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Recipe: Nourishing chicken soup (that's perfect for pregnancy and postpartum)

Written by Laila Helena | Monday, 27 February 2023

natural health nutrition recipes

Chicken soup is one of those wonder foods that helps to heal everything. It’s like a warm cuddle on a rainy day that nourishes and heals from the inside out. Many traditional cultures have their own variation of chicken soup, and it’s not hard to see why. Chicken soup is a highly nutritious meal that supports a healthy gut and immune function whilst providing essential nutrients for fertility, pregnancy and postpartum.

This nourishing soup contains collagen-rich gelatine, released from the bones during cooking, which helps to reduce inflammation and restore the strength of your gut lining. The slow-released nutrients make it very easy to digest, which is ideal during pregnancy and postpartum when the digestive system slows down. In addition, chicken meat and bone broth are rich sources of readily available proteins, fats and minerals: calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. All these nutrients are essential for the development of a healthy baby.

The early stages of fertilisation and implantation are very sensitive to maternal nutritional status. This time frame is crucial for properly developing the embryo and foetus, highlighting the importance of eating nutrient-dense foods like chicken soup.

This recipe also contains garlic, celery and parsley to help reduce inflammation and detoxify. Reducing the toxic burden and supporting detoxification is essential in the preconception phase to avoid foetus malformation. You will notice that this recipe uses more quantities of these ingredients as it helps cut through the intense chicken flavour. Making it ideal for people who find chicken soup a bit too "chickeny".


  • One whole chicken (organic if possible)
  • 2 large onions, chopped into slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, roughly chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 2 bunches of parsley, whole
  • 6 medium carrots, roughly chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Filtered water
  • Salt to taste (roughly 1 tbsp)
  • *Optional Somen noodles
  • *Optional sprinkle parmesan cheese


  1. Give the chicken a quick rinse under running water and place it in a large pot.
  2. Fill the pot with filtered water.
  3. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Allow the chicken to cook for 2-3 hours. This will ensure all the nutritional goodness from the bones soaks into the broth.
  5. In the meantime, chop the carrots and celery in large circles. Set them aside.
  6. Once the chicken has been cooked for 2-3 hours, sieve the stock into a separate bowl. Be careful not to burn yourself.
  7. Place the onions, garlic, celery, carrots, parsley, salt and bay leaf into the chicken stock and cook on low heat.
  8. Once cooked you can remove the parsley bunch (branches).
  9. Now comes the difficult part – you need to pull the chicken off the bones with your two forks or your fingers. If you think it is too hot to handle, allow the chicken to cool a little before going ahead.
  10. Once you have very attentively pulled the chicken off the bone, place the chicken back in the broth. You want to make sure you pulled out all those tiny bones as they are a choking hazard.
  11. The soup is now ready to serve or freeze into meal-size jars.
  12. If you wish to add noodles you can cook them in a separate pot and add them to your bowl. I don’t recommend adding the noodles directly to the chicken stock as they go mushy.
  13. You can also add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to serve.

Note: bone broth can be high in histamines, when cooked for long period, usually above 3 hours, the histamine can cause a reaction in some people. If you feel worse after consuming bone broth, histamines may be an issue for you and should be further investigated.

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Laila Helena

Laila Helena BHSc is a qualified naturopath who specialises in helping busy couples ditch fatigue and nagging health issues to confidently optimise their fertility and pregnancy. Ultimately, making and raising healthier babies. She supports infants in their first 1000 days of life – from the moment they are conceived until they have reached two years of age.  She is also passionate about fertility and preconception because infertility and chronic health conditions among children are steadily rising, most of which are preventable. Laila uses her holistic investigative skills to find the root cause of any disease and treats it with naturopathic medicine and functional nutrition. Supporting the health of parents, parents-to-be and infants. Her mission? To improve global health one baby at a time.  

Read more by Laila Helena