The Important Step You Might Be Forgetting With Chicken Soup

Who doesn't love tucking into a hot, steaming, nourishing bowl of chicken soup? Aside from being both comforting and delicious, chicken soup is widely utilized as a home remedy for cold and flu symptoms — a seemingly eternal practice that has actually been proven by science to help make us feel better. Whether sprinkled with fresh dill, enriched with coconut milk, or enlivened with chiles, chicken soup is one of those reliable dishes that's always welcome on a chilly winter night.

Luckily, chicken soup is a dish that's relatively easy to make at home — and recipes for it abound. Hopefully, you're already making your chicken soup with chicken feet, which yields a silky, gelatin-rich broth. But did you know there's another often-overlooked opportunity to pack your soup with flavor? It has to do with the ingredients that form the base of the soup, and you're going to want to make sure you're not skipping this step.

Don't forget to sauté your chicken and vegetables

Many of us love chicken soup — and soup of all types — for its ease of preparation; after all, what could be simpler than tossing some ingredients into a big pot, adding water, and simmering them until done? And while many recipes call for that exact method, taking the extra step of browning the chicken and vegetables that make up your soup base will yield a soup that's even tastier.

According to The Kitchn, the initial steps of making a soup are a golden opportunity to deepen its flavor by sautéing the chicken meat and vegetables before adding water. In the bottom of your soup pot, you can simply cook cut up chicken and all the vegetables you'll be using, such as carrots, onions, and celery, using your fat of choice to brown them nicely. Once you've achieved that step, The Kitchn recommends adding a splash of white wine or even just some water, which will release that flavor-rich fond, or browned bits, from the pot — and right into your soup. Just call it chicken soup 2.0.