Nothing quite comforts the way a hot, brothy bowl of soup does, and my alphabet soup is just such a simple, belly-warming delight. Prepared with finely diced vegetables plus tender chunks of juicy chicken, my homemade alphabet soup recipe brings a little whimsy and fun to meal time!
The Perfect Bowl of Soup for Kids of All Ages
Boy, did I love alphabet soup when I was a little girl...
I loved the playful, alphabet-shaped pasta suspended in a hot, savory broth with little bits of veggies and chicken.
Part of the fun of this meal was spelling out my name (and other silly words!) in my spoon using the pasta shapes, and generally using mealtime as a chance to get lost in my imagination while also getting some food into my belly.
The alphabet soup of my childhood was the one out of a can, and truth be told, it wasn't something that my mother really preferred getting for me at the market...
Because she always made homemade soups from scratch for us with nothing but healthy, fresh ingredients (being Eastern European, this was in her DNA), buying a canned version of soup loaded up with too much sodium and other additives was a bit of an ask.
None the less, she was a good sport and would, from time to time, buy a few “prepared” items of this nature for me to enjoy that were meant as more of a snack, with canned alphabet soup being one of them.
Being an avid soup maker myself these days (we love soup in our household), I thought it'd be fun to take a little trip down memory lane and prepare a homemade version of this childhood fave to warm our bellies with.
Brimming with fresh, healthy ingredients, my alphabet soup recipe with chicken and veggies is just the cozy comfort for all of us kids to enjoy—no matter our age!
My Recipe For Alphabet Soup with Chicken and Veggies
Preparing a brothy soup from scratch is not only fun, but super easy.
My recipe for alphabet soup doesn't take very long to prepare, so everyone can be digging into a hot bowl of deliciousness in no time at all!
Alphabet soup only requires a handful of ingredients to make it soothing and comforting, such as a rich chicken broth (I like to use my homemade chicken broth for this recipe if I have the extra time to prepare it, but any good quality, preferably organic broth will do the trick), finely diced veggies such as carrots, celery, onion, plus a couple of roasted bone-in chicken breasts (shredded or cut into small dices).
Adding a clove or two of garlic adds some deeper flavor and aroma, a little sprinkle of salt and both black and white pepper, plus a finishing sprinkle of finely chopped parsley, really bring added flavor and aroma as well.
And if you can't find the alphabet-shaped pasta on the shelf of your local market (it's not a variety of pasta I frequently see there, frankly), you can always order it online, like I do.
Here's a glance at my recipe for alphabet soup: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I season a couple of bone-in, split chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and roast for about 45 minutes in a 400° oven.
- While the chicken roasts, I add a touch of olive oil and butter into a soup pot, then add in my aromatic veggies to soften, as well as some seasoning.
- Next, I add in my chicken broth, and allow the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes.
- While the soup simmers, I cook my alphabet pasta according to package instructions, then drain, rinse and keep warm.
- Once the chicken has roasted, I allow it to rest for a few minutes until it cools just enough for me to handle. I remove the skin and pull away the rib bones, then either dice the breasts into small chunks, or shred the meat into small pieces. (You can sub a rotisserie chicken for this if you'd like.)
- Next, I turn the soup off, then stir in the chicken.
- To serve, I spoon some of the cooked alphabet pasta into individual bowls (I keep it separate so that it doesn't suck up all the broth if there are leftovers), then ladle over some of my soup with the chicken and veggies. I finish with a flourish of fresh parsley, and serve as is or with oyster crackers on the side.
by Ingrid Beer
This alphabet soup brimming with chicken and veggies in a rich broth is a deliciously comfy-cozy little taste of childhood in a bowl!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 413 calories per serving (with ½ cup alphabet pasta)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- 2 split chicken breasts, skin on and bone-in (about 2 pounds total)
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 ½ cups baby carrots, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- Pinch white pepper
- 7 cups chicken stock or broth
- 10 ounces uncooked alphabet pasta
- ½ cup peas
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Place your split chicken breasts onto the baking sheet, drizzle with a touch of the olive oil, and sprinkle with a couple of generous pinches of salt and pepper. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes. Once roasted, save any juices that have accumulated (you'll add to soup later), and allow the chicken to cool just enough so you can handle it. Discard the skin and rib bones, and dice or shred the chicken. Set aside.
- While the chicken roasts, place a large soup pot over medium-high heat, and add in the butter, plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once melted together, add in the diced onion, celery and carrot, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and sweat the vegetable for a few moments until softened.
- Next, add the garlic as well as the granulated onion, the granulated garlic, and the pinch of white pepper, and stir until aromatic. Add in the chicken stock (or broth), stir to combine, and bring just to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and cover the pot with a lid, and allow the soup to gently simmer for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
- While the soup simmers, cook your alphabet pasta according to package instructions, then drain, rinse, and set aside, keeping it separate.
- To finish the soup, add the shredded or diced chicken into the soup pot, along with the reserved juices from roasting, plus the peas and the parsley, and stir to combine.
- To serve, spoon about ½ cup of the cooked alphabet pasta into individual bowls, then ladle some of the hot soup over top and enjoy.
Tips & Tidbits for my Alphabet Soup recipe:
- Homemade chicken broth, or good quality organic store-bought: If you have the extra time and you'd like to make your alphabet soup extra rich and flavorful, try using my homemade chicken broth recipe. Otherwise, opt for a flavorful, preferably organic chicken stock or broth for better quality soup.
- Split chicken breasts freshly roasted, or rotisserie chicken: The flavor or freshly-roasted, split chicken breasts is really delicious, and I love to prepare it to add into my alphabet soup. However, you can substitute good quality rotisserie chicken and just dice (or shred) that up, as a quick and easy alternative.
- Keep the alphabet pasta separate from the soup until serving: A good tip for any soup that calls for pasta is to cook and keep that pasta separate from the soup. When ready to enjoy, simply add the cooked pasta into individual bowls just before serving, and this will keep your pot of soup brothy (especially if you have some leftovers), rather than the pasta sucking up all the broth and thickening the soup too much.
- Where to buy alphabet pasta: If the pasta isle of your local market doesn't carry alphabet pasta, you find quite a few brands or options online.