Leftover Roast Chicken Soup

April 7, 2020

Leftover Roast Chicken Soup

Leftover Roast Chicken soup is exactly that: an act of leftovers. Nobody heads into the weekends bragging about the soup they are gonna make but it’s the smart play to make when you want to turn one dinner into two, or three or four. Soup tastes better the next day, you can freeze it and its one dish that is simply better made at home than anywhere else.

If you made the simple roast chicken recipe I shared last week, get ready. This the perfect companion recipe.

So here is what you will need . . .


  • leftover roast chicken + carcass
  • giblets(optional)
  • any loose vegetables for a mirepoix(I got away with just carrots and a little onion)
  • enough water to cover the carcass in the pot
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • two cans of pinto beans drained and rinsed or 1 cup dried pinto beans(to be cooked separately, I use an Instant Pot)
  • 1 bunch collard greens

essential equipment

  • a heavy pot
  • mesh strainer

leftover roast chicken soup ingredients

browning the mirepoix

Much like the simple roast chicken recipe I shared last week, when it comes to making this soup and the search for aromatics, I go with what I got. More often than not I have onion and carrot on hands so that’s what I started browning in the pot. The chicken I used last week had giblets and why waste them? So I threw those in as well. Here I’m browning the vegetables and giblets till I get a nice color all around.

Once get the color I want, in comes the water. I don’t do a lot of measuring here because I have been making stocks about as long as I have been in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, which is about 20 years. Add enough water to cover the carcass(mine was still intact) and bring to a boil. Reduce that boil to a simmer and let it roll. This last batch went for about 3.5 hours on the stove. You don’t have to go that long if you don’t have the time. Just crank up the heat and keep tasting that broth till it’s to your liking. I add salt and pepper as I go, but remember ultimately you are reducing liquid so save some salt for the end.

After almost 4 hours everything breaks down pretty darn nicely. Besides the time you need to make the stock, the only tricky part is not making a mess when you strain the solids out. I usually do mine in the sink.

leftover roast chicken soup cooking collard greens

With the stock done, you can focus on making the actual leftover roast chicken soup. Even with spring in full bloom, I gravitate towards hearty winter greens like Collards. Here, I have removed the stems and gave them a rough chop before putting them into a pot sizzling with olive oil.

leftover roast chicken soup adding stock

Then I’ll add the stock into the pot and bring that to a simmer. After this comes chicken and the drained and rinsed pinto beans. These two ingredients that need to simmer for 10 minutes max. Whatever variation you bring to this, keep in mind some ingredients like hearty vegetables can simmer for the long haul. Cooked rice? Save that for the end.

leftover roast chicken soup adding chicken

leftover roast chicken soup adding pinto beans

After about minutes you are ready to plate . . . or should I say ladle?

leftover roast chicken soup

And there you have it. Simple, humble, home cooked perfection. Just like cookies that come out of your own oven, this leftover roast chicken soup doesn’t get any better at restaurant.

Hope you enjoy and please share your experience in the comment section. Or I’ll even accept a snarky tweet. As long as it’s snarky.


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