There are about as many recipes for chicken noodle soup as there are people who enjoy it, which is everyone. Well, everyone but me. I understand that announcing that one does not like chicken noodle soup is tantamount to saying that one dislikes comfort, thick sweaters on brisk fall days, well-padded shoes for long walks and sips of tea from a steamy mug. I get this. But in my defense, I am not the one who broke it.
I cannot take responsibility for delis that keep a batch of soup at a low simmer 24/7, until the noodles are gummy and the bits of chicken taste like death itself. I find it depressing that few recipes on the first three pages of Google results for chicken noodle soup image that one might want to make it from scratch, that an “old fashioned chicken noodle soup” recipe on one of the largest food websites out there has you begin with eight cans of low-sodium chicken stock. I am equally suspicious of chicken soups that have you cook the chicken to a point beyond repair and then discard the meat, because my inner Depression-era granny (frankly, outer, too, on days where I don my aforementioned thick cardigan and padded shoes) would fall over at the thought that people cook a chicken only not eat it, and therefore, maybe so should we. I am uninspired by soups that have you cook the chicken so briskly in the name of saving it for later leaving just a pale, weak broth behind. And with this, what happened is what always happens when I attempt to explain in great detail why I have no love for a certain dish: I ended up making it anyway.
A few things led to this: First, I finally summoned enough common sense to realize that saying you don’t like an item because the readily available versions of it are no good is like saying you don’t like tomatoes because in January, the groceries only sell pale orbs that are more dehydrated watermelon in texture than tomatoes. Surely tomatoes aren’t to blame for what’s been done to them. The second was that my son came home from preschool with a terrible cold that he quickly passed to his father and it bothered me more than it should that I didn’t have a go-to recipe for the universe’s most beloved remedy. And if this wasn’t enough motivation, over the weekend the weather plummeted from a gorgeous 77 degrees to a windy, rainy 52 and soup is suddenly the only thing that makes sense.
In the kitchen, I did things my way, which is to say, minimally. The broth is just chicken and onions, with a confetti of vegetables added at the end where their flavor remains bright. The noodles are wide and winding, for those (okay, probably just me) who could never keep those slippery, skinny ones on their spoons. But, for me, the real triumph was giving the chicken parts and onion a saute — a trick I picked up from Cook’s Illustrated, that picked it up from Edna Lewis – before adding water to make the soup. This deepened flavor base makes for magical soup, with a bronzed color, more robust flavor and significantly reduced prep time. This was my “A-ha!” moment. With all of the blustery, cold days to go this winter, everyone, even the previously reistent, deserves to have a homemade, from-scratch chicken noodle soup that can be pulled off in just about an hour in their back pocket.
Book, book, book: As promised, I populated the Book Tour & Events page over the weekend with three new events, one quite close to my hometown and two others at beloved stores. I also added as much detail as I could about each store’s policies as to whether you can bring an outside book in to be signed. At each event, these rules will vary and I hope that this makes it as transparent as possible. Finally, stay tuned next week, when I will announce another way to get books signed by me, even if you live far from the cities I’ll be heading to. Guys, the book release is getting so close (20 days)! I really hope we get a chance to meet. Whee!
Two years ago: Roasted Eggplant Soup
Three years ago: Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp
Four years ago: Beef, Leek and Barley Soup
Five years ago: Arroz Con Pollo and Gazpacho Salad
Six years ago: Lemon Pound Cake
Chicken Noodle Soup
While the recipe below makes what we consider a dreamy classic chicken noodle soup, feel free to just use it as a template. Can’t bear a chicken stock without garlic or leeks? Add them. (I sometimes use two onions, because I like that flavor so much with chicken. One could be replaced with leeks.) Only like stock made with light or dark meat? Go for it. Want to use different vegetables? We’re big fans of cauliflower and green bean segments in here too; for aesthetics, I try to dice the vegetables so they’re all the same size chunks. Do you have a toddler that’s averse to soup? Try using 4 ounces noodles. It makes for a heartier, noodle-heavy soup, and all of those noodles are an excellent distraction. Bored of noodles? Spaetzle, rice and other grains would be delightful here.
If you have time to bring your chicken to room temperature before getting started, all the better for the browning step.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3-pound chicken, in parts or 3 pounds chicken pieces of your choice
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large carrot, diced (1/3-inch)
1 medium parsnip, diced (1/3-inch) (optional)
1 large celery stalk, diced (1/3-inch)
3 ounces dried egg noodles, I prefer wide ones
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley
Prepare broth: In a large (5-quart) heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and saute it for 3 to 4 minutes, until beginning to take on color at edges. Add the chicken pieces (if too crowded, can do this in two batches), making little wells in the onions so that the parts can touch the bottom of the pan directly. Cook chicken parts until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Add water, bay leaf, table salt and some freshly ground black pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and skim any (sorry for lack of better term) scum that appears at the surface of the pot. Simmer pot gently, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
Transfer chicken parts to a plate to cool a bit before handling. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl (ideally, with a spout) and pour soup through it.
If your pot looks grimy and you’re fanatical about having a clear soup, you can give it a quick wash before returning the broth to the pot. You can remove a bit of fat at this point, if it looks necessary. Bring the broth back to a simmer.
You may be tempted at this point to taste it and add more salt. I know this because I do it every single time, adding another teaspoon, and every. single. time. I regret this as it is too salty in the end. So, proceed with any re-seasoning with caution.
To finish and serve: Add diced vegetables and simmer them until they’re firm-tender, about 5 minutes. Add dried noodles and cook them according to package directions, usually 6 to 9 minutes. While these simmer, remove the skin and chop the flesh from a couple pieces of chicken, only what you’re going to use. You won’t need all of it in the soup. I usually use the breasts first because they’re my least favorite and benefit the most from the extra moisture of the soup. The remaining parts can be slipped into an airtight bag in the fridge (I recommend leaving the skin on for retained moisture until needed) and used for chicken salad or the like over the next few days.
Once noodles have cooked, add chicken pieces just until they have rewarmed through (30 seconds) and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with dill or parsley, dig in and let it fix everything that went wrong with your day.
Do ahead: If planning ahead, the point where you strain your chicken broth is a great place to pause. Refrigerate the chicken broth until the next day. Before heating it and finishing the recipe, you can easily remove any solidified fat from the surface for a virtually fat-free soup. Then, you can cook the vegetables and noodles to order, adding the chicken only so that it can rewarm (and not overcook!). If making the broth more than a day in advance, you might as well freeze it. I recommend freezer bags with as much air as possible pressed out. Freezing the bags flat will make it easier to stack and store with other frozen soups, and the bag will only require a short soak in warm water to defrost.
395 comments on chicken noodle soup
just what i need! any ideas for chicken substitutions?
Given I woke up with the worlds worst sore throat yesterday this couldn’t be better time! Even though I’m a vegetarian, I’m sure I could mod it somehow :)
Now that is chicken soup! I love your idea to saute the chicken first.
It’s so cold today and a bowl of this soup would be fantastic right about now. Have a cozy day, Deb! xoxo
I too am not a chicken noodle soup fan, but perhaps you are right and I should give it another chance. I am, however, a huge chicken tortilla soup fan, so maybe I’ll just stick with that.
Nothing wrong with chicken tortilla soup. Just a Hispanic grandma’s chicken soup not a Jewish grandma’s chicken soup. Both good for sore throuts and colds.
This sounds absolutely amazing to me right now. Wish I was having this for lunch! Maybe I’ll make a pot this weekend. Thanks for sharing, Deb!
Why have I never thought of that browning step? You’ve added another trick to my repertoire. Thanks Deb.
Literally perused the SK archives 36 hours ago to find a recipe for chicken noodle soup…so we were probably making the soup at the same time :)
This looks great. The weather is finally cooling off here, so I can start making soup!!
i make homemade chicken noodle too and it is so delicious, it’s the stock that makes it don’t you think? i make the noodles too though – just traditional flour/water/egg, rolled out on the table and sliced into 1/2″ wide rectangular noodles. they are thick and so good. or if i’m lazy i just pinch off pieces of the dough and toss them in like little “dumplings”. i also use whole peppercorns but it might be too much of a kick for some.
I did this recipe on my blog yesterday! Apparently the BEST version is with parsley root instead of parsnips. But I can’t ever find them.
This is absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for being an inspiration and I cannot wait for your cookbook and signings!!!
I was absolutely like you–I hated the inevitably overcooked chicken (how can chicken in broth be dry? I don’t know, but a lot of places manage it), overcooked vegetables, broth that tasted more like salt and fat than really good chicken.
Then I started making it myself that way I like it. I do the slightly more involved version in that I roast a chicken with vegetables (whatever end and bits I threw in my freezer) until they’re browned, dump everything in my crockpot, top it with water, and cook it on low for a few hours until the chicken is cooked through. Pull the meat off the bones and reserve it for the soup later, put the bones back in the pot, and let it cook on low the rest of the day. Yeah, it’s a day-long process, but it’s perfect for a chilly Sunday, and really doesn’t take any active time, and makes my apartment smell so, so good.
I freeze the broth and, separately, the diced chicken, in pre-portioned amounts, just enough to make two bowls of soup for when I feel the sickies starting to creep in. And I love the little curly egg noodles the best!
I LOVE YOU! I was also sick and craving soup recently…and I was also super disappointed by the dearth of recipes online not calling for boxed stock. I ended up making the Veselka cabbage soup instead, but this looks perfect for next time! I’ll probably end up subbing rice/wild rice for the noodles, but I love a chicken/onion stock.
Do you remove the skin from the chicken before you cook it? Or only after you’ve removed it from the stock?
Lauren — I remove it.
Cheryl — That reminds me, meant to add note that I only add chicken right before serving.
There is one more thing which my mother-in-law always did..cook the noodles separately and add to the bowls before you ladle in the hot soup..
I think I am going to make this tonight!! I love your approach to food.. makes it very easy for me to follow along. Also, I have that same pot in yellow – my favorite :)
I made chicken soup just last night and wasn’t happy with how it turned out (although the kids gobbled it up). Just not enough flavour for me. I am going to try it your way next and see if I do better.
add a whole tomato next time
Just a couple of comments:
Somehow, and it remains a mystery to me, but my wife does seem to eat the breast meat from rotisserie chickens and leave the rest for me. I have learned that this is a terrific base for the chicken stock, with plenty of wonderful meat as well. And, it is already browned!
Second, I would never have thought to try parsnips. I most often add really sweet red banana peppers, finely chopped, for color, with the celery and onions. But, Thank you – the parsnips will get a chance in my next batch!
Re, parsnips: Rainbow carrots would also be gorgeous here. I love the idea of brightening the final dish with a confetti of colorful vegetables. My celery was sad and old and pale, so you can barely see the green, but in other batches, it was pleasing to see. Diced red peppers (as Steve suggests) would also be lovely.
I Can Be Jell-O — The straining is to remove the onion, bay leaf, and any bits that have fallen off the chicken but if you don’t mind a messy stock, no reason to bother with it.
Ah, I never thought about browning the chicken before. Though that is probably due to the fact that I usually use the lazy-girl technique of throwing in handfuls of leftover rotisserie chicken towards the end of soup-cooking.
Of course, I think any homemade chicken soup would have to be quite a few steps up from the canned condensed variety, with its tiny perfect cubes of rubbery chicken and noodles that practically dissolve on your tongue. Not naming any names, of course.
This looks great, except if I have a full chicken, I want to roast it, but use the leftovers and carcass for soup. Any ideas how to get enough flavor from the broth without a full 3 lbs of chicken?
You read my mind! This weekend I spent entirely too much time looking for a chicken soup recipe and came out empty handed! Thanks!
how necessary is the straining step? is clear broth an aesthetic thing or does it muck up the flavor?
I didn’t strain it because my mesh strainer died. Maybe it made the broth a little fattier, but nobody argues!
@LARA– NOW Foods makes a great TVP that is just like little shreds of chicken. Even my carni hubby likes it!!! http://goo.gl/o1B3b
Looks simply smashing! By the way, I saw these pictures and they reminded me: do you know that, here in Germany (where I live), they sell something called “Suppengrün” (soup greens) at every corner grocer? It is a little bundle of carrot, leek, parsley, celery root, and sometimes parsnip, tied together and ready for the chopping, to be used as an easy base for any soup.
There, don’t you wish you lived here now? I’m thinking I need to take the idea global. Although maybe having soup ingredients readily available might have something to do with the consistently below-freezing temperatures here from September to April….
That looks divine. I am a soup snob (definition: will usually only eat soup if it’s been homemade by my husband) and this sounds perfect. I have the same question as Lauren (#15) – when to remove the skin from the chicken. Can’t wait to give this a try, especially given that it’s a miserable, cold, rainy day here.
I love that you use parsnips and dill. I tend to use parsley sprigs during cooking, which I remove, then add chopped fresh dill before serving. I also add a few peels of lemon rind (sans pith, of course) to the mix. Something about the hint of lemon with the dill is too good. If you’re congested, some hot chilies, lemongrass and fresh ginger steeped in the the broth really does the trick.
I love soup … all kind of soups. I will try your recipe since it’s getting so cold here.
It looks and sounds delicious.
This looks like the perfect cure for the below 40 weather we’re having! Looking forward to seeing you in Chicago next month!!
yellebellyboo — It’s below 40 in Chicago already?! You’re scaring me. :)
Removing the chicken skin — Before you chop it. And then you can make cracklins’ with it — how awesome would that be for soup croutons?
I am so excited for this recipe, for the same reason you created it. My wittle toddler gets sick all the time!
My Aunt Sophie makes her chicken soup in an enamel roasting pan in the oven! Roasted Chicken Soup – it works. Best ever. Chewy dumplings instead of noodles.
Recipes which come for a need, a desire to fill our loved ones with goodness and make them healthy are my absolute favorite. They’re the backbone of eating. They’re the, “You matter to me,” gift. What an absolute delight to see how you took the time to fill your family with comfort and goodness.
Thank you for sharing. And, doesn’t Cooks Illustrated have the best tips? My favorite days are when the magazine arrives in the mail.
Chicken soup is my very most favorite food in the world. My grandma, who died when she was 97, made it best (even though my mom and I follow her recipe (so to speak – Grandma never wrote one out), we lack the requisite 80 years of experience that made hers so good). This looks very similar to hers. I’m glad to hear you’ve had a change of heart on chicken soup!
