 hour

1 hour 30 min

(10-12) 12-16oz servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 slices bacon (plain, not maple, smoked or other), chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon (depending on your taste) fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 ounces white or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 32 ounces organic chicken bone broth, start with 32 and add more at the end if the soup is too dense
  • 6-8 cups water, start with 6, add more if needed
  • 1 head cauliflower (any color), chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small turnips, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3-4 large chicken breasts, boiled and diced into cubes
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow squash (skins on), sliced and quartered
  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen green beans,, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 12-16 ounces Swiss chard or collard greens, chopped
  • 1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
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Read More From Delishably


  1. In a large stockpot (I use two pots because this often yields more than just one can hold depending on the size and amount of my vegetables), add the water, bone broth, and the chicken breasts (leave them whole). Boil until the breasts are cooked thoroughly, about 20-30 minutes. You will get excellent health benefits as well as a richer flavor from the bone broth.
  2. While the chicken is boiling, add the olive oil and bacon to a medium skillet and saute' over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and mushrooms to the oil and bacon. Saute' together for 15 minutes or until bacon is cooked, but not overly crispy or burnt. Add this mixture to the pot; do not drain.
  4. As the chicken and above ingredients are cooking, chop and add the cauliflower and turnips to the boiling water and broth.
  5. Once the chicken is fully cooked, removed the breasts, cut into cubes and return to the pot to continue simmering while chopping the remaining vegetables.
  6. Add the squash, green beans, and swiss chard or collard greens to the pot and simmer together for 15 minutes and add sea salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add the red wine vinegar.
  8. Stir in the fresh basil, remove from heat, and spoon into Mason jars, or your preferred storage containers, using a ladle. Allow to partially cool, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator.
Saute the first 6 ingredients together.

Saute the first 6 ingredients together.

Adding the greens.

Adding the greens.

Add more bone broth if desired and/or water to achieve the desired amount of broth and thickness.

Add more bone broth if desired and/or water to achieve the desired amount of broth and thickness.

This Recipe Has Been a Total Hit

When we take this soup to work, everyone loves the aroma and has to know what's in it, if they can try it, and whether they can have the recipe. One of the best things about this recipe is how amazing it makes your kitchen smell during the preparation and for hours afterward! Not only do I meal-prep almost every week with this, but I also take it to sick or post-surgery friends and family, too, and it goes down quite well and is easy on the stomach.

Smaller portions for me, larger for my husband and a few for a post-operative friend.

Smaller portions for me, larger for my husband and a few for a post-operative friend.

I often make a double batch and freeze several servings for the following week to save time.

I often make a double batch and freeze several servings for the following week to save time.

Another Recipe My Picky-Eater Husband Loves!

  • How to Cook a Whole Seasoned Chicken in the Instant Pot
    Take the guesswork out of perfecting an oven-roasted chicken that either comes out dry, undercooked, overcooked or simply takes too long. The Instant Pot is the perfect solution for a fast and juicy whole chicken in under an hour.

© 2018 Debra Roberts

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