The SCD Intro Diet Chicken Soup: How to Make it Right and Why You Should Eat It!

by Jordan Reasoner


The Intro Diet Chicken Soup is the foundational piece of the SCD Intro Diet. I wanted to put this post together to help get you started with the intro diet. Most of this material is directly from one of the best chapters of our book and you can grab the rest of the Chapter: “How to Start the Intro Diet in 24 Hours” for free… just enter your name and email in the boxes above.

Elaine has put together the basic diet, or Intro Diet, with each piece of the puzzle in a specific place for a specific reason. The chicken soup is incredibly important because it is very easy to digest and incorporates many natural anti-inflammatory properties to aid in your body’s recovery. It is also going to keep a steady supply of vitamins, minerals, and hydration going while your body works hard to eliminate the pathogens it has been flooded with. The remaining foods are meant to be supplemental to the chicken soup and to provide some variety throughout the day. Bottom Line: Eat the soup!


  • 2 Lbs. of Chicken Thighs and Legs, skin and all
  • 10 Large Carrots (or equivalent)
  • Sea Salt


Hour 0: Let’s get the chicken soup started.

Hour 0: Add the Chicken

– Take out your slow cooker and dump in the 2 lbs. of chicken thighs and legs, skin and all.

– Grab 10 carrots and peel them. To peel the carrots hold them on one end and run your swivel peeler down the length of the carrot to remove a thin layer. Slowly rotate the carrot 360 degrees and peel around the carrot until you have done the entire surface. Switch the end you’re holding and finish off the part where your hand was before.

– Cut the discolored part off each end.

– Drop the 10 carrots into the slow cooker.

Hour 0: Peel the Carrots

– Sprinkle sea salt all over the carrots and chicken parts

– Fill the slow cooker ¾ full with water

– Set the slow cooker on high for 4 hours and write down what time you started it!

Hour 1.5:

– Stir your chicken soup.

Hour 3: Now the chicken soup has been cooking for 3 hours and needs some maintenance. We’re going to remove the parts of the chicken we don’t want.

– Get out a plate and some tongs.

– Pull out each piece of chicken one at a time, and use a fork and a knife to scrape the skin off the chicken.

Hour 3: Pull the Chicken Out Carefully

– Once the skin is cleared, cut all the chicken off of the bone and dispose of the skin, bones, and cartilage.

Hour 3: Remove the Skin and Bone

Hour 3: Discard What’s Leftover

– Add the chicken meat back into the soup.

– Stir everything well.

Hour 4: We’re going to remove the fat from the soup. It is hard to digest and not necessary for the Intro Diet.

– With a fine strainer or spoon, skim off the layer of fat that is forming on top of the soup (you may just notice it as a different color or that it looks like bubbles on top of the water). Do this twice to remove as much fat as possible.

– Let the slow cooker run on high for another hour just to get everything nice and broken down.

Hour 4.5: Now it’s time to puree the carrots that have been cooking in the slow cooker.

– Take a fork and stab the carrots that are boiling. If they’re ready, the fork should pierce through with no problem and almost make the carrot fall apart if you try to lift it out. If they are not done, let them cook for another half an hour and keep checking. Otherwise it’s time to puree everything.

– Pull out all the carrots from the chicken soup and put them on a plate.

Hour 4.5: Puree the Carrots- Cut them up into 1-inch sections.

– Fill your food processor about ¾ of the way with carrot chunks.

– Add about a ½ cup of water to the food processor (it helps break down the carrots).

– Run the food processor for about a minute until you don’t see any more chunks left.

– Add the pureed carrots back into the soup and stir it up really well.


Hour 5: Your chicken soup should be all set to go at this point.

The Next Day: Remove the Solidified Fat Layer

If there is still a layer of fat on the top, skim it again with the strainer before you put it away. You can always leave it on low for a couple more hours to make sure everything is cooked well, or just unplug it and put the container in the refrigerator. More fat will magically appear overnight, which you’ll have to strain again in the morning (it will be a solid white layer on top of the soup and very easy to scoop/strain out).

Good luck and let us know how you’re doing on the diet. Anyone have some better suggestions for the soup?

Back to SCD Lifestyle


Is Your Body Secretly Suffering from a Leaky Gut?