Re: chicken cracklins’: I’ve tried it. They’re awesome.
on the book page, some events have a cooking demo, short talk, q&a, etc. but others (toronto!) say “special presentation” – is it a surprise, or can your clarify what that will be?
Robyn — We’re still figuring out what those might be. It could be a cooking demo, a short talk or reading, Q&A, etc. I’m slowly replacing those with more details. In essence, I was hoping to have more than straight signings for people who go out of their way to show up.
I’m so relieved that you haven’t come up with some crazy-good envy-inducing version of this classic. I have my go-to recipe (in my head) and would have been humiliated if you had trounced me on this. When that first cold of the season arrives, I’m the one that heads to the market, not for a can-o-salt, but for a chicken, some carrots, onion, celery… I think the hours of simmering on the stove are part of the healing process; the air moist with medicine.
When I make chicken or turkey soup, I use the carcass of a roasted bird. I throw it back in to the oven to brown a bit before putting it into the pot. Once everything has boiled for a couple of hours, I am able to pull all the meat off the carcass that I could not get earlier. Mostly because everything falls apart – literally
Making your stock this way would make your inner depression era granny proud. Roast chicken dinner, left overs and soup all from one bird.
this is my go-to method for making chicken stock, too! I love that you still get flavor and color AND can use the meat. looking forward to making your soup this winter.
Wow. That looks really great. I haven’t made a chicken noodle soup in a long time, mostly because it never is all that good. I’ll have to try this. Thanks.
Ah. Suddenly I know what I’m doing this weekend. :)
First, if you are making chicken soup because someone is sick, then garlic isn’t really optional — it’s medicinal (and so is a pinch of red pepper).
For AmyK. In any typical week we roast a chicken. After it’s carved the roasted carcass goes into the crock pot with the uncooked gibblets, wing tips, a bay leaf, and enough water (depending on carcass size and meatiness) to cover. That goes on low overnight and is strained in the morning to make a lovely broth. We use this for all kinds of stuff during the week and freeze any extra. But if we are making soup, we start with the broth and some aromatics (garlic!). Veggies are added based on cooking time. The leftover meat from the roast gets deboned / skinned and then chopped and added at the end just to heat through (because it’s already cooked and you don’t want to dry it out. And if you are short on fresh veggies you can add a bag of frozen ones right at the end to heat as well (not as good but a workable solution if you have a house full of ick and a depleted larder). We prefer adding cooked brown rice to noodles, but that’s totally personal preference.
To me a roast chicken is automatically two meals.
I adore you. I love soup. I dislike chicken noodle soup; always have. This I will try though…you have never steered me wrong! now just get a Missouri stop on your booktour and my life will be oh so much better :)
Wow, this is almost step-by-step my chicken soup recipe! Only, I throw in a teaspoon of dried thyme. Fall finally hit us in CA with a nice rainshower last night and now I’m in full-on soup mode.
I love homemade chicken noodle soup! If i’m making it when i’m sick (or for someone else who’s sick) i like to add tons of onion, as well as finely diced seeded jalapeno and some fresh ginger. for some reason, some spice seems to make it work better! :-)
I don’t have a go-to chicken soup but I’m thinking yours will be it.
Can’t wait to meet you at one of the NYC signings!
I like to add just a little lemon zest and/or juice right before serving. Just brightens it up a lot. I got that from a lemon chicken orzo soup recipe I found in Cooking Light. I use it now in my chicken noodle soup. I never thought about adding parsnips. I will try that next time. I do agree an egg noodle is best. Thanks!
How about foam, instead of scum?
The only place my recipe is different is after the 20 minutes, I cool the chicken, remove the meat from the bones, put the bones back in the stock pot, add some carrots, celerly, parsley and whatever other herbs and spices, I have that day and simmer for hours on end. Then I cool, strain, add freshly cut veggies, and the noodles and chicken meat last. I learned this method from my Jewish father :) I used to make the noodles from scratch too, but not so much anymore.
I like the idea of cooking the noodles to order as you mentioned at the end. My mom and I do the same thing so that we always have al dente pasta in our soup bowls. We love freshly shaved parmesan cheese on top too! Can’t wait to try this with your recommended 1 tablespoon of dill. The last time I made chicken soup, I way over-dilled and made myself dill-ill.
You are not the only Chicken Noodle Soup hater out there. I’m in the boat with you. When I finally decided to make mine from scratch, it was for my husband, and not myself, so it had bowtie noodles, chicken, and an herbed hand made broth. That’s it. He is firmly against any cooked veggies, especially in soup – French onion excepted. This looks lovely for my daughter however. Her favorite soup is chicken noodle. Summer, winter or anywhere in between. Thanks for the tip about browning the chicken first before adding the water! How do you feel about the addition of 1/4 c. or so of dry sherry? I usually just use the spines and other leftover bits from a whole bird to make the broth so I’ll have to see how it works out. I am positive this soup is worth trying. After all, I was a tomato soup hater until you posted that WONDERFUL no cream roasted tomato soup with broiled cheddar recipe last September! Now I crave it on and off.
My dad makes his famous chicken and spaetzle very similarly. A veggie chicken saute (no carrots or parsnips but plenty of green peppers and garlic) a quart of tomatoes with the water and lots of paprika. Spaetzle cut from a plate the last 20 min of cooking. A little sour cream stirred in to up the richness. So good and a nice riff off of regular chicken soup.
I, too, made chicken stock yesterday, for the same reason. Sigh. As many of the above commented, I use the carcases from roast chickens. I always roast two birds at the same time. Next morning, I strip all the remaining meat off (generally enough for the soup plus one other dish/ meal) and set it aside, and the bones and skins go in the pot with carrot, onion, celery, etc., for four hours, then strained (solids discarded) I consider “making chicken stock” and “making soup” two different things, and it solves all the problems you listed. No wasted meat, no over-cooked dry chicken. Sometimes, like yesterday, I turn right around and make soup with the stock, adding fresh carrot and celery and shredded roast chicken (still nice and juicy!). Just as often, the stock goes to the freezer for later, frozen in either a large chunk or in 1-cup-sized portions for recipes.
Deb, I’m guilty as charged as those ppl who render their chicken unrecognizable in the quest of a really condensed soup, but in my defense I usually use scraps, chicken bones, pigs trotter and a piece of lower-grade prosciutto to make it. The trotter AND prosciutto is really what gives the soup its “stickiness” and flavor. I’m into lip-sticking soup… why do I feel weird saying that…?
Gah! Cracklins’ as soup croutons? You are my hero! And thanks for answering my question so quickly. :)
I’m a fan of sliced fresh mushrooms in chicken soup…this looks divine!
I am surprised that all you do is simmer the broth for 20minutes! I simmer mine for hours! (no boil) I also add vegetables about half-way and cook them with the meat.
The broth is super flavorful and I could never achieve this with before when I cooked it in an hour or so. Chicken soup needs time and you can taste it at the end.
Eating pureed veggie soup right now, which is awesome. But I think chicken noodle is in my future. As always, I love your pithy writing nearly as much as your uber-specific, thoroughly tested, and highly reliable recipes.
Two other things: 1) Can’t wait to get the skinny on additional autograph methods. Was going to ship my copy to my sister who lives in Oregon, only to learn that she’ll be visiting me in St. Louis on your Powell’s date. 2) What – oh what! – is a cracklin’??? (See your comment #33.) This sounds like something I must learn of!!
Looks like what’s for dinner, modified for vegetarians of course!
Oh, this soup! It sounds lovely. Snowflakes started flying here this morning, so I think I’d better put this on my to-make list, STAT.
This looks amazing! Usually when I make chicken soup I start off using a whole chicken and remove the skin, just barely cover it with water and simmer it with some browned veggies until it’s just cooked through. This really cuts down on the scum skimming and the fat in the soup. However, the color of your broth looks so deep and delicious I might have to give this method a try. I never know what to do with the extra chicken skin anyway:).
I had to chime in here! We do love chicken noodle soup but you know what is also really good? Skip the noodles and drop dumplings into the soup! My youngest daughter loves this and the dumplings are gone way before the soup is gone. So then what? The next day heat the remaining soup to boiling and drop in a second batch of dumplings and I almost think it tastes better on day two!
We use a similar recipe with onions, carrots, celery, chicken, etc. so try the dumpling idea!
First thanks for this recipe. I do have a “go to” chicken soup recipe including matzoh balls-and my family loooves it, but this seems tastier and EASIER.
THANK YOU so much for adding a book tour stop in Montclair at Anthropologie. I was going crazy thinking and planning one of the city dates with a friend of mine but this location works out perfectly and then we could dine at our favorite sushi restaurant to boot. Also, loving the fact that I didn’t have to buy your book at the store since I pre-ordered it months ago!! Can’t wait to meet you!!
Bingo on browning things in the pan a little first- my chicken soup really took off when I realized that gem. It always seemed watery before. I also throw in a little turmeric to give it that golden, canned soup color that makes my family think it tastes better ;).
Deb, thanks for taking the time to go out of your way to meet us! It was nice and chilly in Austin and now back to 90. Ugh. I double dog dare you to put cracklins’ on your soup ;)
Forgot to add: for those looking to kick a cold, forget adding garlic to the broth! Grate one clove directly into a bowl of soup or a mug of chicken broth, then eat or drink it ALL. Do this once or twice a day for a few days and it will kill any cold.
A suggestion to make things easier….roast a chicken, and serve it for dinner.
After dinner, remove the rest of the meat from the carcass, put it in the fridge and put the carcass (and neck, and all the liquid and scrapings you can get out of the roasting pan) in a pot with water and anything else you want. Simmer it until bedtime, strain it and put it in the fridge overnight. The fat rises to the top and solidifies, and the next day you have broth, and leftover cooked chicken meat, and turning it into soup is easy. The roasted chicken tastes good in the soup, and the roasted carcass is nice and brown and makes a flavorful broth.
Of course, this works best if your family is small enough that you have leftover meat after roasting a chicken, but you can always do two, or throw some other parts in the oven at the same time.
I’ve heard if you over salt soup, you can toss in a peeled potato cut up into a few pieces and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The potato will absorb the extra salt without changing the flavor of the soup, and you can just scoop out the potato pieces and toss them before serving. Saved from soup-salting regret!
When I was sick as a kid and my mom made me eat chicken noodle soup I thought it was a punishment. I told her this as an adult she rather reasonably asked why I didn’t give her a heads up all those years ago…But since this is you and because it would make my chicken soup starved husband so very happy I think I’ll give your version a shot!
Ahh, this looks delicious – I will be bookmarking it and making it when it cools down a bit in Los Angeles! And I know what you mean about Chicken Noodle Soup that has been kept warm and mass produced – I never used to be able to stand the stuff they served us up at my boarding school, but since I’ve been making it myself it has become one of my favourite Autumn/ Winter dishes. At the moment I’m making it Thai Style!
Good timing! Cold season is upon us. I like that you lightly browned the chopped chicken. I do that, too, because I prefer chunks of chicken in my soup rather than shreds. I roast chicken often for various uses so I break down the carcus after removing the meat and stash it in the freezer until I need to make stock’ I brown it in the oven a bit first than simmer it wth sauteed vegs and herbs. I’m not above useing canned broth, but for chicken soup, homemade stock is my preference. I also put my noodles in the individual bowls at serving. Nothing worse than swollen, soggy noodles that suck up all the broth from the leftovers. Got a common cracker or oyster cracker recipe to go with?
Looks and sounds like the perfect go-to chicken soup recipe. I’ve actually never made homemade chicken soup, but as the temps are dropping, I just may have to give it a try with this recipe!
This is the perfect cure for my poor mister who is suffering from a cold, this couldn’t have come at a better time!
Orzo is a great noodle for soups! It doesn’t slide out of the spoon easily.
Perfect timing! I have one of those half-colds that always strike with rainy season in Mexico City. Making this for lunch today.
I’m much like you! I hate the grey pieces of chicken and rubbery noodles that you usually find in chicken noodle soup. This homemade version sounds delightful. Your sick guys are lucky to have you!
(as a side note, I love the idea above of using orzo!)
I admit that I take the long route when I make stock, but nothing goes to waste because the cooked meat and vegetables that don’t hit the soup, end up in the dogs’ food, and that pleases them, which, naturally, pleases me. Your soup looks picture perfect.
I’m with you on the discarding the chicken thing! I’ve also looked at a couple of veggie broth recipes and was horrified each time at the vast amounts of vegetables that get cooked and thrown out to make 2 quarts worth of broth. Eek.
Chicken noodle soup has never looked so appealing! I think it’s the egg noodles? They look gorgeous. …and not mushy, like how I usually think of the noodles in chicken noodle soup. (I’ve never actually made it with noodles; only with rice.) I guess the trick is to only cook them al dente?
Thankyouthankyouthankyou! I was *just* dreaming of chicken noodle soup this week! Thank you for figuring it out in avance. I will be making this shortly.
I just make CN soup last week for my son, who was feeling puny. My grandchildren call it magic soup and always ask for it when they’re sick. I’ll use your recipe next time for sure. BTW, I preordered your cookbook, and can’t wait to get it!
I had to chime in here. In Israel, chicken soup NOT made from scratch is a rarity. Even during our years in the States, my mom never ever made chicken soup from store-bought stock. Alas, some years ago, after becoming a mother myself, I began searching for that one perfect recipe too, even though I’d been making good enough soup for years. I found it in Sherry Ansky’s (http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Ansky/e/B001JX1YRA) cookbook, “Food” (in Hebrew, sorry). She has been the reigning queen of Israeli cooking for many years and her recipe is so simple and so delicious, I now know why. Basically, you generously line the bottom of the pot with big, fresh sprigs of parsley and dill. On top of that you place your chicken (just wings, or a whole chicken cut up, and a turkey neck will also add a nice punch), on top of that you layer your vegetables (carrots, onions, zucchini, potatoes), and you layer these very tightly. A few whole peppercorns, a scant teaspoon of sugar, a bit of salt. 6 cups of water, no more, even if the veggies are not completely covered – she stresses this is crucial to maintaining flavor. Bring to a gentle boil, never a rough boil, remove the fats that rise to the surface, and cook on a gentle simmer for about 1-1/2 hrs. Remove the herbs, otherwise they will cloud the liquid. It takes 15 mins to put together, and it is really the best from-scratch chicken soup I have ever tasted, and trust me, I’ve tasted many. Really, this is one you must try.
