This Is Not Your Mama's Boring Vegetable Chicken Soup

Updated on February 25, 2020
Deb Vesco Roberts profile image

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 | Source

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 are not 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 that were different than the soups my mother and grandmothers made.

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, as well as 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 I know 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 time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: (10-12) 12-16oz servings


I use all organic vegetables, chicken, and bone broth in this dish.


  • 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


  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.


3.5 stars from 6 ratings of Not Your Mama's Vegetable Chicken Soup
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.


My version of this recipe fits the bill for both a ketogenic diet and the popular Whole-30 plan. Plus, it is filling, flavorful, and very satisfying.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 12
Calories 196
Calories from Fat63
% Daily Value *
Fat 7 g11%
Saturated fat 2 g10%
Unsaturated fat 5 g
Carbohydrates 16 g5%
Sugar 6 g
Fiber 5 g20%
Protein 20 g40%
Cholesterol 37 mg12%
Sodium 486 mg20%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


For additional flavor, we often sprinkle a tablespoon or two of parmesan cheese on top after reheating this soup for lunch.

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.

Leftover Tip

We prefer to use wide-mouth mason jars as they are easy to transport, do not leak, microwave easily, and can be shaken to distribute the heat after warming.

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.
Ball Mason Jar-16 oz. Aqua Blue Glass Wide Mouth - Set of 4
Ball Mason Jar-16 oz. Aqua Blue Glass Wide Mouth - Set of 4
Many folks ask where I get the cool blue jars for prepping and packing. Where else, but Amazon! (Note that I use both the 16 and 32 ounce sizes.)

© 2018 Debra Roberts


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    • profile image

      Jennifer @coffeeandcreativity 

      14 months ago

      This looks really good. Perfect for a rainy day!

    • profile image

      Erica (The Prepping Wife) 

      15 months ago

      I love it when I can find a recipe that includes veggies and my husband will eat them! That struggle is a very real thing. I’ll have to give this a try and see if my husband approves it.

    • profile image

      Live Learn Better 

      15 months ago

      I am lover of soups and this vegetable chicken soap is a to-die for anyday.

      Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      I definitely want to try this recipe out, I love all types of soups and trying something new so this is right up my alley

    • profile image

      The Sunny Side Lifestyle Co. 

      15 months ago

      This recipe sounds delicious! Everything is greatly improved by the addition of extra bacon. I look forward to trying it out.

    • profile image

      Subhashish Roy 

      15 months ago

      I love the green in the soup and this recipe is so very different. Would actually motivate my wife to prepare this on the weekend.

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      Thanks foe this well written amd easy to follow recipe. Will definitely try this on weekend.

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      This looks really delicious! I love making soup and storing them. Life can be so busy sometimes that it helps to have something delicious and healthy readily available.

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      Sounds delicious and easy to make. I love veggies soups and this one sounds delicious (and nothing like crap I used to eat when i was little)

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      Yummy! I love that you have to hide vegetables for your husband kind of like you do for little kids. Some people don't change! ha!

    • profile image

      Vincent Monaco 

      15 months ago

      Our battle is not with each other, but with our kids. Who likes one thing and who something else. We will try it soon.

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      I was kind of confused about which dish of chicken to cook tomorrow. Wanted to try something different. Definitely going to try this recipe.

    • profile image

      Scott DeNicola 

      15 months ago

      You had me at bacon. I like this twist on vegetable chicken soup. I happen to be a fan of vegetables so I'm giving this a try. Thanks for sharing.

    • Deb Vesco Roberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Debra Roberts 

      15 months ago from Ohio

      Oh I husband hates most veggies, but he loves this soup! You can also use zucchini in place of the squash. I go crazy on the's what gives it the robust flavor!

    • Melody Dunithan profile image

      Melody Dunithan 

      15 months ago from Indiana

      This is an intriguing recipe. I would not expect squash and cauliflower to be in chicken/vegetable soup let alone bacon. I'll need to try this on for sure. Thanks for sharing your efforts in tweaking the recipe.

    • Natalie Frank profile image

      Natalie Frank 

      19 months ago from Chicago, IL

      Being Jewish, I think I make a mean chicken soup. However, this recipe sounds like it could add some things to my own recipe. I also am not a vegetable fan so the flavor aspect is a big plus. Given you are looking for something filling, the only thing I might suggest would be to add matzo balls! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Deb Vesco Roberts profile imageAUTHOR

      Debra Roberts 

      20 months ago from Ohio

      Let me know if you try it and what you think! We are totally hooked!

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      A smart meal on every level, and the recipe looks yum. Thanks for sharing your souped up soup.


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