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Ugh--help me save some watery chicken soup

I had a couple containers of what I thought was terrific chicken stock in the freezer that I decided to use up. Long story short, I've now got a pot of tender veggies floating in a tasteless broth. I've added chopped thyme, black pepper, sea salt--still watery and tasteless. Have asked hubby to bring home "Better than Boullion" to try to salvage, but here's what I'm wondering:

1. Should I puree the veggies with my stick blender to try to thicken/flavor it up then add the BtB later?

2. Do I strain out the veggies and replace the broth with some TJ's free range chicken broth? (Also have vegetable broth.)

3. Do I add the TJ's broth to the broth I already have?

4. Order a pizza.

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  1. Order a pizza, then figure out how to fix the watery soup tomorrow. Your best bet may be to strain out the veggies and set them aside, then reduce your stock to intensify the flavor (unless that would make it too salty).

    If your stock is really, truly tasteless, you might just want to replace it with the BtB or TJs.

    1. Order a pizza and then make another pot of broth later with more bones.

      As in, instead of using water with the next batch of bones, just use the subtly flavored stuff you have now. That is, if reducing doesn't work (already salted)

      1. I'm guessing that it needs more salt and possibly an acid like lemon juice, or some canned tomatoes. If you would like it thicker, mix softened butter and flour (1:1 ratio), add in teaspoon size chunks, stir ... repeat until its the desired thickness. Other options would be to include some sauteed mushrooms, beans, rice or pasta (and still... more salt).

        2 Replies
        1. re: firecooked

          I haven't gotten to the addition of noodles and the chicken--I figured I'd better stop now before I waste any more food. I've got a ton of leftover chicken, so maybe I should just make a casserole...

          I have to admit to all of you Chowhounders: I still haven't gotten beyond following recipes. Whenever I think I can wing it myself, I usually end up throwing things out. :-(

          1. re: Thanks4Food

            always think of rescuing. come to chowhound. many of us are hell-bent on not wasting food. me? i'm a depression-era-child by proxy.

        2. I've decided to dump the broth, keep the veggies, and make a chicken noodle casserole. Yes, pizza's the easier way out, but I need to get back on the horse and keep trying!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Thanks4Food

            BTW, I did end up making a casserole that my husband loves but I hate. It occurred to me that I don't really like chicken noodle soup nor do I like a casserole that tastes like chicken noodle soup. I've come to like foods that are more exciting to the tastebuds. Next chicken soup I make is going to be chicken tortilla.

          2. If you haven't already resolved this, you could scoop out the vegetables with a strainer and reduce the watery broth. Reducing it will concentrate the flavor. Adding bouillion (like better than bouillion or even a cube of chicken bouillion), and/or salt will also enhance the flavor. But the most effective way to improve a watery stock is to evaporate some of the water out of it by simmering to reduce.

            1 Reply
            1. I don't know if it would make a difference, but last week I made chicken and dumplings for the first time, and the receipe called for WHOLE milk (1/4 cup to 4 1/2 cups homemade stock + 1/4 cup dry sherry). I'd never had chick'dumps before, but it was amazing and the soup had a lovely "mouth feel".

              1. Add some pearl barley to help thicken it up (I'd prefer the barley over the egg noodles you note above). Adding the chicken will also help give it some body and extra flavor.

                1 Reply
                1. re: LindaWhit

                  I will definitely try that next time: I've decided I don't really like anything with egg noodles. After coming to enjoy whole grains, egg noodles are just too anemic for me.

                2. I see you already solved your prob, but I would add rice. The last time I made chicken soup I decided to add two servings of rice, it soaked up ALL my liquid and I was left with a porridge!

                  1. Just add BTB to what you've got. Hopefully, since you've already used salt, he is getting the reduced sodium BTB.

                    If not, you will need to extend it by poaching some raw chicken in the watery broth. If you don't mind wasting the meat, or have a pet to feed it to, the easiest, fastest is to add ground chicken. It has more surface area so contributes the most flavor, as Cook's Illustrated explains. After simmering the ground chicken, strain out all the solids. For the soup, you'll then need to add new veg.