This looks so delicious and nourishing as the cold season has made its way through our home. Chicken noodle soup is a staple this time of year! Next time I will try with the parsnip, I am sure it will taste amazing.
I also have never been a chicken noodle soup lover, which I strongly believe harkens back to that canned garbage some folks like to feed to kids (I always asked for TOMATO soup, yes also canned *shameface*, when I was sick). HOWEVER, my family’s answer to chicken soup has never been turned down. Basic chicken broth with carrots, onions, celery and SLICED (very important) garlic with a few poached, chopped chicken thighs added in and meat tortellini instead of plain noodles. Sooo good. And, it’s possible that we are totally morally bankrupt uncouth midwestern folk, but this soup is always topped off with green can (horrors!) parmesan cheese.
I love chicken soup and your recipe looks amazing! I must try it. Maybe I will add some frozen peas.
I wonder what the best substitute for the chicken is. I usually use lentils, but would probably want to cook them in advance. Thank you for the ideas!
Deb your soup is picture perfect! Literally! The images are so sharp and clear, I want to reach thru the screen and take a bite! Beautiful soup!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe! I too thought I didn’t like chicken soup (but was too embarrassed to ever admit it — that’s like saying you don’t like apple pie or ice cream…). I’m going to make this on the first not hot day here in Southern California.
Also, here’s a great recipe for garlic soup that really hits the spot for us when someone is sick: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/richard-olneys-garlic-soup-recipe.html
It’s nice to be able to make soup again. I have always loved chicken noodle soup; my mom made it with homemade noodles and they were so yummy. I’ve done it too and it’s not that hard. I’m so glad you’re coming to my city!! See you in a few weeks!
I always find that noodles soak up all of the broth in a soup and leave a large mass of bloated pasta. Is cooking the noodles separately to order the only way to avoid this?
I made homemade chicken and matzo ball soup on Sunday as well! Was it ever good! Gave the L.O.’s to my Dad – but first we both had a bowl ourselves. YUUUUUUM! I never tire of chicken soup. Plus the chicken made GREAT chicken salad which we had on the side!
Ivy: using crockpot to make stock = mind blown! My veggie scraps always collect in the freezer, waiting for me to have a “free day” when I have time to babysit the stovetop. (You can imagine how often that actually occurs.) Not any more! :)
This looks delicious, and timely. It’s rainy & chilly in Vermont today, and I too was searching endlessly online last week when the season’s first colds were circulating. I came up empty-handed, so this will now be printed and added to the recipe arsena for this winter. Thank you.
I’m having a bad cold these days, so my mom brought me some chicken soup that she made! And I’m no 3 yr old… It seems that no matter how old the child, the mother still feels the need to do something to help when her baby isn’t feeling well.
Rainy weekend ahead and this will be made!
Years ago my aunt made Chicken Noodle Soup for one of those ‘the entire family tree wandering through the house’ weekends.
I bragged on her creation (homemade, hand cut noodles, finished with milk and sliced hard boiled eggs) and happily ate bowl after bowl. She really couldn’t understand my amazement, not realizing that my mother had never made this soup for my sister and me, always just feeding us Campbell’s. Apparently this soup was something they always made growing up, so it’s not as though my mom didn’t know how.
(I, for one, have always loathed Campbell’s CNS, that orange grease blob on top just grosses me out. I rue the day that Campbell’s quit making Chicken and Stars the way they used to (with a clear cornstarchy broth) and started just putting stars in the horrifying CNS base. Bleargh!)
I love this recipemore for its inclusion of parsnips than its convenience. Absolutely need to make this…
Its getting cold! Time to get under a blanket and have some soup! :)
Great post, love this stuff!
I’m not a real chicken soup person myself, but this looks worthy of a try!
Maybe I could get my wifey to make that for me the next time i am sick ;)
This is very similar to my old family Chicken Noodle Soup recipe (courtesy of my godmother) There’s nothing like it for curing a cold…it IS the Jewish Penicillin after all :)
We tried the recipe from Joy of Cooking recently, and it just wasn’t the same.
Re: Book Tour – Since you’re not coming anywhere near me in Phoenix, I’ve decided to come to you in Seattle (the fact that I happen to have a work-related meeting in Seattle the same day is purely coincidential). PS – I promise I’m not stalker. :o)
Awesome stuff, Deb! I make a lot of soup, always with homemade chix stock. For stock, i use two or three rotisserie chix carcasses I’ve accumulated and frozen plus all the scraps from the cleaned leeks, carrots and celery I chopped for the previous batch of soup. Yep, I save all the carrot peels, celery leaves, root ends, green tops of leeks etc, cleaned and frozen, to use in stock. No waste at all. And delish stock.
My MIL taught me to use thighs. The meat stays moist, the large bones add lots of flavor and there are no small bone to pick out.
Book Tour I have two things
Radio: Faith Middleton wnpr
Book Store: The Hickory Stick Book Store Washington Depot Ct
I’m posting for the first time after following your blog for several months, because just recently I had been wishing for a good chicken noodle soup recipe. You have fulfilled my wish, so thank you very much.
Also, I wanted to assure you that you aren’t the only one who has problems with the slippery, skinny noodles. They fall off the spoon and collect in unappealing masses in the bottom of the bowl. Fat noodles are the only way to eat chicken noodle soup, in my opinion!
Wow! I’ve also never liked chicken and noodle soup, but it’s not very popular in Australia, so that was never too much of a shock for everyone else to handle.
My go-to sick soup is Chinese chicken and sweetcorn, which I make from scratch. My SO isn’t keen on the local versions (or soup in general), so I make a thick, flavoursome, chunky version with lots of chicken and some spring onions. He loves it!
Oh, and this looks amazing.
This is also just in time for Halloween! Growing up, my sisters and I would stay out trick or treating in the freezing Chicago suburbs until our hands were too cold to hold the candy. And when we came back, my mom always had a giant pot of Chicken Noodle Soup waiting on the stove for us and half the neighborhood. She made it with many of the same techniques (big noodles, saute the veggies before adding to the stock) and it wasn’t until recently that I realized that other people didn’t make it that way!
I have been such a fan of your site for several years, but have been too bashful to comment. This soup sounds so enticing, especially as I hear it starting to rain outside. Tarragon is a lovely taste in chicken noodle soup, and I’ve found that really cheap egg noodles, like from the dollar store, keep their noodle integrity incredibly well in soup, even reheated. Maybe they’re well-aged or something but it’s remarkable and they’re tasty. But mostly I’m commenting because Oh! Oh! Oh! I just saw that review of your cookbook in TIME MAGAZINE!! I’m so proud!!
Congratulations and I can’t wait!
A trick that I use to keep the noodles from getting soggy (especially if you want leftovers, like I do), is to cook the noodles separately (sometimes I do this in stock or salted water) and add a handful of cooked noodles to every bowl of ladled soup.
This looks so comforting!
I want this right now so so much! What a perfect classic Fall soup!
Just a few weeks ago I wanted to make a chicken noodle soup but every recipe I found wanted me to discard the meat and I was like … WHAT?! The recipe I ended up following wanted me to just discard the dark meat but I LOVE the dark meat so after a while I fished it out with the bones and picked out the precious dark meat in an attempt to rescue it.
It was quite pitiful.. and I swore I would never make soup again. … And then you updated your blog xD Now im like YAH I CAN DO IT! Will try this out this weekend! Thanks!
This looks great! I’m guilty of starting my chicken noodle soup with store bought broth because it’s fast and easy. I always thought making homemade broth would just be harder than this. I will definitely give this a try in the next couple weeks!
I add a peeled sweet potato cut into large chunks as I cook the soup. I discard it before adding the other vegetables–it adds beautiful color and a lovely sweetness to the broth! Can’t wait for your book Deb–huge fan.
Classic chicken soup – I can almost smell it. I’m glad you used parsnips – very eastern europe, The only place I take issue is the lack of dill. It ads just the right amount of freshness to what is a rich dish. Beautiful, anyway.
Oops. Disregard previous posting. Apologies.
For all the vegetarians out there, I make this with chickpeas instead of chicken. Lovely, nostalgia inducing, delicious, and veggie-friendly! :)
Chicken soup is a perfect meal when you do a lot of distance running! Never underestimate the power of a chicken soup!
I’m not a huge fan of chicken noodle soup either, but this has me curious now that you’re a fan of it, too. It was always so boring and dry despite being soupy. Definitely not comforting!
Just put your Portland book tour stop on the calendar!
Regarding one of your previous replies in the comments (#33), please please PLEASE tell me you’re going to do a post on how to make the cracklins’ soon!
Yes everyone has their version of chicken noodle soup – to me you have to add parsnip or parsley root – it gives it a little extra flavor. I know you put option but it is a must :) It just gives that extra delicious flavour. Ohh and you forgot 1/2 bottle of white wine too :) I make this soup weekly – it’s a must have in my refrigerator!
My mother’s famous chicken soup calls for cooking all the chicken parts with all of the vegetables (cut into relatively large chunks), which eliminates the straining part, but is more or less congruent with your recipe. Her coup de grace, however, is at the end: a bunch of parsley, a bunch of dill and the leaves from the celery root (all of which are clean after being soaked) are placed ON the surface of the soup, then covered with the lid of the pot while the soup cooks on a high heat for 10 minutes. Remove the green, let them cool down, and then SQUEEZE the liquids out of it and add to the pot. This imparts a pure classic chicken soup taste – it is unbelievably good! Try it, you’ll like it….
Ohhh nice, thanks for this recipe! All broth in the Netherlands have MSG in them, and I don’t handle that very well. I tried to make my own a couple of weeks ago, but it was bland :(. No way of fixing that with salt, either. So now I reaaaallly want to try this :D
recently, I have started making my own egg noodles :-) can I use fresh ones or do you recommend dry noodles?
Fab recipe, thank you – often on the look-out for the perfect chicken soup and it can get overwhelming (or rather, underwhelming). One thing I always struggle with is yielding enough (still flavoursome) liquid for large numbers of people… any tips on making this as a big batch? And please come to London, UK for the book tour!
I start my chicken soup by throwing a chicken in a pot, seasoning it, and roasting it for an hour and a half, or until it gets really dark, cooked and slightly caramelized. This obviously, becomes the broth. I then cook everything that’s going in to the soup separately, because I don’t want carrots to make the soup slight sweet, and I don’t want the flavors of the other ingredients to etiolate the broth. A superb broth is the secret to chicken soup. The onne exception to this might be celery. It compliments the broth.
An all-American classic. I so need it right now as I have the worst cold ever and as my Nan used to say there’s nothing quite like a cup of hot chicken soup to deal with a bad cold!
I have tried a few different recipes for chicken soup lately. Yours is definitely right up there at the top flavourwise. I think the parsnips are the secret weapon!
As a kid I was totally opposite. As four years olds, my twin sister and I sat in the backseat of our grandparent’s car on a trip to Florida, broadcasting our order for Cambell’s chicken noodle soup and it most definitely had to be CCNS or we would cry ( story told by our grandmother — I couldn’t possibly remember that far back). As an adult I can’t stand the stuff, red and white can or an imposter. I will try your recipe as soon as we have a cold (cool) Texas night.
Deb, I hope this doesn’t get buried on line, but Time Magazine’s print issue dated 10/14/12, reviewing best fall reading, has your book reviewed as one of six top-rated cookbooks coming out. I don’t agree with the reviewer’s comment about presentation, but definitely agree that your book is a winner! Can’t wait to get my copy!
I make my broth with the leftover bones from my roast chicken, then pretty much do what you do with fresh chicken to make the soup. Makes the broth supper flavorful, and you still get chicken worth eating.
I love your blog, your recipes, and you! And, I agree with your criticisms of many chicken soup recipes. However, that said, I must say I quite disagree with this recipe, too! (Sorry!) My method makes a much tastier broth (the best part of chicken soup, IMHO). I agree with your method up to the part where you cook the chicken for 20 minutes, etc., etc. What I recommend is to remove the chicken after 20 minutes to prevent it from overcooking. When cool, remove it from the bones, and add the bones back to the broth, and cook away for several more hours. Proceed with the recipe according to your directions. I think you’ll be delighted with the results. Now you have a rich, flavorful stock. Better yet, buy some additional chicken necks and backs, and add them to the stock for an even richer flavor.
I wholeheartedly understand this. I grew up with mom and grandma, boiling the whole chicken, tearing the meat off or roasting and tearing then boiling the carcass, whichever. The noodles were home made and the vegetables were generally yanked outta the garden or a local market.
I too am suspicious of canned anything when making soups. I’m not above using canned broth when I need it fast but for a homemade down to earth chicken noodle soup…scratch is grabbin’ the axe.
I just used this recipe to make my very first chicken soup from scratch EVER! I’ve been reading your blog for at least 5 years now and it’s been hard for me to make a lot of your recipes because I live in Japan, but cold season has come with the change of the seasons so I knew I had to make this. Thank you so much for revealing the secret behind awesome broth! My dad has been making chicken stock for years but I don’t think he browns everything first… I feel like I gave him a run for his money on my very first try, thanks to you :)
Love how simple this recipe sounds. My mom is a huge chicken soup fan and it always amazes me how quickly she too can whip up a flavorful soup in such a short time. You’ve given me added hope that can try making soup from scratch!
The Epicurious “old fashioned” chicken noodle soup recipe has nothing on your recipe, Deb! I love the deep, rich color of the broth. I haven’t made chicken noodle soup in years, and now that it finally feels like Fall here in Maryland I am in the mood to make soup. I can’t wait to make this!
Done in about an hour? I’ve got to try this.
This is chicken noodle soup perfection!
Completely off topic, but I wanted to thank you for your end column in Martha Stewart. It’s nice to know I’m not the only pregnant woman who hasn’t been reading books and websites and buying stuff. People keep asking me what I’ve been doing to prepare and all I can answer is “um, nothing really. Taking vitamins and eating more avocado?”
