Chicken Soup with Rutabaga and Greens

Winnie Abramson, ND

By Winnie Abramson, ND

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If you have a moment, could you read and leave a comment on yesterday’s post about “defining healthy eating”? I really appreciate your thoughts…thanks!

I came down with a cold earlier this week and that meant only one thing: I had to make soup.

Chicken soup to be exact: because there is nothing like a steaming bowl (or 5 or 6, consumed throughout the day) when I am not feeling well. There’s a reason why it’s nicknamed Jewish penicillin, after all.

chicken soup

Though I always make chicken soup pretty much the same way, I like to change up the basic recipe just a tad each time I make it. Sometimes I add miso (instead of salt) into a serving of soup and sometimes I make it with fresh ginger and dust it with a little cayenne pepper. Sometimes I make it with potatoes or sweet potatoes and sometimes I cook in some noodles at the end (I like 100% buckwheat soba or rice noodles). Sometimes I add crème fraiche or coconut milk just before serving…you get the picture, right?

chicken soup image

This particular version makes use of seasonally available turnip greens as well as rutabaga that came out of my garden. You are free to use another green that you like, as well as parsnips or turnips instead of the rutabaga, if you prefer.

Remember not to discard your picked over chicken bones; keep them in the freezer so that you can make chicken stock.

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chicken soup photo

This recipe is linked to Kitchen Bootcamp‘s January challenge: Soups!

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Recipe for Chicken Soup with Rutabaga and Greens

inspired by my dad, Barry Wine


  • *1 whole chicken approximately 3-4 pounds, preferably organic/free-range
  • *1 tablespoon organic butter
  • *1 tablespoons olive oil
  • *1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • *3 large organic carrots peeled and chopped
  • *3 stalks organic celery cleaned and chopped
  • *1 large rutabaga peeled and chopped (or use chopped parsnips or turnips)
  • *approximately 4 cups chopped turnip greens or other dark leafy greens like kale
  • *coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
  • *sriracha chili sauce or your favorite hot sauce- to taste


  • 1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large soup pot. Place chicken in the pot and allow to sear for a minute or so on each side. Add a little water if necessary to prevent the chicken from burning.
  • 2. Add chopped onion and cook for several minutes, moving the chicken around, again adding a little water to prevent burning.
  • 3. Add the rest of the vegetables (but not the greens: add them at the end), then add enough water to cover the chicken (about 10 cups). Bring to a boil, skim any foam that rises to the top, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 50 minutes-1 hour or until chicken is cooked through.
  • 4. Turn off heat. Carefully remove the chicken and allow to cool in a separate bowl.
  • 5. If you are going to serve all of the soup right away, you’ll want to remove the meat from the chicken bones, chop or shred it, and add it back into the soup (make sure you don’t burn yourself). If not serving all of the soup now, you can store the chicken separately and make use of it however you like: I often use some to make chicken salad.
  • 6. Add greens about five minutes before serving: the heat of the soup will wilt them down. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

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