This turmeric and herb chicken soup is a clean, wholesome, and hearty bowl of comfort to help anyone get through the winter blues or recover from the cold and flu season. This golden soup yields a flavorful and nutrient dense bone broth that is simmered with the beneficial roots of fresh turmeric, onions, garlic, carrots, and potatoes into a creamy bowl of soup with rice and orzo pasta. I use fresh turmeric root which has many healthy benefits you can read about here. Fresh turmeric root is healthful for a number of reasons. As a natural plant based nutrient, it is an excellent anti-inflammatory food source rich in antioxidants that beautifully colors the broth a bright hue of yellow.
Wholesome and clean ingredients
This soup begins by simmering fresh bone-in chicken breasts and legs with nourishing herbs such as cardamom pods, oregano sprigs, bay leaves, parsley, and cilantro to create a bone broth that is nutritious for recovering from the ailments of the endless viral illnesses that are prevalent during the cold and flu season.
I make the entire soup in the Instant Pot. The pressure cooker aids in cooking a very juicy and tender chicken, in only 15 minutes! The cooking process extracts a rich broth from the chicken bones along with the benefits of bay leaves, oregano, and cardamom pods.
Once the chicken is cooked, I remove the breasts and strain the broth to remove the stalks of herbs and cardamom pods. The minced turmeric, garlic and onion are all sautéed in some oil, which helps our bodies absorb all the benefits of the turmeric and herbs. I use two whole turmeric roots and mince them in my bender or on a Microplane zester. Turmeric root’s nourishing health benefits are more effective in this dish as it is better absorbed by our bodies when it is eaten fresh with healthy fats and ground black pepper, as it is served in this soup. The turmeric and garlic add depth to the flavor profile with a little bit of a kick.
The soup then simmers with more root vegetables: diced carrots and potatoes until fork tender. I use colorful carrots because the kids enjoy finding the rainbow in this soup. Kids do eat in color after all. The starches from the potatoes make the broth get just a little creamy, which is the perfect texture for this soup.
I add rice and orzo pasta (or alphabet noodles, depending who I prepare this for). These small grains make this soup a hearty and comforting bowl. The rice or pasta can be omitted or replaced for other grains such as quinoa or lentils to suit whatever dietary restrictions one may have.
The soup is finished with chopped cilantro and parsley followed by fresh lemon juice. These add the perfect layers of flavor to this meal. The savory, earthy, and lemony taste of this soup reflect the Mediterranean flavors I am so fond of. I hope your family enjoys this bowl of wellness as much as mine does. To your health!
Turmeric and Herb Chicken Soup
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
For the Broth
- 2 bone-in chicken breasts (yields 2 cups shredded chicken)
- 1-2 chicken legs
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 4-5 bay leaves
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp red chili pepper flakes optional
- 1/2 onion, quartered
- 3 c water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp minced turmeric root, about 2 small roots, peeled
- 3 tbsp minced onion
- 1/2 c diced carrots, about 2-3 large carrots
- 1 c diced potatoes, about 2 large potatoes
- 1 c rice, washed and drained
- 1/2 c orzo pasta or alphabet noodles
- 1/2 c fresh lemon juice, about 1-2 lemons
- 1 bunch cilantro, minced
- 1 bunch parsley, minced
- 1-2 tsp salt, to taste
For the Bone Broth
- Place the chicken in the Instant Pot and sprinkle all the broth spices, herbs, and onion wedges on top.
- Add 3 cups of water and set the cooker too high pressure for 15 minutes.
To prepare the soup
- Once the pressure cooker has finished cooking and has released pressure, remove the chicken and set aside.
- Pour the broth contents in the pot into a large bowl, with a seive to separate all the stems, leaves, and pods from the broth.
- In the same pot, add olive oil and the minced onion. Sautee until yellow, and then add the turmeric and garlic.
- Before the garlic burns, pour the broth over the mixture. Add 4 cups of water.
- Add 1 tsp of salt.
- Once the liquid begins to simmer, add the rice, potatoes and carrots. Simmer for 5-8 minutes.
- While the soup simmers, pull apart the chicken breasts so the meat is shredded and add it back into the soup.
- Add the orzo or alphabet noodles. Simmer for 3-5 minutes more until the pasta has cooked.
- Turn off the heat, and add the chopped cilantro and parsley, along with the lemon juice.