Love it, reading edna lewis – The Gift of Southern Cooking now and just made chicken soup in the crock pot with little water and broth to braise and cook in one pot – one step. Wanted to add that my little had no use for chicken soup either – but when I added alphabet noodles, well then she had 3 bowls!
I use the bones from a roasted chicken (which my family has eaten the night before). I add water to the bones in a dutch oven and cook for at least an hour. Then I discard the bones and strain the soup. Then, in a sauté pan, I sauté onions and garlic, and add to the soup broth. Then I add fennel, carrots, celery, and cook until soft. Sometimes instead of fennel, I will add cabbage. Both cabbage and fennel give the soup an added sweetness that my family likes. Then season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme and that’s it. Sometimes I also add frozen organic corn and peas. And sometimes, either red potatoes, or fresh pasta cut into noodles. I make it a point to freeze as much as I can so I have a stockpile of homemade chicken soup in my freezer for winter. Sometimes I just make the broth (with one onion, carrot, celery and fennel) and freeze that and use it for dinner with added frozen cheese ravioli as a quick dinner. The variations are endless.
Thank you SO much for your wonderful blog, your writing is as enticing as your excellent recipes. You make my life better, and more delicious!
Is it the browning of the chicken that helps you achieve the brown stock colouring in 20 minutes? I feel like I simmer stock all damn day and can’t get that depth of colour!
Jules — Yes, the browning of the onion and chicken gets you that stunning color with no tumeric (something I saw suggested in a few recipes for color) or bouillon cube (ditto). The onions brown a bit as the chicken cooks.
Jessiet — I agree that adding the bones back and cooking them forever is a fantastic technique that can really add a depth of flavor. But what I thought was so important to communicate here was that you can make chicken soup in an hour from scratch with incredible flavor! When it’s a weekday night and your whole family is coming down with a cold, this is a glorious trick to know.
Sue T — Thank you!
Asmita — You should of course use fresh egg noodles if you have them around. But then you must share with me!
nitnelion — Awww. I wish I could come to Phoenix too.
elizabeth — That shouldn’t happen here. However, I note in the recipe that cooking the noodles and vegetable are part of the finishing + serving process, i.e. you don’t keep cooking them forever so that they get gummy or the vegetables turn to mush. You cook them right before you serve them so they’re always perfect in the bowl.
Éowyn — Sherry would be a delicious way to deglaze the pan after browning because some chicken parts and onion will indeed stick (that fond is part of the color and flavor).
Denise — Foam is much nicer! So, my attachment to the awful word “scum” comes from Anne Burrell, whose FN show I always adored. She puts this code into your head and it stuck: BTB + RTS + STS. (Bring to boil + reduce to simmer + skim the scum.) That’s pretty much the routine for all stocks and anything else you cook at a simmer.
Love this soup! I love it so much that I just preordered your book… can’t wait to receive it :)
I just made a double batch of thick, dark, golden turkey broth yesterday from Thanksgiving leftovers (alas, no meat left on that carcass) – I’ll have to give this a try! I made chicken noodle soup early in my pregnancy and now the thought of it disgusts me, but I want to get over that. Such good comfort food, and it’s supposed to pour rain all weekend. Good timing!
Not sure if someone else has already mentioned but here are a few of my tips…I roast chicken and veggies (just wash veggies. leave the skins for maximum nutrition. I also include a whole garlic clove) Drizzle with olive oil and roast til brown. Put everything in a stock pot and cover with water. Simmer until chicken is done. Take out chicken and remove meat. Add bones back in and simmer for about an hour. Roasting gets the broth richer tasting and colors up beautifully. Simmering the bones releases the gelatin to add even more richness.
As far as noodles – I use Barrilla elbows. Cook them separately and rinse with cold water. Put in baggies in the fridge. I keep some pre-cooked for easy meals and my daughter loves to snag a handful of them for quick mac and cheese after school snack.
When my husband and I were courting (do people still use that word?) I came down with a terrible cold and he made me chicken soup – from scratch – leaving the whole chicken in the pot. It was the best I’d ever tasted. You are so right – you must keep that chicken in the pot!
Deb, this looks delicious! It reminds me of Alice Waters’s recipe from “In the Green Kitchen,” which is my go-to chicken soup recipe. She adds a squeeze of lemon right at the end, which I really like. I’ve thrown a slice or two of ginger root into the stock before as well, which seems to be especially helpful when I have a cold. I just wanted to share these two ideas in case you wish to try them next time you make it! Thanks for the recipe and for such a great blog.
I love a good home-made chicken soup, especially with, another option, Matzo Balls! And, of course, when someone is sick with a cold nothing else will do. While it is true that there are many recipes available, my go to recipe has to have a leak and must have the dill simmering in the cooking soup. The limp cooked dill can be removed at the end of cooking and some fresh added to each bowl for presentation, but the dill cooking in the soup imparts a flavor that if left out leaves the soup incomplete to me. The leak also adds some depth to the flavor that the onion alone does not. All that being said, I have never tried your method of browning the chicken first, so maybe I will try that next time.
I love this browning the meat first trick!! Must try next time I don’t have time to make soup with a whole chicken, which is how I typically do these things….I will also suggest that using extra necks and backs from the butcher (you can keep a stash in the freezer) will add a lot of body and flavor to the stock. However, that being said, you have to prep for defrosting those suckers which defeats the purpose of the hour long chicken soup…..will definitely give yours a try!!! Safe travels and looking forward to meeting you in San Francisco!
Thanks for the super ideas to improve chicken soup. I have never sauted the chicken first, but will try it next time, I’m sure it will make a big difference. My mother in law taught me to always save my vegetable juices, in the freezer, to use in chicken soup rather than water–that also makes a big difference in the flavor!
I love you! I just bought two whole birds and hubby wanted to stick them in the crock pot for later use, but me thinks a chicken-noodle soup is in order!!! The weather here in Washington is very cold and gloomy and the rains are on their way tomorrow. This soup looks quite delicious!
Also, I liked the idea of rainbow carrots in a comment because I have some to harvest. And, I’ve never used parsnips, so this will give me a chance to try them.
I LOVE chicken noodle soup….in sickness or in health :)
I also do not care for chicken noodle soup. I just don’t like noodles in my soup. So last weekend I made my own soup that happened to be almost exactly like this recipe, including browning the chicken, except I used more veggies and no noodles. In addition to the onion I used one cup each (diced) of: carrots, celery, turnip, and asparagus, plus a heaping cup of sliced cabbage. I had red cabbage on hand, but white would have been better color-wise, and it sort of takes the place of noodles in my mind. I was going to use green beans, but I had extra asparagus on hand, so I just added in the last few minutes. I like the vegetable-y flavor/potato-y texture that the turnip brings to the party. I suppose it was really a vegetable soup with chicken in it.
I have made homemade chicken soup for years – something I always add at the very end is a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. It just seem to lift all the flavours and is amazingly fresh tasting!
Hi – I am curious. When you are trying out a new recipe, how many times do you make the recipe and/or variations of it? If you make it more than once, or it flops, what do you do with all the food?
This is how we make our soup too. I (my husband really, he makes the soup) saute all the veggies going into the soup not just the onion. The carrots, leeks, parsnips – they all get a nice saute too. His other secret is that he uses cilantro instead of dill. He doesn’t like dill. Not sure that if I had known that before we married, I would have gone through with it. How can you not like dill? Especially in chicken soup?
I’ve never been a fan of chicken noodle soup, either. In fact, the only time I ever want it or enjoy it is when I’m terribly sick. I’ll have to give this a try though, sometime, if only to be able to make it for when the hubby is sick.
Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock have an amazing cookbook called The Gift of Southern Cooking. It is fabulous ad has lots of good tips like browning the chicken.
I like my chicken soup with a bit of a sweet taste which I usually get from carrots. However, my hubby hates vegetables in his soup, so I make the broth and strain out the cooked veg. I find that the soup isn’t as sweet as I’d like, that it needs more carrots than husband will endure. My solution is to cheat, just a bit. I add organic baby food carrots to the broth. As long as the ingredient list is just carrots and maybe some vitamin C to preserve the color, I figure it’s all to the good and adds color, flavor, and some healing C to the mix.
If you brown the chicken with the skin on and then remove the skin when you add the chicken to the soup, how does the browning help?
And sad that Louisiana is still not getting the Smitten Kitchen tour. It makes me resent Texas so much!
This is a super duper legit way to a chicken noodle soup, I must say. I am appalled as to how many soups start with the broth as well. But on the bright side I love how you brown the onions and chicken first. I have never done that, I sweat a mire poix, but I never browned. I have to brown, I love the flavor it gives off, thank you for that. I am super excited about your book tour, AND you are coming to Portland. AND I have class that afternoon until 5 two blocks away from Powells. So that is pretty amazing! Can I mention it is a Chocolates and Confections class at my culinary school two blocks away, so I may bringing freshly made goodies from that awesome class? I am so excited!
What I absolutely love about your interpretation is the simplicity (and, admittedly, I have all of the ingredients sitting in my refrigerator and pantry now!)
It was quite pitiful.. and I swore I would never make soup again. …
Hmm. I don’t love chicken noodle, either, come to think of it — I think the issue is in the chicken, which rarely has a nice texture or flavor after being used to make soup. However, I have a cold right now and this is looking mighty good. Though really what I want is my mom’s chicken and dumplings.
It is getting a little freaky how you are INSIDE MY HEAD! The weather turned here in DC too, and I bought chicken noodle soup from the local deli and swore that this winter would be the one during which I figured out how to make good (but simple) chicken noodle soup. Thanks for the recipe!
Deb, sounds very close to my recipe, except try adding a shake or two of red pepper flakes to the initial stock (the husks of which will get strained out in the strain phase) to add a hint of sinus clearing heat if making for adults. Also, can you someday sample the ‘cracklin’ chicken skin’ for us? I’ve seen it on some of the trendier blogs/menus, but wonder if there is any process besides baking to render the fat involved? Hope your two boys feel better anon!
My family loves chicken soup…noodles, rice or matzo ball. I learned some tricks from Joan Nathan. Break as many of the chicken bones as possible to get the most flavor, never let it boil (only the lowest simmer for 20 min), add a whole onion with the skin on (this makes the broth dark & rich), and never add the noodles, rice or matzo balls to the broth until you serve.
Deb – are you telling us readers that you get that rich brown soup after the chicken being in the pot for 20 minutes?
Don’t forget kreplach! Deb – maybe consider adding a recipe?! Good kreplach made with briskets and carmelized onions. Nothing better. Can use wonton wrappers if you do not want to make pasta dough
Thank you for the idea! I was stuck for dinner tonight and now I’m cooking. I’m twisting it with ginger, garlic and bok choy – all from my CSA! – and will serve with soba noodles (cooked separately) and Sriracha. I’ve done this before with a whole chicken and the family loves it – my easy, American ramen. Instant switch from dinner failure to dinner star. Thanks again.
that is lovely, will go weel with my vin marquis, a fruity fortified wine, then winter can blow in.
I was so disappointed that you are coming to Toronto when I will be gone…good to hear it had to move to a bigger location. The people at George Brown are awesome. So looking forward to your book! One of my sons, is doing pickup duty while I’m away…couldn’t take the chance I would miss out on the first printing.
We love your recipes….they work!!! Have shared with friends and family all over the US, Canada and Caribbean. Your lime coconut cake has replaced my old brownie recipe (it was pretty da**m good) as the fave of one old friends in the Caribbean. Have fun on your book tour!
This looks like the perfect noodle chicken soup to me! Love the idea of browning the chicken and onions first. I think this would be also a wonderful base for chicken and dumplings :).
I made this soup last night and it is very, very good. @Louise 174 – yes, the broth was indeed that rich and brown after only 20 minutes of simmering!
I too liked the rainbow carrot idea, and when I headed out to the store I picked up a bunch with orange, yellow, and purple. I decided to use the yellow and purple as I had already chopped up a red pepper. *chortles* It’s a good thing my family has a sense of humor – even the *chicken* came out purple! We were snickering throughout dinner, in between making yummy sounds.
YAYYYYYY!!! I’m so excited that you’re going to Bridgewater! I work in Bridgewater, live up in Morris county, and really didn’t want to drive into the city and now I don’t have to!
Also, I’ve also always hated chicken noodle soup, but I’m sure yours is mighty delicious. I’ll have to try it soon.
I am staggered — maybe I’m not the only one; I didn’t read all 182 preceding comments — but I am staggered to learn that people make soup with raw chicken. No wonder it’s unsatisfying. Browning is good, but why not just freeze the carcasses of your roasted chickens (or turkeys) until it’s soup-making time? Better yet, toss them in pots, make the broth, reduce it, and freeze THAT for quick, convenient, delicious homemade soup any time.
Read this recipe on a foggy, wet, cold, Northern California morning and headed to the grocery store for chicken and vegetables. Loved the idea of browning the chicken. My stock turned out a beautiful rich color but alas, was utterly tasteless and almost greasy. Very disappointed but at least I have a nice supply of chicken for pot pies. Sorry but I’m going back to Ina’s recipe for chicken stock even though there is some waste of chicken, her stock is so amazing.
Alas, still no Phoenix tour date. I have a “Woo-hoo, I’m done nursing the baby!” trip to LA planned in January; I doubt I could convince the the baby sitter (Dad) that another trip is to be planned for a book signing. I suppose I will have to wait for your alternative book signing methods. :)
I made my own egg noodles last time I made chicken soup–such an easy step that elevated it so much. I also freeze the carcasses from old roast chickens–you get the browned flavor, and no chicken wasting.
this looks so yummy! doesn’t hurt that it was rainy and overcast earlier today (aka soup weather!).
Thanks for dinner tonight! :-)
It took me closer to 2 hours from the time I started cutting up veggies to the time I soup in my bowl, but I suspect some of that is because it’s a new to me recipe.
Things I love: the noodles and veg aren’t all mushy, the color of the broth, leftover chicken for lunch tomorrow, simple but still flavorful. My husband, who doesn’t like onions and will pick them out of everything, really likes that the onions got strained out and thrown away. I love this broth method and will totally use it from now on!
It felt like I used a whole bunch of dishes, but that might also be due to the new recipe. I’ll have to see if I feel that way next time.
Thanks for the recipe!
