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Hearty and comforting homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Is there anything more comforting than a homemade bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup?
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch is one of life’s simple pleasures. Hot and steaming on a cold winter’s day, this soup is healing, filling, flavorful and soothing; practically perfect in every way.
Scientific research has shown that Chicken Noodle Soup is almost magical and can help clear nasal congestion and ease cold symptoms. The vegetables are a good source of Vitamins K and C, and include antioxidant properties to help boost immunity. Feeling under the weather? Make homemade Chicken Noodle Soup!
The rich broth helps keep you hydrated and the noodles provide a little carbohydrate energy to make you feel better. We should all eat more Chicken Noodle Soup!
Ingredients to make homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- olive oil or butter for sautéing the vegetables. If you’re making homemade chicken broth, use some of the skimmed fat that rises to the surface in place of the oil. Fat means flavor!
- onion – we like a mild, sweet onion for this soup
- chicken broth – homemade broth, low-sodium store bought or you can use chicken stock
- egg noodles – for this soup we use dried, packaged extra-wide egg noodles. Fresh, homemade or frozen egg noodles work well, too. Be sure to adjust the cooking time as noted on the package directions.
- bay leaves
- fresh thyme sprigs – optional, but highly recommended
- cooked, shredded chicken – if making our homemade broth, you’ll have plenty of chicken for this soup recipe. For an easy shortcut, use rotisserie chicken.
- fresh parsley leaves
- salt and pepper to taste – check the seasonings. If you’re using a low sodium chicken broth, you may want to add a little salt, if desired. Be sure to add tons of fresh ground black pepper.
- juice of 1/2 lemon – a little acid really makes this soup sing (optional)
- fresh ground black pepper – don’t skimp on the pepper. We love loads of black pepper in this soup!
- crusty bread for sopping up the broth
- crackers because everybody loves saltines with Chicken Noodle Soup!
How to make homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
1. First, we recommend making homemade chicken broth. Or, pick up good quality, low-sodium store bought broth. Since this soup recipe calls for both chicken broth and cooked chicken, you can make your own on the weekend and store the broth and chicken separately in the refrigerator until needed.
Our homemade chicken broth recipe takes only about two hours to complete. This simple, mostly hands-free process can be done in the morning for soup in the afternoon.
Once the broth and cooked chicken are ready to go, the rest of the soup comes together in minutes.
2. Next, sauté the vegetables in oil or leftover chicken fat skimmed from the homemade broth. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
3. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and thyme to the pot. Bring to a boil. Add the egg noodles, cover and cook until the noodles are slightly underdone. Remove the lid, stir in the cooked chicken and heat until warmed through.
4. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Finally, remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and lemon juice, if using. Serve and enjoy!
Can you freeze this soup?
We don’t recommend freezing this soup with the noodles cooked in the broth. The noodles will soak up the broth and become mushy. You can however, make everything except the noodles and then freeze.
When ready to finish the soup, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and add noodles to the boiling broth. Cook until al dente and serve!
Another option is to portion the chicken, vegetables and broth into individual serving containers. Freeze until needed. Gently warm the frozen or thawed chicken and broth, then add a portion of cooked egg noodles to the hot soup.
How long will this soup keep?
As written, this great recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup will keep well for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. The noodles will get a little softer, but not so much that it’s an issue. Only rewarm what’s needed so you don’t overcook the egg noodles.
If using homemade or fresh egg noodles in this soup, add only what you need to individual thawed portions.
What kind of chicken is best in Chicken Noodle Soup?
Any cooked, shredded chicken will work well in this soup. We typically use a whole, cut-up chicken to make our homemade broth so that’s what we put in the soup.
Poached, shredded chicken breasts are another favorite I like to use in soups, casseroles and salads. This is also a good low-sodium option.
If making your own chicken broth, you can use chicken thighs in place of the whole cut-up chicken. Wings and backs are great for making flavorful broth. However, you won’t have enough chicken meat to add to the soup.
Of course you can always use a rotisserie chicken. It’s all good!
Chicken soup soothes the soul
We’re pretty much nuts for chicken soups of any kind. Our Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup is so rich and comforting, you’ll want to make it at every opportunity.
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Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, unsalted butter or fat skimmed from homemade broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 10 cups chicken broth, homemade or low sodium
- 2 bay leaves
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme, optional
- 6 ounces dry egg noodles
- 4 cups chopped cooked chicken
- ¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice of ½ lemon, optional
- Warm the olive oil (butter or skimmed chicken fat) over medium-high heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, carrots and celery to the hot oil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté the vegetables until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Pour in the broth, add the bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil. Add the egg noodles and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 7 minutes (per package directions) until the noodles are about al dente, or just slightly undercooked.
- Add the chicken and heat, uncovered, until the soup is warmed through. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs and discard. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat, add the parsley and lemon juice, if using. Serve.
- Egg noddles will soften over time. If preferred, cook the noodles separately and add to each bowl of broth individually. If using this method, cook the noodles completely, per package directions.
- Fresh or frozen egg noodles can be substituted for dry. Adjust cooking time as needed.
- Rewarm leftovers gently until heated through.
- We do not recommend freezing this soup with the noodles in the broth. The chicken broth and vegetables freeze very well, however.
Originally published January 2011, updated January 2021