Take this 3-minute quiz to find out if you have the #1 problem missed by modern medicine... Take the Quiz NOW
(NOTE: The results of this quiz could save your life)

About the author

Jordan Reasoner Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Works

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen September 29, 2017 at 10:30 am

Hello, how many portions does this recipe make? Is it enough for one day, or more? Thank you

Lori Jo Berg September 29, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Hi Helen – that really depends on how much a person eats and what the portion size is. This will make at least 6 cups which should be plenty for 3-4 meals! You can always freeze if it its just way too much, too:)

Lisa K July 13, 2017 at 8:51 am

My chicken soup looks orange. Used 2 lbs of chicken legs/thighs and 10 carrots. What did I do wrong?

Mariel Heiss July 13, 2017 at 11:51 am

Hi Lisa – it is probably from the carrots 🙂 Doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. How does it taste?

Danielle t April 1, 2017 at 7:52 am

Hi I’m curious is there a vegetarian version of the intro diet soup?

Danielle t April 1, 2017 at 7:53 am

Without the use of seafood as was replied with above.

Lori Jo Berg April 2, 2017 at 5:39 pm

Hi Danielle – Beside just eliminating the meat in the soup all together, we don’t really have a vegetarian version. The meat provides a large source of the calories and protein in this INTRO phase (and through out the whole diet). The diet is a bit tricky to do with vegetarians because there are just not that many options left when oyu eliminate dairy and grain and some veggies.

Janet January 6, 2017 at 11:23 am

Hi. Would be glad to have the rest of the chapter, please, as I cannot find a digital version of the book, anywhere 🙂 Jt

Lori Jo Berg January 6, 2017 at 6:28 pm

HI Janet – what are you looking for? If you’d like the eBook (includes all the information on how to complete the full SCD diet, you can go here:

Eileen August 30, 2016 at 7:31 am

I am histamine intolerant in addition to multiple food sensitivities. I have heard it is best to avoid slow cooked meats. Any advice for attempting the 3 day soup protocol?

Mariel Heiss August 30, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Hi Eileen – it might be hard for you to follow this protocol if you’re reacting to histamines. You can try cooking the broth for a shorter period of time. There are a lot of good resources here:

David August 4, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Is it okay to add various herbs to the chicken soup during the intro period? I’d like to add some flavor with some thyme or rosemary.

Mariel Heiss August 4, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Hi David – we recommend waiting until after the Intro diet to start adding herbs and spices to your soup. After the Intro phase you can introduce herbs and spice the same way you would anything else – once every three days. The only thing we don’t recommend are spice powder blends – these often contain fillers you don’t want

k July 20, 2016 at 8:45 am

what can i use instead of chicken if i am a vegetarian? i do eat fish. can you provide a diffenret recipe? i am really sick, have leaky gut and am in constant pain and am desperate for help but cant do the chicken so what can i use? thank you

Mariel Heiss July 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Hi K – you can sub in shrimp if you’re a pescatarian. You can use 4-6 pounds of peeled, de-veined shrimp to replace the chicken.

Mai July 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm

I started making this broth with 2lb of chicken and 9 carrots and in 1.5 hours no water is left in the cooker. Confused on what to do now?

Mariel Heiss July 5, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Hi Mai – your slow cooker may be a little too hot and boiling away all the water. You want to keep the soup at a very low simmer (not a boil). Hope this helps!

Annette May 15, 2016 at 3:44 pm

I just started SCD on my GI Dr. Advice. We made the chicken soup but we’re confused as to add pureed carrotts back to the strained broth and the chicken pieces then make a separate container of just pureed carrotts? I sure hope this all works I am really nervous.

Mariel Heiss May 17, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Hi Annette!

You can go ahead and add the chicken and carrots back into the soup.

You can also make more pureed carrots to eat by themselves (my favorite food when I followed the intro diet!) – you can just boil them in water until they’re soft and then puree them. I found adding some salt made a big difference in their flavor, too 🙂

Good luck on the diet! If you need more help you can always email us at [email protected]

Amber November 5, 2015 at 6:47 pm

I have SIBO and have been making chicken broth/soup. I buy a whole chicken (organic, free-range) and cook it in the crockpot with water and veggies overnight then use the broth. I recently read that Broth made from bones especially chicken bones that has cartilage can aggravate SIBO. Does that mean I have to use completely boneless chicken? I don’t make the broth from the chicken bones, but from the whole chicken. I’d really rather not debone the chicken before cooking. I get really good quality chickens whole from a local farm and don’t want to resort to buying frozen chicken breasts to make my SIBO friendly broth. Any advice or knowledge to share?

Mariel Heiss November 6, 2015 at 11:13 am

Hi Amber!