Every time I roast a chicken or cook (bone-in) breasts, I freeze the bones. To make stock, saute all or part of an onion (depending how many bones you have — about one per chicken), add the bones, cover with water & add a bay leaf or two. You can toss in carrots, celery, peppercorns etc but really sauteed onion and bay leaf is all it needs. Simmer a couple-few hours, until it smells good. If I need meat for soup, I often simmer a bone-in chicken breast in the broth for 20-30 minutes, just until poached, then cool and add those bones to the pot too, & cool the chicken for later. I usually strain & chill the broth overnight to separate out the fat, & saute veggies & boil noodles separately b/c it’s easier. If freezing, I use an ice cube tray to make small frozen portions.
It took me so long to figure this recipe out, but literally, if you have some chicken bones, & can chop and saute an onion & boil water (& have bay leaves), you can make very good chicken stock!
There’s a good vegetarian “chicken” broth in Laurel’s Kitchen Caring (a great cookbook about nourishing people when they are sick, covering a variety of ailments) that uses some yellow split peas along with veggies to create a protein rich broth as a base for your fake chicken soup. For illnesses I tend to gravitate towards a ginger/garlic rich Asian broth with Sriracha added.
I will definitely pass this recipe on to my omnivore friends. :)
Deb, how do you dice your vegetables so perfectly? Do you have a special trick or do you just do it by hand?
Thanks for this – have made it today for when we return from a chilly all-day fishing trip tomorrow! It looks and smells divine and just perfect for fall!
I came to the last page of my October issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine and saw a picture of amazing looking brownies. I had to read the article, mostly to find out if the recipe was listed there. Sadly, it was not, but I immediately went to my computer and with a brief search I found YOU! What an amazing website!
It’s been two days and I’ve already made two of your recipes (one being the cheesecake brownies in the article. Great story too!). I have read several different posts and have laughed out loud. I love your blog and I cannot wait to try more recipes from you, including this wonderful looking chicken noodle soup.
Me again, the other recipe I tried was the Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I wanted to wait until they were cooled until I wrote a comment. I followed the recipe exactly for the first time and they’re probably the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. I’m always looking for different recipes because the chocolate chip cookie can really vary in taste even if the ingredients are similar. These are truly slightly crispy and chewy. AMAZING!
Baked chicken is a staple in our household for the kids (and ok, also for our dog who didn’t get to be 17.5 yrs old eating canned dog food…) so we save the bones in a gallon ziploc bag in the freezer and when we have 1-2 bags full, cover with water in big pot and simmer for 1-2 hrs. Simple, wastes nothing and tastes fantastic…
My boyfriend is Chinese and this soup reminds me of the chicken soup that they serve before most meals as well in Chinese places (apparently only to Chinese families because I had never encountered this soup before dating him and they only bring it to the table when I’m with his family)
No stock, whatever veggies are on hand (first cooked in the wok) and then simmered with meat that later goes into other dishes. Really basic and delicious.
Ugh to store bought chicken broth. Making your own stock is so so easy. I just stash my chicken carcasses (cooked or not) in the freezer along with all my onion and carrot and celery ends and leaves, parmesan rinds, and squeezed lemons, and then when the freezer gets full I throw it all into a huge stock pot with some water and bay leaves and extra onion/carrot/celery and simmer it all day while I do other stuff. It cools overnight and I strain it in the morning and can it in the pressure canner. That gives me stock for ages and it’s so drastically more delicious than anything you could buy in the store, for very little work.
It’s like you read my slightly-foggy-from-a cold mind.
THANK YOU! this is an often overlooked topic that “inner depression era ladies” like us get hyped up about! I despise canned soup and will only occasionally use bought broth in a pinch. I like my stock from carcasses. It should gel when chilled and make you feel loved. As a single girl, with many single friends… i am the call they make when they are sick or freshly brokenhearted (again) because from-scratch soup is just the only passable remedy.
Last weeks version was chicken with barley and kale. A hit with a whole loaf of crusty bread, a wheel of brie, trash tv, a good friend, and no caloric regrets.
ps. i’m considering a flight to visit my family in Philly just to catch you at the free library!
Made it. LOVED IT. Did not crazy-alter the recipe and then praise it, but had a package of frozen chicken backs and necks and a couple chicken thighs, so used all those, which gave me just enough meat, actually. Threw in cabbage and green beans cause that’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it. Made Homesick Texan’s biscuits to go with. Died, went to heaven. Amen.
Wow-such an amazing classic! Beautiful!!! Can’t wait for a freezing cold night to eat this by my fire!
I second Dinah’s (#192) comment/question: your diced carrots, celery, and parsnips are remarkable and I want to learn how you do it!
Great tips for this soup — now, I’m confident that I can avoid rubbery noodles and mushy vegetables :-)
Marjoram is delicious in chicken soups because it adds a nice herbal sweetness. I suppose that’s also what the parsnips do too. I’ve since become vegetarian but remember vividly the first time I had chicken tortilla soup upon moving to Cali from Virginia – that was it for me. It’s a west coast thing, I guess.
does the onion not go back into the soup Deb?
I just found out you’ll be having an event nearby! I’m so excited! Would it be totally weird to bring my kindle with your book and a notebook for you to sign? (It -is- in one of the bookstores that allow you to bring your own book.)
This soup looks glorious! I’d be satisfied with just a warm cup of that broth. Yum.
You can never, ever go wrong with a homemade soup! Yum!
In other news, I finally pre-ordered your book, well my brother did, for my birthday, which was on Thursday! The website says 17 more days! I can’t wait!
Joseph Bloew, you have no idea what you are talking about. Take your factless fear tactics elsewhere. You are outnumbered.
My cousin is visiting me in South Africa from Chicago and she is sick and wants soup. I don’t see anywhere on your site about adapting your recipes. I would like to adapt your recipe to make the soup and share it on my soon too be live blog. I will use my own photos and because I cannot follow a recipe to same my life, it will not look like yours for sure. I will post a link back to you once its done. Unless I overlooked it, what is your policy on adapting your recipes? Thanks!
Just made a fabulous pot of chicken soup this week…only my latest trick has been to throw in a parmesan cheese rind into the soup as it simmers. It really ads that extra depth I’m looking for. And I’ve wondered, too, why we don’t read more recipes about browning/seaing first…just gives that extra flavor!
You have inspired my blog. Thank you!
So weird! i came here looking specifically for soup recipes, and look what was on top. I’ve already found my fav chicken noodle soup though, after years of searching. I like to add a little turmeric for a richer yellow color (tip from the Pioneer Woman).
Also the soup is best with homemade egg noodles -not as hard as you might think, and worth it. I’ll have to try the parsnips you use in your soup.
I’m confused about the stock. Do you really just leave the chicken in for 20 minutes after it comes to a simmer? When I make stock, I brown the chicken, add water and some veggie scraps and herbs, and let simmer for about 1.5 hours. Then I take the chicken out and remove the meat (which doesn’t seem overcooked, even at this point, because I guess the broth keeps it moist), and then add the bones, skin, and everything back to the pot and let simmer for another couple hours. I also add some lemon juice at the beginning, because I’ve heard acid helps bring out the nutrients in the bones. After taking out the scraps and bones, and skimming some scum, I have a golden stock that becomes jelly when chilled. How do you achieve this in 20 minutes? Also, as a more nutritional and resilient (they never get too soft) substitute for noodles, I use wheatberries. The meat either goes back in the pot when I put in other ingredients, or goes into salad or something else.
You must have read my mind! I was thinking last week that I could really go for some chicken noodle soup, so I checked your site first for a jumping off point. And now, here it is!! I’m totally making this and maybe some of your matzo balls too (my grandma used to carbo load us with both :) ) Do you think maybe this is the recipe that could change my mind on my hatred of parsnips though?
p.s I just peeked at the book online, and I’m already dreaming of all the breakfast recipes. I can’t wait to meet you in Boston!
Today I made this wonderful soup. OMG, it has to be the best chicken noodle soup I have ever had. It is simple to make with a rich golden stock that tastes the way soup used to taste, when people took the time for step by step without any shotcuts and I used topnotch ingredients such as organic chicken, and veggies. Simply put, perfection in a bowl !
Great Recipe. I took your advice of using it as a template and added some lime juice, kaffir lime leaves, ginger & a bit of fish sauce (instead of salt) to give it a bit of a Thai kick, mmmm.
Since you took the trouble to remake a perennial in your own image, you get rewarded by the Polish Grandmother’s secret for great chicken broth (which this WASP Grandson-in-law hastens to endorse): cut an onion in half and char it over a flame. Yes, char it, until the surfaces exposed to the fire are black (white is a bit much). One surface–the flat cut surface–is enough. Nestle it in with the chicken, boil away, and you will produce chicken broth with an astonishing depth of flavor.
This was a beautiful intro to your site- I hate chicken noodle soup! I’m notorious for being a creamy chowda’ kinda’ girl, which takes the health right out of eating soup =) Can’t believe I didn’t think of sauteed onions or sauteed chicken for that matter. Thanks!
Looks delish – will need to wait for the temp to drop a little more here in Florida – looking forward to a November-back-pocket-chicken-soup-sweater-weather-day. Thanks for a great respectful take on an old standby, Deb!
I, too, freeze leftover roast chicken bones–we eat a LOT of roast chicken around here–and when I have enough I fill up my stock pot with the bones, water and sea salt and let it go on a low simmer for a few hours. It makes my place smell wonderfully homey. When it’s done I strain out the bones and put it in the fridge overnight; if it’s jelly the next day it’s been done right. If I’m going out of town and the husband’s on his own I’ll bring some broth to a boil, throw in a bag of mixed vegetables and some noodles, then immediately take it off the heat and put in the fridge. This way he can nuke a bowl and the veggies and noodles are cooked perfectly. Chicken broth–or any bone broth–is one of the most nutritious things you can eat!
And I definitely agree with you about not liking the stuff. There is nothing sadder than limp, tasteless egg noodles.
Hi Deb! Someone gave me homemade chicken stock, and I’m wondering if you know about how much I’ll need to use since I’m not making my own. Thanks, and I can’t wait to see you here in Portland next month!
Hey Deb! Just got my Better Homes and Gardens and saw your cookbook in it! Awesome!
I agree with you that their are a lot of bad chicken soup recipes out there. One of the first things I learned about in Culinary school was the importance of a great chicken stock. I love chicken soup when done the right way, with a great homemade stock instead of a heavily salted tin tasting store bought stock. Great pictures on this post.
your dice is gorgeous.
I made this on Friday and I have to say it wasn’t my favorite. I LOVED how quickly it came together, but I ended up adding 2 bouillon cubes for added flavor. Also I found the chicken browned quicker than 10 minutes.
Yum! Can’t wait to try this method. I’ve taken to freezing my chicken and vegetable stock in 1-cup servings in tupperware. Once it’s frozen, I pop it out and toss it in a bag, and then freeze some more.
i’m with you on the chicken noodle soup – i ate way too much as a child in poland. but chicken congee is a comfort soup i’m loving right now:
Made this over the weekend. The stock strategy is excellent! I did end up adding more salt at serving time, but we may just be used to eating too-salty versions.
Maybe I missed it, but no one mentioned that you don’t get great/rich flavor from “roasting chickens” (younger more tender birds) you need to use the older tougher “stewing hens”. This is why you do the longer slow/lower heat simmer.
You can cook the “roasters” forever an not get the same depth of flavor.
I just thought you should know that I got an email from Barnes and Noble about your cookbook today!!
Michaela — Hooray! Thank you for sharing.
Kelli — I’d probably use two quarts, to approximate the amount of water you’d add to make stock.
N — The soup does jelly overnight, but not as much as it would with a longer cooking time. I’m a nut about only cooking chicken until it is exactly done (I find it dry otherwise) so take mine out much sooner than others. This recipe has the additional step of sauteeing the base for 15 minutes, which leads to the chicken cooking faster with a deeper flavor.
Allison — The policy is here, but hard to find, I know. Feel free to use, enjoy and share the recipe. I just request that people put things in their own words and use their own photos. If you’re just linking out to the recipe (in a “hey, check out this recipe I saw” kind of way), feel free to run a photo too to illustrated it. Thanks, hope she enjoys it!
Marissa — No, I ditch it. I find it greasy and bland after being cooked past its prime in the soup. This is common practice, simmering and ditching ingredients once a stock is correct. However, I know from reading comments over the years that many people do not agree, and cannot bear to toss the onion. You are absolutely welcome to use it. You won’t have a very clear broth but otherwise, there’s no harm.
Liezl, Dinah — Thank you. One of my weird traits is that I love dicing ingredients. I love the geometry of it. And in this case, I really really wanted it to look like a colorful confetti (other vegetables or even rainbow carrots would have done this even better), I watched the shapes even more. Whenever you’re chopping a round vegetable, start by slicing a small bevel off it from any side. Then, you can rest you vegetable on that flat, stable edge while cutting it into long slices (like bread, but maybe sliced the long way for efficiency), then long juliennes (matchsticks), and then crosswise into little cubes.
Louise — Indeed, I am! Even sooner, actually. A lot of the color comes from the sauteed base so as soon as you add the water, you should have already a golden stock. It only gets deeper and better after 20 minutes.
Avis — The chicken flesh does not have to be directly seared (it would just dry it) to get flavor. Browned chicken skins and onion taste wonderful in the stock. I wish I were getting to Louisiana too! If we add more destinations in the new year, it will definitely be considered.
Emily — I love Edna Lewis’ advice to chop up the whole chicken, I just didn’t think most people would be into all that… cleavering and blood. So, I tried it with whole pieces and was impressed I could get so much flavor with so little work. That said, I know her original is even awesomer.
Katie — As many times as it takes for me to feel certain it’s good enough to rave about here. However, I have a low frustration tolerance in general in the kitchen. If something utterly flops twice, I usually take a break and only revisit if it haunts me. There’s a big difference between a flop and something inedible, though. The latter is pretty infrequent, luckily. The former we’ll eat anyway, me complaining the whole time about how I’d do it differently next time. I’m sure it’s really fun for my husband. ;)
I see you added a new stop in Seattle. I’m thinking of asking hubby to take me (I am not fond of driving in Seattle), but after a recent book signing by another author, I don’t know if he’s too into that (we waited hours for my books to be signed). I’d love to meet you, though!
