A new year, a new challenge

Cream of Chicken Soup

Paleo cream of chicken soup, January 2014

January is the perfect month to try something new. It’s usually quiet after the holiday hubbub, and it’s easier to stick with change when just about everyone’s in resolution mode.

This January I’m setting out to eat according to a paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP). The paleo part excludes grains, dairy, legumes, white potatoes, and refined sugar. The autoimmune component excludes also potentially inflammatory foods including eggs, nuts, nightshades (tomatoes and peppers), and seeds. This includes coffee, which is a seed. (Ouch—I do love my morning coffee!)

The diet is meant to be followed for a set period, then foods are reintroduced one at a time so you can gauge their effect. My goals are to improve energy, reduce inflammation, and discover any hidden food intolerances. I also wouldn’t mind losing a little weight!

Here are ways others have suggested to make the protocol work:

  • Plan out your menus.
  • Eat the same breakfast every day.
  • Have the same meals on the same day of each week.
  • Make extra so you have leftovers for lunches and freezer meals for dinners.
  • Take along snacks.

And here are some menu ideas I thought of:

  • Cream of chicken soup and salad
  • Spaghetti squash with meat sauce
  • Oven roasted lamb chops with root vegetables
  • Baked chicken with whipped cauliflower and green beans
  • Bunless burgers with roasted acorn squash
  • Meatloaf with roasted carrots and cabbage
  • For breakfast, baked sweet potato, homemade sausage, fruit with coconut butter, hot tea
  • Snacks: Dried fruit and toasted coconut chips

Watch for more recipes and progress reports.

Here is the cream of chicken soup−rich and flavorful comfort food. It’s delicious made with slow cooker chicken and chicken bone broth. Make with coconut oil to be autoimmune protocol-compliant. Use pureed cauliflower for a no-coconut no-arrowroot version.

Paleo Cream of Chicken Soup
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
See Notes for a coconut- and arrowroot-free version that gets its creaminess from pureed cauliflower.
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, or other oil of choice
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot (see Notes for no-arrowroot no-coconut version)
  • 1/2 cup cool water (not needed with alternate version)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons salt (less if your broth is salted)
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (1 can full-fat canned or homemade; or pureed cauliflower; see Notes for alternate version)
  1. Place oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the celery and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add broth. If using arrowroot, place it and 1/2 cup cool water in a small bowl or jar and whisk or shake to combine. Add to pot along with parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bubbly and thickened (if using arrowroot).
  3. Reduce heat, just enough to maintain a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in coconut milk (or pureed cauliflower) and chicken and heat through. This is a fairly thick soup; if you like it thinner, add more water, broth, or coconut milk and heat through. Remove bay leaf just before serving. Leftovers may be frozen.
Serving size: About 2 cups; Calories: 412; Fat: 31g; Saturated fat: 25g; Carbohydrates: 8g; Sugar: 4g; Sodium: 917mg; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 27g; Cholesterol: 54mg.
Alternatively, you can use pureed cauliflower instead of the coconut milk and arrowroot. This version is just as creamy.

To puree the cauliflower, place florets from two medium heads in a pot. Optionally, add a peeled and smashed garlic clove. Add water to cover and about 1/2 tablespoon salt. Boil 20 minutes or until soft. Drain away water and puree until very smooth using hand blender or other method. Yield is about 4 cups; add the entire amount to the soup.


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60 Responses to “A new year, a new challenge”

  1. […] soup since the temperature dropped to a cool fall feel I was really craving something warm. I found this paleo recipe  using cauliflower as the base. I even tricked my husband into eating it! He loved it so much he had […]

    • ebaran says:

      Wow – you have a lot on your “plate,” so to speak. Best of luck with all of it! Parenting a small child is absolutely the best. As is grandparenting, which we’re up to now, with a 3-year-old grandson we adore. Thanks for linking my soup. My kitchen is under construction, but I’m so looking forward to making a big batch of cream of chicken soup again once it’s back in operation.

  2. […] 3. Paleo Cream of Chicken Soup […]

  3. […] 17. Paleo Cream of Chicken Soup Cream of chicken soup is a very popular version of chicken soup, and there are a few things you’ll notice that they’ve done here to make sure you can have it. The first is that it doesn’t contain any dairy, getting its creaminess from coconut milk instead of cream or cow’s milk. The other is that they’re using healthy oils, either coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee, all approved while doing Paleo. She also says you can go with pureed cauliflower if you don’t have coconut milk on hand, which will provide a similar creamy texture while remaining dairy free, and also adding a healthy vegetable to the recipe. […]

  4. […] 12. Paleo Cream of Chicken Soup You can have creamy soups on the Paleo diet, you just have to make sure that they don’t contain any dairy. Most cream based soups contain either milk or cream which doesn’t work while you are eating Paleo. In this recipe they have used coconut milk in order to provide the creaminess, and plenty of cooked chicken so that it will have the taste you’re expecting here. Add to that classic chicken soup vegetables like carrots and celery and you can see that this is going to taste just like you remember but without causing you any stomach problems later. […]

  5. […] Cream of Chicken Soup from Everyone Eats Right *An AIP-friendly version of a classic comfort food. […]

  6. Hi Eileen. This recipe was a reader favorite at this week’s AIP Recipe Roundtable. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  7. sabrina says:

    This looks so good! Just wondering if this would be as good without the arrowroot flour as we have sensitivities in our home. I know it’s for the thickening factor but would it change the taste and do you have any suggestions for a sub? thanks so much for posting this! Found you on real food allergy free website!!!

    • Eileen Beran says:

      Sabrina, I tried a version with a pureed cauliflower (boil it with a garlic clove) and half the arrowroot, and I noticed the fat separating out a little. This would probably be a lot worse with no starch. What you could try is to add puree of two cauliflower heads for more thickening and use just a small amount of oil for sauteing the vegetables. I’m thinking of trying this next, since my husband could be reacting to the arrowroot too. If you try it I’d love to hear if it works and tastes good. Thanks for asking!

    • ebaran says:

      Sabrina, I made the soup with two heads of pureed cauli, and it was creamy and amazing and barely tasted like cauliflower. I think I’ll make it that way in the future, and I’ve edited the recipe to reflect the variation. Thanks for the inspiration to test further!

  8. Patty says:

    I am SO happy that I found your site! I too, am experimenting with Paleo due to some issues I’ve been having with grains. I’ve also developed an anaylphalactic allergy to both gluten & milk, so Paleo seems to be a good fit for me. I haven’t done a total elimination diet yet, I’ve mostly just been trying to avoid the grains.
    Thanks for sharing your yummy recipes with others!

  9. Denise says:

    I have a slight allergy to coconut. What do you suggest as replacement?

    • Eileen Beran says:

      Denise, the last time I made this soup my husband had a reaction, we think to the coconut milk. I did a workaround using pureed cauliflower, and it was pretty good and still creamy. Also, it doesn’t need as much arrowroot to thicken.

      I revised the recipe to show this variation. If you try it I’d love to hear what you think.

      Thanks for asking!

  10. Stephanie says:

    This looks wonderful. I was just browsing for soup recipes for my menu this week. Definitely trying this one. Thanks for posting!

    • Debbie Wesslund says:

      This soup IS wonderful. Just finished making it on this snowy day. I am looking forward to a small bowl before, and a small bowl after, shoveling snow off the driveway! Thanks for sharing. I’m back on the low carb diet….nice to have new recipes. Tonight, whipped cauliflower, roasted brussel spouts and meatloaf made with almond flour.

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