This Chicken, Bacon and Vegetable soup is absolutely our favourite chicken soup. Even my son who isn’t a massive soup fan, enjoys this one. This is actually based on a chicken stew recipe from bbcgoodfood.com that I used to make years ago. Over time I tweaked and evolved it into a chunky soup packed with flavour.
Using bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and smoked bacon, gives the broth a satisfying richness. I double down by adding tomato paste paired with thyme and garlic for a really full-bodied broth. The mushrooms and the carrots work in harmony with everything else to complete this hearty soup. It’s the perfect meal to end a cold winters day.
You can make four servings of this soup for just £1.80 per serving*. Wondering how to adapt this recipe for your family? See here >
*when ingredients are bought from Aldi.
The Stars of my Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Soup
The Chicken Thighs
When making soup, always go for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs as the bones and skin give a deeper layer of flavour and stop the soup from falling flat.
You’ll want to go for smoked bacon to give the soup a slightly smoky note. And if you aren’t already doing it, use clean kitchen scissors to trim and the fat off and dice the bacon - it’s the easiest way!
I’ve said in the recipe a bag of pre-sliced mushrooms, because this saves soo much prep time and usually they are the same or very similar in cost as buying them whole. But of course, you can buy whole mushrooms and prepare them yourself.
I’ve said to use 3 medium carrots, but of course the rough equivalent of this is fine. Slice them lengthways in half and then slice thinly.
I LOVE thyme, I use it a lot in cooking. It’s earthy flavour makes it perfect for hearty meals like chunky soups, stews and casseroles. And in this soup, it pairs like a dream with the woody flavour of the mushrooms. I always prefer to use fresh thyme, but you can substitute fresh for 2 teaspoons of dried instead.
Eating More Sustainably
You can use less chicken thighs in this soup to eat more sustainably. That will also help to lower the cost.
Making my Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Soup
Watch me make this Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Soup step-by-step, before or as you cook.
You can prep the carrots, onion and thyme in advance. Just refrigerate in separate, covered prep bowls.
Kids Cook Too
Get younger children involved in cooking this soup, have them help measure out the tomato puree and the flour. They can also help you strip the thyme leaves off the stalks.
Feed a Crowd with my Chicken Bacon & Vegetable Soup
This is a great soup to double for guests, or to freeze for another meal - so long as you have a cooking pot large enough.
Storing My Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Soup
You can store soup leftovers in an air-tight container or resealable food bag in the fridge for up to 3 days (cook day + 2). You can also freeze them, just defrost for 24 hours in the fridge and reheat until steaming hot all the way through.
For more on safe food storage and reheating read here >
This Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Soup is egg, nut and diary-free. You can make it gluten-free by omitting the flour.
Adapting My Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Soup For Your Family
Here, I recommend how to tweak this recipe if you are eating with a baby or toddler and I’ll also give tips for serving it to a fussy eater.
Keeping Picky Eaters Happy
If your fussy eater doesn’t like soup usually or meals with a lot of sauce, or runny sauce, then you could do what I recommend for baby-led weaning and use a slotted spoon to dish their soup up, so leaving behind the broth and serve their chicken and vegetables alongside a bread roll.
See more from me on fussy eaters here >
Making My Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Soup Suitable for Baby Weaning
You’ll want to use no or low added salt chicken stock and hold back on adding salt to the cook. You will also need to remove any bacon from their serving if they are under 12 months old. To make this easier, cut the bacon into strips instead of dicing it.
How to Serve to Babies & Toddlers
When you dish up little one’s soup, use a slotted spoon and hold it up for a few seconds to allow the broth to drain away. Finely shred their chicken and chop the mushroom pieces and carrots into bitesize pieces. Fold into together so they can scoop up mouthfuls. Serve with toast fingers or a bread roll torn in half.
You can dish their serving up with a slotted spoon to drain away the slightly salty broth (because of the bacon) and add the chicken and vegetables, along with some low or no salt chicken stock to your stick blender pot and whizz into a purée.
Ensure any large pieces of chicken, mushroom or carrots are cut into bitesize pieces.
I’ve also added these notes to the bottom of the recipe so you have them to hand when you come to cook. For more info on how I keep my family meals suitable for baby weaning, read here >
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Chicken Bacon and Vegetable Soup
- Chef’s knife + chopping board
- Clean scissors (easiest way to chop the bacon), optional
- Garlic mincer
- Mezzaluna (to chop the thyme), optional
- Large casserole pot / dutch oven or saucepan
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 200 g smoked bacon diced
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 25 g plain flour / all-purpose
- 1.3 litres chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt & pepper to taste, remember the bacon is salty
- 1 kg chicken thighs bone in, skin on
- 3 medium carrots halved lengthways then sliced
- 250 g bag sliced mushrooms
- Heat the oil in a casserole pot / dutch-oven or large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Then add the bacon and onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the flour, garlic and tomato paste and fry for 1 more minute.
- Gradually add in the chicken stock, stirring as you go.
- Then add in the thyme, bay leaf, salt & pepper. Nestle in the chicken thighs. Increase the heat to high and scatter over the carrots and mushrooms. Level out and bring to the boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the pan from the heat and take out the chicken thighs using a slotted spoon. Remove the skin and shred the chicken off the bone. Then add the chicken back into the pan and stir in. Leave the lid off while you do this so the soup cools off a little and remember to remove the bay leaf.
- Do steps 1-3 in your removable slow cooker pot on the stove. Transfer it back into the base and add in the remaining ingredients, ensuring chicken thighs are at the bottom. Cook for 5-6 hours on low, or 4-5 hours on high. Remove thighs and shred. Stir the chicken back through the soup.
If your fussy eater doesn’t like broth usually, use a slotted spoon to dish up theirs and leave behind the broth.
BABY & TODDLER
Use no or low added salt chicken stock and hold back on adding salt to the cook. Remove the bacon from their serving if under 12 months old. To make this easier, cut the bacon into strips instead of dicing it.
BABY-LED WEANING Dish up their soup a slotted spoon and hold it up for a few seconds so the broth can drain away. Finely shred their chicken and chop the mushroom pieces and carrots into bitesize pieces. Fold into together so they can scoop up mouthfuls. Serve with toast fingers or a bread roll torn in half.
SPOON FED-WEANING You can dish their serving up with a slotted spoon to drain away the slightly salty broth (because of the bacon) and add the chicken and vegetables, along with some low or no salt chicken stock to your stick blender pot and whizz into a purée.
TODDLERS Ensure any large pieces of chicken, mushroom or carrots are cut into bitesize pieces.
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