I think I make good soup. I always use the remnants of a roast chicken, pull most of the meat off and boil up the bones,skin and parts no one eats. I always add a couple of tablespoons or more of the gravy from the original dinner to the stock. I always add the leftover chicken which was already roasted, to the pot at the very end. Other than the parsnips, our recipes look almost identical. MJP
Don’t fret, Deb, the weather changes here daily. Today it’s back up to about 60 so you just never know! Hopefully it will be warm for your visit!
This was *just* what I needed to see today. Deb, you rock my world.
Sometimes I’m surprised adults will even eat chicken soup after being fed that nasty stuff out of the Andy can. My best friend ‘doesn’t like soup’ (how can you arbitrarily dislike just a vast category of delicious food???), but when I make chicken or turkey soup for her, I let the broth simmer down a bit more and then thicken it a bit. We throw the thinly sliced celery in last so it retains a little crunch and call the concoction ‘stoup’. That she likes just fine! lol. Like one of the previous commenters, if we’re battling colds we add garlic, ginger and a bit of lemon plus a shake of red pepper flakes. It helps your embattled taste buds when your head is all stuffy and does wonders to clear your head. I’ve even been known to put fresh spinach in my bowl before ladling in the soup. Now I need to go get a chicken out of the freezer.
I just saw your cookbook reviewed in Booklist Magazine….a STARRED review!! Congratulations!
thank you so much for this. this recipe inspired me to buy my first ever whole chicken, cut it up (while watching and following closely a tutorial on youtube) and make this amazing stock and soup–for guests! it was a big hit, totally delicious and simple. i see lots more chicken parts in our future! so looking forward to the cookbook……
Fantastic! I used brown rice instead of noodles and it turned into a chicken rice stew, super delicious! Thanks!
I love your recipes and have been following for the past two years! I can’t wait to try another one soon — I’m eyeing up the pumpkin cinnamon rolls.
i put a little ginger in my chicken noodle soup. guaranteed get well quick and feel better soup! ;)
I followed your instructions “to the T,” while making the stock. And I took your advise to then refrigerate until the next day. Since I do like my chicken noodle soup with the fat (I know, I know . . . ), I deviated from your instructions, slightly, to complete the soup. I scooped the fat off the top of the chilled stocked and put in the bottom of my dutch oven, warming it til it sizzled. Then, I dumped the diced veggies in and sauteed them for a few minutes with a little garlic salt, before returning the stock to the pot, adding the noodles and chicken (at the last minute). It was a huge hit, and very comforting on a chilly night! I’ve got my go-to recipe for chicken stock, now. Thank you!
I hope you notice this one in the sea of glowing comments – it is yet another, but I had to thank you. I am looking after my dad this week, and we have…notable difference of opinion regarding food. Like, anything I eat/prepare is fundamentally not. (He’s not hateful about it, but thinks everything I enjoy is suspect, mainly because I like sushi. But I digress.)
I know what he enjoys, but I also know that I want to be happy and that I’m on a diet and require vegetables. So I picked this recipe out as a happy medium. I made the mistake of telling him I found it online, which got me the eyebrow, but I quickly assured him that there was nothing weird (shh, he still doesn’t know about the parsnips – uh, white carrots) and that he would like it – and sure enough, HE DID. This is literally the second meal I have made that he has liked, and I had to THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! And to say that it was delicious. Thanks!
My mother always used the chicken left over from making the broth to make what we Romanians call “salata de beouf”. “Salata de beouf” , unlike it’s name suggests, is made of cubed chicken, peas, pickles, boiled potatoe cubes mixed with homemade mayonnaise. I believe you had a Russian version of this in your blog once. It’s a great way to not waste the left-over chicken.
I’ve really enjoyed your blog over the years, and it’s my go-to for recipes now. thank you.
Oh man, I hate chicken noodle soup. It’s not so much that it was somehow the only thing kids were given to eat when they were sick (at least for me my sister, that’s all we seemed to get), it’s that it’s just so blaaaah and mushy. I love soup when I’m sick, in fact it’s the only time I like soup unless it’s miso soup (which I love all the time), but man. Chicken noodle (shakes an angry fist)! I recently started making homemade potato and chicken soup (I like potato soup, and wanted protein) when I get under the weather, and sure enough I found myself starting to wish there were noodles… I’ve been battling with myself for about a month now about the pros and cons of returning to my old nemesis, so your post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m going to have to give this a try soon!
You can do anything and make it new and fresh and this is (one of the many reasons why) I love SK. This is such a simple dish but it’s amazing how it can be SO bad. I also like to add butternut squash to mine. I add it when the soup is almost done so it doesn’t get too soft. But if you boil it a little longer it breaks up and makes the soup a little thicker. mmm
OMG Deb… This soup is to die for!! I am pregnant and had a really “off” day (nausea at work at 15 weeks… yay?). Luckily my hubby was able to handle the browning of the chicken and the cutting off all the veggies (love him) and we worked together on the rest. The directions were perfect, the proportions made just the right flavor in the broth (although I admit we added a little garlic), and the resulting soup? Hands down THE best chicken soup I’ve ever had. I’ve never made my own broth before but I don’t think I’ll ever make chicken soup with store-bought broth again!!! THANK YOU!
I don’t like chicken noodle soup either. People look at me like I’m nuts.
I read all the posts and maybe I didn’t see in the comments but my broth turned out much darker than your picture and darker than I have ever made. The aroma is the same. I wonder if I browned the onions too much before putting the chicken in. Also, our neighborhood store did not have a cut up chicken so I had to cut it up myself…..my cut up chicken in the pan did not look pretty! I was just wondering if you had a “how to” on how to cut up a bird.
Hi Angela — The color likely came from the onions. As long as it tasted good, it was correct. :) I haven’t done a how-to yet on cutting up chicken, but I refer to this video all the time when I do it. (I’m hardly a pro yet!)
I make a very similar brown chicken noodle soup, but I put broccoli into it if I have any. Also little short tubes (ditalini) actually stay on the spoon, unlike egg noodles which always just seem to flop around….
Does the little one like tempura-fried broccoli as well?
I made this for Friday night dinner and it was perfect. I have made chicken soup before but this was by far the simplest and best recipe I’ve tried. This method highlights the chicken flavor rather than diluting it with veggies.
I made this for lunch today, and it turned out great. I too, have frequently used store bought chicken stock when making soups (as a time saver). I’m so glad I tried your recipe. It is worth the extra timeto make your own stock. The house smelled amazing while the soup was cooking, and it really did have a wonderful chicken flavor. Thanks for another keeper.
mmm, thanks for this! I have never even thought to attempt FROM SCRATCH chicken noodle soup before, but you made this look so straightforward I figured it was time to give it a shot. I loved it and my super picky 2 year old did too! I did like a lot more salt than the recipe called for, but I’m just that kind of girl. Perfect with some crusty bread too :)
love, love soup…and this recipe is perfect any time of the day.
Hubby emailed me while I was still at work today to let me know he was very sick and needed chicken soup. This to the rescue! He loved it and I think it got him started on the road to wellness. The broth is phenomenal, will definitely be doing this again!
Coming from a family that despises chicken, and chicken soup in particular, I’ve finally found a recipe that makes chicken soup have as full a taste as beef soup! I’ve made it twice in the last week!
Fantastic idea! I make a very similar but I hadnt that in mind. Splendid!
This looks fantastic, and I really like the idea of parsnips instead of something like potatoes. I usually use potatoes to make chicken soup, and they seem to soak up the flavor.
Great pictures, too!
I just made this with four chicken thighs and half the water. I was a bit worried that it will lack flavour because of using less chicken, but I had nothing to worry about. It was absolutely delicious, full of flavour and very comforting (parsnips are especially good here). I have leftover noodles now and also all that yummy chicken to use up during the week. Thanks again Deb!
So glad you shared this recipe-I am always looking for homemade soup options for my 4 year old and since chicken noodle is her favorite..this is perfect!
I made this tonight as my family waits out Hurricane Sandy (no flooding yet, still have power,so we’re very lucky). It was perfect on a cold, windy, rainy day. My mom couldn’t believe I could make good chicken noodle soup from scratch in an hour, but I proved her wrong.
I’m also ecstatic for your cookbook. I can’t wait to read it tomorrow!
Dear All am Really glad that i came across this website as it has recipes to various dishes and cuisines. As i am a food lover and live in Pakistan have created a website where we promote Pakistani Food and Restaurants. We our a complete food Guide. Kindly visit my website and give feedback.
This is my first visit to your site. I will be back for sure.
I just wanted to comment on your chicken soup. I read every single comment, and am now ready for new glasses! One thing no one has mentioned is that sometimes it’s not only the ingredients for a soup is the most important thing. It’s the amount of water you add. Add too much water and the broth will be diluted and flavourless. Add just enough water to cover the chicken (and onions in this case) by no more than one inch. Absolutely, positively add back any bones and simmer a bit longer. 30 minutes is usually enough. (the Chinese simmer chicken for hours and hours to get every last cell out of the chicken claiming it has almost magical powers when even the marrow from the bones cooks out of the chicken) There are as many recipes/methods to chicken soup as there are families. And that’s OK, it’s the way it should be.
As someone mentioned earlier, you must add garlic to make it medicinal (the addition of ginger is good, too).
One last thing, if I may, is to tell you to try “no yolk” noodles. They don’t get soggy no matter how long they sit in the broth. They do soak up broth and plump up, but they don’t ever get soggy. I once cooked the noddles, drained, then put in a bowl with cold water and stored this in the fridge for two days before I strained them again and added it to a soup. It worked fantastic. Since they’d had time to plump up they didn’t soak up any broth! Sorry for being so long winded.
One more comment and then I’ll finish. Parsnips (parsley root is even better if you can find it-looks just like parsnips) is the greatest addition and can make an otherwise simple broth fantastic. Just don’t over-do it or it will sweeten the soup more than carrots will.
This. Soup. IS. AMAZING. The color of it is so amazing and rich, and the flavor perfect. Thank you for the recipe! In a blog world of “twists” on the classic thing, sometimes the classic thing is just what you want! :-)
I have to thank you so much for this recipe. After the storm winds from Sandy had come and nearly gone, I found myself coming down with a cold of epic proportions. I don’t usually care for chicken soup, but after seeing this post, I became obsessed. It came out even better than I ever could have expected! I added a generous helping of garlic and ginger for their cold-stomping abilities. I splurged on some fresh dill and didn’t regret it one iota. I am of the mindset that everything is a parsnip vehicle, so I snuck in a little extra. Today, I actually feel better! From now on, I will always have a roaster in the freezer with this soup in mind. It would be the best gift for a sick friend.
Just made this tonight! It was perfect and simple and I loved it! Thank you :)
I can attest that this is the best tasting chicken noodle soup I have ever tried. Both my 3 year old and I are feeling under the weather, so this was the first thing I thought of making. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
question : is the chicken you cooked in the beginning the chicken you add to the broth? if so, what is this in reference to, since it’s at the bottom of the instructions? “While these simmer, remove the skin and chop the flesh from a couple pieces of chicken, only what you’re going to use. You won’t need all of it in the soup. I usually use the breasts first because they’re my least favorite and benefit the most from the extra moisture of the soup. The remaining parts can be slipped into an airtight bag in the fridge (I recommend leaving the skin on for retained moisture until needed) and used for chicken salad or the like over the next few days. Once noodles have cooked, add chicken pieces just until they have rewarmed through (30 seconds) and ladle into serving bowls.”
I too hate chicken noodle soup but my husband and I are both sick. Then for some strange reason, I felt the uncontrollable urge to make chicken noodle soup. (I must be delirious.) So I had to start skimming the internet to find a recipe. I got to say, I love the sound of this one and with your comments, I am definitely making this one.
Thank you for posting it. Hopefully, it will make me feel better because like you the very idea of sodium packed soup makes me ill.
I love chicken noodle soup, but had never made it from scratch until now! I didn’t make it in an hour, as I made the stock yesterday from rotisserie chicken carcass and veggies, left it overnight, skimmed the fat off, and then got on with the show. I elected to try brown rice, as opposed to noodles, so threw that it as the stock was reducing. This added significantly to the cooking time, but was great. Added diced veggies close to the end and chopped cooked chicken at the very end. This is a bowl of wow! :)
Hi sa — In the third paragraph, you remove the chicken from the broth and set it aside. The broth is strained, and you add the chicken back at the end.
At last I have the opportunity to tell you how much I like your posts!
I just made this soup, adding curry, turmeric and pulpiber pepper.
My fridge was a bit empty, so I omitted the parsnip and the celery stalk, but it worked just fine with the onion and the carrot!
Nice food for a grey afternoon!
Have a nice day!
After removing any bones from your stock, and before adding your veggies and noodles at the last, brown a thin, flat layer of ground chicken, undisturbed, over medium high heat in a dry skillet (using no oil or cooking spray) till golden brown but not dried out. Turn once and brown the other side, then break up the meat and add to the stock. Immediately deglaze the hot pan with a little water and add the resulting rich liquid and scrapings in the stock as well. The caramelization will really punch up the soup with flavor, and the ground chicken in the soup lends more meatiness to the soup as well as interesting texture along with the cut up chicken. I am a turkey burger lover, and brown my burgers this way, then deglaze the pan with a little water and add that rich brown result to a container in my freezer. When I want to make turkey soup (which I like to do with prime roasted deli turkey ends (mark-down goodies) from the supermarket), I make a vegetable stock, complement the soup with the requisite chopped onion, celery, pressed garlic, and seasonings like marjoram, thyme, and fresh ground pepper. If I happen to have turkey stock I’ve frozen, I add that. I brown some ground turkey meat, and add it and the deglazing result (along with any I have saved in the freezer) to the stock. Then I put in as much as I want of the deli ends of roast turkey I’ve cut up while the ground turkey browned. When I’m ready to add veggies at the last, I steam sliced carrots, chopped yellow squash, fresh cut green beans, and what-have-you, and add those in for a few minutes before my noodles (or alphabet pasta or dumplings) to finish off the savory pot. Sometimes instead of making homemade vegetable stock I’ll cheat by starting with a can of French onion soup and add water and organic vegetable base (which comes as paste in a jar). Either way, it tastes great!