We wouldn’t advise using boneless chicken to make your broth as it is actually the bones that provide the broth with nutrients.

Broth can aggravate symptoms in some people with SIBO. However, if you’re eating broth (which is an amazing healing food) and you’re not having any symptoms, we think you should go ahead and continue as you are now.

If you think the broth is a problem, we advise cutting it out for a few weeks and focusing on other healing foods (and maybe try colostrum) before giving broth a try again. I hope this information helps!

Laura November 11, 2016 at 12:01 pm

What type of other healing foods do you recommend?

Lori Jo Berg November 14, 2016 at 1:55 pm

HI Laura! Local, seasonal vegetables lightly steamed are also a great choice when trying to heal:)

Aaron July 13, 2015 at 10:45 pm

I am allergic to poultry and fish(have been since I became a teenager) and can’t seem to tolerate/digest carrots, even puree’d. What should I use instead of chicken.?

Mariel Heiss July 14, 2015 at 11:23 am

Hi Aaron, we recommend you substitute beef if you’re allergic to fish and poultry. Here’s our recipe:

Cheryl April 18, 2015 at 12:05 am

I have always added about a 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar or white vinegar to the water with the chicken. It gets the goodness out of the bone marrow. I also add celery.

Anneka November 11, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I cant not tolerate carrots. What can i substitute for them or just leave them out?

Lori Jo Berg November 13, 2014 at 12:05 am

Hi Anneka,

Thank you for reaching out! Go ahead and try zucchini instead of the carrots.

Chanel April 3, 2016 at 3:34 am

Hi Mariel,

I haven’t actually been diagnosed with leaky gut however on googling my symptoms, leaky gut or candida always come up. I have really bad skin infections and other symptoms including body odor (not sweat body odour though) however when I go to the doctor they just give me anti fungal creams which help temporarily with itching but that’s it. It has been 8 months and I’m at my wits end! What would you advise I do? Should I go to the doctor and ask them to test me for either candida or leaky gut before starting this diet?

Mariel Heiss April 5, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Hi Chanel – I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through! I recommend you attend one of of our free webinars on leaky gut as it will answer a lot of questions you have (like how to get tested, what causes leaky gut, how to treat it, what to eat, etc.). Register for free here:

sara January 30, 2014 at 7:07 pm

i’m on day 4 of 5 of the intro diet and am thankful to have found your website. just one note: the first line of this webpage reads: “The Intro Diet Chicken Soap ” just a typo, I realize, but just so there is no one literally reading this, chicken soup, not chicken soap!

Shirley Atkinson November 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm


After I make this soup, do I eat only this for three days and then start introducing other foods or how does this work exactly?
I appreciate the recipe but am just curious about what to do with it once I have made it.

Thank you,
Shirley Atkinson

Emily April 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I leave the everything in the pot for the full five hours. Then when it’s done cooking I strain it, pick the carrots and good meat out, throwing the rest away. I also wait to skim the fat till after it has been refrigerated. It’s so much easier to get it all out when it’s clod and white and you only have to do it once.

Laura September 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I’ve heard that using bone broth can produce excitotoxins. Any thoughts on this?

Amber July 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I can’t seem to digest this soup. I strain out all the fat, but I bloat severely almost immediately after I start eating it. Suggestions?

kristen January 31, 2013 at 11:41 am

Amber – I know you posted this in July, but I just came across it. Hopefully you are feeling better.

I bloat when I eat most chicken, too. I have severe intolerances to soy and corn which are commonly fed to chickens. I get the same reaction of bloating, sometimes diarrhea. It is really hard to find chickens that haven’t been fed soy, but try sourcing locally raised chickens that aren’t fed ingredients that you know you’re sensitive/allergic too! It is tough, I know!

James March 23, 2015 at 6:56 am

I swapped the SCD Chicken soup with Salmon Carrot soup! Not as protein dense as chicken, but not too far from. Very easy to make and tastes great. Add some spring onions if you can eat them or something else to give it a bit of texture. Light salt and pepper and you’re good to go.

Lisa September 1, 2011 at 3:20 am

THe longer you cook the bones the better. You get the marrow out of the bones and that is where the gelatin lives. I would take a whole chicken, roast it, cut off the meat and save that, then put all the bones into a crockpot with water and a tsp of vinegar. Boil it over night.

I learned this from the book ‘Nourishing Traditions.’ They have a sight for SCD. If you google Nourishing traditions and SCD, you will come upon it.

Thanks for the video on gaining weight. That is the reason I started back on this diet.