Food & Home

Chicken Soup: 4 Comfort-Food Versions from Around the World

Written by: Caitlin O’Malley


Updated on: February 16, 2023


Comforting, warm, nutritious, supremely satisfying, and endlessly riffable, chicken soup is a classic in many cultures. Diverging from the usual chicken noodle to, say, a rich, stick-to-your-ribs ginger-chicken congee with crispy fried shallots is as easy as it is delicious. Or try a delicately balanced leek and escarole soup with tender chicken and creamy white beans, harissa-spiced chicken meatballs in an aromatic tomato-saffron broth, or a Latin American–inspired sofrito-based version with dark and light meat and tons of veggies. They’re all chicken soup; all scratch the brothy-steamy-goodness itch. And all are beautiful in their simplicity. But the addition of bright spices—along with fresh-vegetable-and-grain combinations—brings them to the next level.

  • Harissa Meatball Soup

    Harissa Meatball Soup

    This soup is super hearty, and the harissa and saffron give it such deep flavor. It’s also adaptable—equally delicious over couscous, basmati rice, or quinoa.


  • Ginger-Chicken Congee

    Ginger-Chicken Congee

    It doesn’t get more comforting than congee. The creamy rice porridge is so easy to make, and finishing with fresh ginger at the end adds brightness and keeps it light. Don’t skip the crispy shallots—in fact, make extra, because you’ll want to sprinkle them on everything.


  • Hearty Chicken Sofrito Stew

    Hearty Chicken Sofrito Stew

    This soup is a riff on sancocho, a staple soup in many Latin American cuisines. There are countless versions of it—ours is on the lighter side and packed with some extra greens, but it still has that super flavorful sofrito base.


  • Easiest-Ever Chicken, Leek, and Escarole Soup

    Easiest-Ever Chicken, Leek, and Escarole Soup

    This soup delivers all the best flavors of a classic Italian-wedding soup in a fraction of the time. It’s perfect for weeknight dinners or an unexpectedly chilly day.