The carcass of a rotisserie chicken makes about 1 qt of amazingly rich broth that turns into a gel when it’s cold. If you do cook the chicken “to death,” rather than throwing it away, use my depression-era grandmother’s trick: pull the chicken from the bones, mix with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and sliced onions and let marinade. Fabulous! You can do this with beef, too.
I made my Mexico City Chicken Soup using your minimalist method. If you would like to see it, google Mexico City Chicken Soup and scroll down a few sites below your Chicken Noodles Soup post and you will find it there. (Too shy to include the name of my blog.)
A good article, but let me suggest the following fusion (Jewsion) twists:
There is no need to cut up your veggies when making the stock. Let them cook with the chicken in the broth – they will add considerably to the flavour and natural sweetness of the stock. When the broth has been made, take them out and either bin them -all the nutritional value will have gone out of them into the broth – or eat them luke warm as a delicious chef’s titbit (particularly the onion and leek, which will be soft, very sweet and juicy with chicken stock – OR they can be reserved and served with a light vinaigrette as a starter).
I always use 1 onion whole, lightly browned on the outside in the dry pan, before the chicken goes in – no need for oil as the chicken will release/render it’s own fat when you brown it. The browned onion will addd both flavour and colour to the stock. Then in with the chicken pieces. After browning the chicken, in goes enough cold water to cover. WEhen the water has come to the boil and been skimmed, in with 1 leek, cleaned and cut into 2 pieces; 2-3 carrots, whole; and 1 small peeled turnip. A parsnip is ok but the flavour of parsnip is rather stronger and can dominate.
Once the soup has been made, assemble. Be generous with the chicken pieces (rip them off the thighs, legs and wings – no cutting needed) and the noodles – I recommend at least 1 fistful of Manischewitz fine egg noodles per person.
Then, and this is what will really cure anything from a cold to a stomach upset, I add the following:
2-3 finely chopped spring onions, ioncluding the green stems
1 ½ inches of fresh ginger, sliced or cut into shreds
1-2 small medium strength chili peppers, one red and one green for colour
some baby sweetcorn, cut into smallish chunks
some baby mange-tout ( I think you call them snow peas?) also cut int small chunks)
Allow to simmer for no more than 2-3 minutes. Just before serving, top off with a fistfull of freshly chopped coriander (cilantro?).
I made this when my girlfriend was sick. She married me for it. Enjoy!
I cook chicken soup in some form almost every weekend in the winter. In Hungary, where I live, you can actually buy chicken bones from the butcher. You know, the parts discarded after they filet the breasts. You can even buy chicken feet and heads, though I’ve rarely been brave enough to use them… but I do have memories of really, really enjoying the chicken feet when I was a kid.
To make a long story short, my trick to a tasty broth is to use a combination of breast bones and necks. You can combine bones from different poultry, too. Turkey necks are especially fleshy and yield more edible bits when done. For more fat (and flavor), you can add the back and wings of chickens, too. These parts are cheap, and you’re using parts of the chicken you otherwise would throw away, so no need to feel wasteful.
Another thing I’ve learned is that those broths that call for lengthy cooking times work best with OLDER birds. The ones that need the 3-5 hours of slow boil to be edible, and are otherwise too tough. Or roosters. The tastiest, most flavorful soups come from bits of meat that require lengthy periods to soften them.
Just made this for my feverish husband and it tasted great! I did the chicken in 2 batches, so my onions got pretty dark, but it just added to the richness of the soup. Thanks!!
Deb, this was stellar. I’ve got a partner fighting off some sort of chest bug for the last week and this was a welcomed gift this Sunday night. The bottom of my (admittedly sorta cheap) dutch oven got a little dark/funky so I deglazed with vermouth before adding the water. I added a little thyme and garlic to the broth and used whole wheat egg noodles. Amazing. Thank you.
I am always really fond of soup even in summer also. The recipie which u shared that is is simply fantastic! I love noodles alot and when i tried soup using noodles that was delicious. Thank you so much for sharing such a unique recipie.
Can’t get over comment #1 asking just for “any ideas for chicken substitutions?” It’s chicken soup, if you substitute something other than chicken, it simply is no longer chicken soup. Just make some other type of soup. Don’t know if I should laugh or cry.
Ronzoni makes a great 100% whole grain egg noodle that I like to use in my chicken soup. (Btw, I make it the same way.) The whole grain has a firmer bite and holds up very well in soup.
Just made this tonight. DELICIOUS recipe, and so easy. Thank you!
I didn’t read all the comments (again) to this point, so don’t know if this has been offered. I’ve taken to wrapping any meat I’m portioning, individually in plastic wrap before I freeze it. It came to me when I ran out of those seal-a-meal bags that it works the same to tightly wrap the pieces to keep air pockets from allowing the ice crystals room to form on the food. And..because they are wrapped, I don’t have to flash freeze pieces individually first in order to keep them from sticking together in those freezer bags. Duh! I wasted money on that space sucking appliance when I had the answer all along. Sheesh…
Looking for a great recipe and this is it. Only changes I made was using boneless skinless thighs and added more noodles. it was great. Thanks for the recipe!!!
I put some garlic and ginger root into the stock as it simmers just for ultimate immune-system benefits. :) Also my kids won’t eat the onions so after I strain out the fat, I blend it all up with an immersion blender before adding the chicken and carrots back in.
We serve with small handful of frozen peas right as you dish it up (cools the soup slightly and the peas don’t overcook).
This was ridiculously delicious, and a godsend in a coughing, feverish household that can’t seem to catch a break. It took me more than an hour though, primarily because I had to brown the chicken in two batches and wash the pot after straining. I won’t change a thing next time. A gem.
Made this for NYE dinner and it was easy and so very good. I’d never tried to make chicken noodle soup with just a couple pieces of chicken. I’d always made a big ordeal out of it by making stock and using a whole chicken and ending up with noodles separate to keep them firm and way too much soup altogether! This really does make it a doable, whim indulging, meal!
I took #261, Suz2Friend’s, recommendation and used the no yolk noodles and she’s right, they don’t get soggy or too soft. That has been my biggest gripe about most noodle or pasta recipes that may sit in liquid for an extended period; they get mushy. Tested this morning and these are just slightly softer, but still lhave good body. Thanks, Suz. Thanks, Deb for a fuss free CNS!
Oops…name wrong (crazy keying) above..It’s just me, Susan!
Here’s an idea to make your depression era happy and it makes a great stock too. After you’ve roasted a bird and had our dinner – pull off any remaining mea in as large chunks as possible and save in fridge. Take empty carcass, and an remaining skin and bones and put in stock pot. Toss in onions, carrots and celery tops if you have them in the fridge. Good place to use them and you won’t do anything else with them. Bring to boil the simmer for a couple of hours. Strain and proceed as per your instructions using reserved chicken meat only at the end.
I have always sautéed my chicken first and I always have people look at me like I’m some kind of leper. “Boil it”, they tell me. Disgusting. I’m happy to see I’m not alone in this and someone credible realizes how much more flavor you get out of your chicken by doing it this way, especially since you can add spices or vegetables in the sauté as well. Thank you for making me feel validated in my ways! Now I’m off to make my batch of soup.
I prepared this today and my husband just loved it. The broth was the best part.
the perfect chicken noodle soup! i love the idea to sauté the chicken. it makes the broth so much more flavorful. i forgot to pick up egg noodles so i boiled some farfalle pasta separately in water and added the cooked noodles at the end. i ate the entire batch in 2 days. delicious! thanks for a great recipe!
Deb– I made this a few nights ago because I had a cold coming on. I can’t believe I can make such great soup in an hour with chicken pieces! This was my first time making chicken soup and it was so easy. My mom’s is my fav and she uses the whole chicken and simmers for hours and I just don’t have time for that. I added garlic and thyme ( like Mom does) and it was perfect. I visited the site for the first time after I heard you on Diane Rhem talking about the book during the holiday season and it has become one of my go-to cooking sites. Thanks for all you do and keep it up!
I’m a student cooking for one, so I usually make batch lots of food (usually accidentally) and freeze them for hurried/lazy days. I usually halve any recipe I find online, and still have three servings for the freezer.
– Can I do it (halved) with even less that 1.5 pounds of chicken? Would extra vegies make up for it?
– Can I put all the chicken in – I’m not big on cold chicken?
– Can I make this soup right through to the end and then freeze it, with chicken and noodles included? Usually the packets of egg noodles need to be used soon after opening, so it’s always easiest to do it this way, but then they go mushy – will leaving them till the last minute reduce that?
Emma-Jane — This recipe can be halved. The chicken is kept separate so it can be warmed as needed for portions, rather than getting overcooked if the soup is heated more than once. Noodles tend to come out gummy once cooked and defrosted but if the texture hasn’t bothered you in the past, no reason to wait to cook them here.
I tried this recipe last night. It is indeed the best chicken soup that we have ever had. I was stunned by how much flavor it had with such a quick cook time. Oddly, it made the house smell like I was cooking a curry! Haha Every recipe I make of yours is always a hit in our house! The first time I saw photos of your kitchen, which matches mine in size and shape, I knew there was hope for me. Keep up the great work!
Thank you for the great recipe! I just got married a month ago, and my husband is sick today. Your chicken noodle soup (which I made with turkey instead) was just the thing to make him feel a little better (and make me feel like a good wife, in sickness and in health). Cooking is new for me, and this was my first time making turkey noodle soup, so I was delighted that it turned out so well.
Also, I got your book for my sister-in-law for X-mas and she loves it. We both use your recipes all the time. I’m a huge fan of your apple cheddar scones :) More scone recipes, please!
Just wanted you to know I made this last night and it was INCREDIBLE! I too, live in NYC and this brutally cold weather screams for soup. The only amendment I made was using Better than Bullion to make the broth (if you haven’t used it before I totally recommend). The dill is great, fresh touch. I love your cookbook and your blog.
p.s my sister made your brown butter rice krispy squares…life changing!
I like to toss in some apple wedges as well when I cook this. It makes the broth taste a little sweeter, and I love eating the apples when they’re soft.
A great basic chicken soup recipe. Making the broth with just the chicken and adding the aromatics at the end was a new technique for me. It seemed to keep the broth a beautiful yellow color instead of murky brownish. My kids loved it, and if you knew my kids you would know that’s saying a lot. I added a lot more water than the recipe calls for to get more broth. I used homemade dried egg noodles from the Amish lady at the farmer’s market. They kept their texture after freezing, but the chicken did get a little stringy upon reheating.
hey i tried the first recepe and it was delicious
Deb, can you estimate how much chicken you put back in the soup? I made the chicken and broth ahead of time, and I want to be sure not to use up too much of the chicken in other recipes before I finish and serve the soup this weekend. Thanks!
Natalie — I add it back as needed, so just a little per serving. I don’t like leaving the chicken in the soup.
Thank you so much for posting this, great recipe~!
I have made this once each week since I found the recipe. I love it for breakfast as well as all other meal times!
One time when I was sick, my ex boyfriend’s mother sent over chicken soup made with canned stock and shredded salt laden deli rotisserie chicken. I threw that hot mess in the trash.
THIS is the real deal, lady. Props to you! :)
OMG . . . why have I not found you before now??? My first time, and I have already printed out a bundle of recipes and posted several to Pinterest. Plus love reading your comments. Thank you so much& keep up the good work.
I am a very scared cook ! Everything scares me but my friend Nina mentioned SK and said it was “not so scary”— my son just came home from college & I asked him what he wanted & he said “chicken soup”– panic set it. Then I found THIS recipe and thought ” I can do this!” — off I went to gather a “good” chicken & other supplies — I made it over the course of two days & refrigerated the chicken stock overnight which made iT SUPER easyntomskimthe scum!!! Anyway, chopped veggies, brought to a boil & simmered for 30 minutes — boiled egg noodles & Voila!!!! The BEST!!!! Thank you!! Now I can make chicken soup!!!!!
Also made this while my son was home for Spring Break – and the weekend of a big spring snowstorm. Perfect in all ways. Easy to make fresh broth, the right number -and not too many – ingredients, and love the short, wide egg noodles, though like SM says, only add to broth right before serving because if you put the soup all together and save the extra for another day, the egg noodles become gummy. Fresh dill is the perfect addition. Loved this recipe. It’s a keeper for my collection.
Okay, I’ve made this twice; first time used wide noodles and this time, used skinny ones. Wide was too wide for me and the skinny, too skinny. However, that’s not really the point. I agree about the boneless, skinless chicken breasts–the only time I use them is to marinade them for a sandwich in which the chicken is grilled and then bacon and shedded cheddar are melted together over the top, served on a Kaiser or onion bun. The soup is wonderful; not the nasty stuff from a can with the globs of fat and unknown chicken floating around. I put the meat from the breasts and the wings in the soup. The other meat will go into creamed chicken over rice later this week. Great comfort food.
The broth was so brown from the onions that I almost threw the whole pot out – so glad I didn’t. Not the prettiest soup (i’m used to a light yellow color) but so tasty.
Wonderful recipe! Next time I will add celery first, simmer it for 5 min and then add parsnip and carrot and simmer everything together for 5 more min prior to adding the noodles.
first time posting to your blog…i’m a SAHM of two and hoping you’ll be able to answer my question :) if I want to make this ahead and freeze it…for maybe a day, i’m sick, but the husband doesn’t have time to whip me up something AND watch the kids…can you prepare it ALL in advance with veggies and chicken and then freeze it or would you not recommend it? Also, how long does something like this typcially keep in the freezer? Thanks so much!
You can prepare it all in advance. I personally prefer only adding the noodles at the end (they get so soft otherwise) but I think too-soft noodles are better than no chicken soup at all. :) As for freezing, it’s really about your freezer. There’s no reason it can’t be good for 2 to 3 months, if you find your freezer keeps things fresh that long.
AH THIS SOUP. Made it for dinner tonight and it was the most perfect, comforting, delicious thing this pregnant lady has had in months. The broth is like liquid gold! Next time I’ll double the recipe and maybe just save some broth to drink like water. Thank you thank you thank you for putting up recipes that always work. I always check your recipe index before looking anywhere else!
hi thanks for the recipe,how long does it takes to cook it?
Wow, people have a LOT to say about chicken soup. I split the difference – I like the quicker stock making technique (since I’m always trying to do 20 things at once and constantly stockpiling to make my weekdays easier) and if it’s a little “weak” I just add a teaspoon or so of organic chicken Better than Bullion to get it chicken-y enough. I like cooking all day – I just like to have a LOT to show for it. ;)
resep — In the post, I say that it can be done in “just about an hour.”
I just wanted to say, you’ve made me a chicken soup convert!! I always liked it, but never enough to go through the hassle of making it. Until I found this recipe almost a year ago. I can’t get enough of this and I’m up well past my bedtime making yet another batch. I make it without the noodles (we’re grain free in my family, which is so sad because it means I can’t make most of your un.believe.able recipes but I take what I can get) and I find that freezing it with the chicken and veggies already cooked hasn’t been a problem texture-wise. Thank you Deb!!
Apologies if this is a duplicate. I lost the screen mid-post.
Lifelong vegetarian here but I love to cook all sorts of things for husband and friends. Always been intimidated by the whole chicken, but last night – armed with this recipe and the link to the Test Kitchen’s “how to cut up a chicken” video – I DID it! And it was GOOD!
I’m a little confused by the “for maximum depth feel free to put the bones back in” concept. I would do that after removing the chicken, cut off the meat, bones back in, simmer simmer simmer, then remove bones? Then what if I want to freeze? Should I mix in the cooked chicken and freeze the vegetables and cooked chicken with the individual servings of broth?
Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I read every word and every single comment to give me the courage to get this done. So thank you to everyone who offered tips too!
Oh by the way…..If you’re a new cook reading this, a package of celery is technically “one stalk” and says so on the bag. But most recipe writers mean only one rib of that whole stalk, not the whole thing.
Hi Jenifer — Yes. You can cook the bones alone in the soup longer, but you don’t need to. Some people feel it adds more body/depth.
Regarding freezing; I froze two packages back in April (noodles and all) and used them last week. It was close to six months; flavor and texture were fine.
This recipe is very forgiving. Like a noob, I thought browning the chicken pieces meant cooking them through. You don’t have to do that. They’ll cook in the water, duh!
Still, I kinda wound up with schmaltzy caramelized-to-blackened onions, so I deglazed the pan with some vermouth, because I’m staying at a friend’s house, and I was paranoid about burning stuff in his soup pot.
Anyway, I followed along with the adding of the water and the cooking of the chicken and the simmering of the veggies.
Then I added the leftovers from the frantic pre-frost harvesting of the backyard, and some cooked brown rice from the fridge.
And it was good. Real F-in’ good.
This the best chicken soup I’ve ever had/made. I also think it’s most delicious when made with cavatelli pasta, chicken thighs (added bonus is that it guarantees super moist chicken when serving) and 2 onions. Love it. Thanks, Deb!
I think BHT has it right regarding roasting a whole chicken and any leftover meat, just cut off bone and cook the carcass in a pot of water after dinner, strain and then make your soup with that stock the next day after refrigerating overnight. The fat does raise to the top and is easy to skim off the stock after being refrigerated. There you go! You have your cooked meat, a great stock and then all you need to do is add your vegetables and noodles or wild rice.
Thank you for this!! And everything else. Made the base last night and finished it up tonight. Only had a bite, but think it will be the best. Have always relied on shortcuts like store stock or bullion…ok, but full ‘o crap and not the real deal. Great lunch at work on a blustery bone-chilling day! Thx again!
My Jewish grandma claimed that to make REALLY good chicken soup, you must include chicken feet, so I always try to. I think it adds flavor. Some butchers/meat counters keep them available and frozen, some tins you need to order them a week ahead. Try it & see if it enhances your soup!
Somehow I managed to mess this up. I think I cooked the stock for too long? It came out a very dark brown instead of a lovely golden color. My mom makes chicken stock like it’s her job, so I should know what I’m doing. Do you have any suggestions on what to do differently next time?
yum! my mum’s chicken soup recipe includes homemade dumplings. They made the soup. They were 1 egg, 1 tsp salt plus enough flour to make very, very sticky per dumpling (just increase as needed, aka 2 eggs, 2 tsp salt plus flour), drop spoonfuls into boiling water until they floated. This is one of those old school “not really a recipe” kind of recipe. This sounds like it would be too salty, but the results are delicious, salty but in that perfect way.
I have to second Kathryn – I just made the soup and had the same problem – burned the onions and the stock came out dark brown. Maybe my pot wasn’t thick enough to brown the chicken and not burn the onions? I came back online to see if anyone had any ideas. Thanks.
I was laying in bed last night trying to figure out how to make this soup – at what point would I add the meat? When would I simmer it? Then I realized if I just went to your blog and searched for a chicken soup surely you’d have something amazing. I was not disappointed. I’ve got a pot of chicken rice soup on the stove right now, which is the perfect thing for my hubs and I who are coming down with colds. Also – I can not wait to try your spicy chicken sriracha soup!!
And I just wanted to say that your cookbook has changed my life!! My mom gave it to me for my birthday and now I go to the grocery store with excitement and look forward to cooking for my family in a way that I haven’t felt in a very long time.
Thank you so much!!!
This the best chicken soup I’ve ever had/made. I also think it’s most delicious when made with cavatelli pasta, chicken thighs (added bonus is that it guarantees super moist chicken when serving) and 2 onions
This was definitely the best chicken soup I’ve ever eaten. The broth was wonderfully flavorful and almost velvety, and I loved the addition of the parsnip. I only used boring boneless skinless chicken breasts because that’s what I had on hand, but I oomphed the stock by throwing in a chicken carcass that was sitting in my freezer. I usually feel pretty “meh” about chicken soup, but this one has such unbelievable flavor that I think this recipe will become a go-to.
hi thanks for the recipe,how long does it takes to cook it?
I hate to add a sour note, but the problem with chicken soup isn’t you, and sometimes it isn’t even the recipe. It’s the chicken. Contemporary grocery store birds grow up too fast to have either the flavor to contribute or the structure to hold up to long simmering. But a good old stewing hen has more than enough of the former, and absolutely needs the latter. It’s how chicken soup came to be in the first place! So, two things: 1. If you’ve failed often with getting enough flavor in your chicken broth and/or overcooked soup meat, don’t beat up on yourself. 2. If you have the chance, get that homesteading friend of yours to gift you a good old bird, toss it in a slow cooker or simmer on the stove for a few hours, and enjoy the ensuing magic.
This recipe really great. We also use chiken soup for traditional medicine. This is new recipe for me so i will try it, i hope my cooking better than before
Thank you for the recipe! This chicken noodle
soup is by far the best I have ever
I love, love, love chicken noodle. If you have chicken stock on hand, The Kitchn has a great recipe. Basically you saute your veggies a bit (I use carrot and celery for sure, but like to add fennel, parsnip etc.), then I take them out and brown chicken thighs, then pour in the chicken stock (so the stock becomes even more concentrated with good chicken flavour) with whatever veggies you took out, let it simmer for half an hour. Then take out the chicken and shred it, add it back in. You could even add in some kale if you wanted to be non-traditional about it. I cook whatever pasta I am using separately to guarantee the right texture (usually big egg noodles; sometimes orzo). No dry chicken, no gummy pasta. It is amazing. I just had a big bowl for lunch. This method makes quite a bit of soup – enough for me and my partner to have four huge bowls, plus I got another huge bowl out of it for lunch. Even better is to double the recipe, freeze the leftovers without pasta and then just cook up the pasta in 10 minutes when you want to eat it.
Making for a sick hubby today. Thanks!
Very useful recipe looks perfect at the best kitchen designs
I tried this recipe tonight after my husband came home sick from work today and I realized I was out of my normal supply of frozen homemade stock. It came together nicely in the promised hour and had great flavor.
I used all breast meat because I prefer white meat in soup. Also, I noticed that my enamel cast iron skillet made the fond super dark by the time the chicken was done browning, which made the broth a fairly dark brown. It wasn’t an unappetizing color, but it wasn’t as pretty as the golden stock in your pictures. Regardless, the flavor was great so it wasn’t anything other than an aesthetics issue. Finally, I used star shaped pasta instead of egg noodles, so the whole thing was extra fun.
Thanks for the great recipe! It was the perfect quick weeknight solution.
I’ve made this a couple of times since it first aired on TV. I made it again today and I just had to comment on how EXCELLENT this soup is! This is a recipe to keep forever!!
I am surprised that all you do is simmer the broth for 20minutes! I simmer mine for hours! (no boil) I also add vegetables about half-way and cook them with the meat.
The broth is super flavorful and I could never achieve this with before when I cooked it in an hour or so. Chicken soup needs time and you can taste it at the end.
Manfaat — I agree! The goal of this one is a quick, can-be-made-after-work homemade chicken noodle soup. For my favorite version, when you have more time, see this newer recipe. I think you’ll like it too.
Hello @Deb! Last night we had prepared this soup for our guests at home. They really liked it. We are thankful to you from the bottom of our heart for sharing such tasty recipes with us. Keep up the good work.
Hello @Deb our last comment has not yet been approved, we just want to say last night we had prepared this soup for our guests at home. They really liked it. We are thankful to you from the bottom of our heart for sharing such tasty recipes with us. Keep up the good work.
Deb, I’m curious. Does this recipe take the prize for the most comments on your site? Or is 347 kind of average?!
Anyway, to add my own… I admit I was sceptical abut this – decent stock and soup in around an hour – but I trust you, so I gave it a go. I am amazed!! I spent a while watching the bottom of the pan getting darker and darker, and thinking the broth was all just going to taste of burnt. But no! Lo and behold it is better than most of my 2-hour-plus stocks from chicken carcasses. This has changed my life. Thank you for bravely venturing into the unknown so that we can follow. :)
Would roasting the chicken parts in a 375-400 oven work instead of sautéing? Seems like you’d get the brown with a little less work.
Andi — You absolutely can. I thought it was less work to cook them right in the pot.
Thank you!!! This soup was to die for!
I made this for my visiting family last night and it was quite tasty. I certainly should have let the broth rest long enough to skim some of the fat off, since it ended up muddying the flavors a little (a little apple cider vinegar helped lift it), but I still ate two bowls. I did leave out the noodles and doubled the veggies because I made cornbread to go with, and even though I was cooking for family, I personally prefer not to have double starch at most meals (and we rarely have pasta of any kind in the house, and I’m a silly grump). So, what ended up making this a two-bowl night was the hot soup poured right over a chunk of cornbread in my favorite bowl. I’ll make this soup again, for sure. Thank you, dear Deb.
I love, love, love chicken noodle. If you have chicken stock on hand, The Kitchn has a great recipe. Basically you saute your veggies a bit (I use carrot and celery for sure, but like to add fennel, parsnip etc.), then I take them out and brown chicken thighs, then pour in the chicken stock (so the stock becomes even more concentrated with good chicken flavour) with whatever veggies you took out, let it simmer for half an hour. Then take out the chicken and shred it, add it back in
If you’ve failed often with getting enough flavor in your chicken broth and/or overcooked soup meat, don’t beat up on yourself.
i’ll try this recipe thanks for share :)
I made it again today and I just had to comment on how EXCELLENT this soup is! This is a recipe to keep forever!!
And I just wanted to say that your cookbook has changed my life!! My mom gave it to me for my birthday and now I go to the grocery store with excitement and look forward to cooking for my family in a way that I haven’t felt in a very long time.
Thank you so much!!
All of my family is sick, so I made this soup last night. It was delicious (and I expect nothing less from the recipes from this site)! I will definitely make it again.
I wanted to share two notes: First, I usually love salty food, but I wished I had added even less than the 2 tsp the recipe calls for. I see that other commenters wanted more salt, so I’m clearly in the minority. Second, I saw Deb said that the recipe would yield extra chicken meat, so I bought only drumsticks. They made the broth super rich and fatty, but they were just the right amount of meat. Even better, there weren’t a lot of tiny chicken pieces floating in the broth, the way there would be if I had actually used a whole chicken.
this my favorite blog to make recipes for my family..keep posting sis…GBU
Thank you for sharing this. I already knew earlier as it is very common in Polish kitchen.
This is delicious. A little too many noodles, they soak up that fabulous broth. I did put too much salt. Made a nice batch of chicken salad as well and now I’ve got plenty of leftovers in the fridge. This is a great recipe, exactly what I needed, bad tummy today. Fixed me right up. Thanks!!
Oh this makes me want to make some noodles right now!
Great recipe, yum!
Huge success tonight. I got high praise from my husband (“this is better than what my mom made for me growing up!”) and successfully put the leftover rotisserie chicken carcass to use. I cut off all the leftover meat from dinner last night, put the carcass in the water with onion and bay leaf and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Then followed your recipe as instructed, using the leftover chicken (previously removed from carcass) in the soup. Thank you for another win, Deb.
So if you hypothetically baked some chicken breasts and over cooked them to the point that they kind of do taste like pressed sawdust, do you think chicken soup would be a decent way to salvage them (though less delicious than the way you presented this)? If so, would you just heat them up at the end in the pot of soup, or zap them in the microwave and just add to the bowl? I really don’t want to waste any food, but they are pretty dry.
I think it’s your best bet.
I just made your soup and I’m a little nervous because the broth is very dark and rich looking. Almost seems like a broth for braised chicken. I strained it and juts added some more water and some parsley to Tone it down a little. Any other suggestions?
Should be just fine. I’d wait until it is done to decide if it seems too intense, it can always be thinned with water later.
I found this recipe from your Instagram post. All I can say is I’ve made really good chicken soup all my life but this simple recipe is so much better than mine. I love it! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for posting. The soup is perfect for a cold Michigan night.
I’ve made this soup at least 15 times since last August (it’s now January 2017). Without a doubt the best I’ve ever had, and the soup I have been making for 30 years was always a hit. The broth is so rich in this recipe, it’s amazing it comes together so fast. I make it with 3 split chicken breasts, skins and bones on. I simmer it for 45 minutes, even after I’ve browned it. The first 3 times I made it, the chicken wasn’t done. I use maybe one split breast for the soup, then freeze the rest of the meat for things like chicken pot pie or chicken divan. Thanks, I absolutely love this soup!
Deb. I’ve never posted on your site, but go to it literally every time need some help with the details of a classic recipe (like this one), or help creating something new and delicious. You are the most consistently amazing cook and your recipes are the only ones I blindly trust!!! Thank you, you are a gift!!
This was the absolute best chicken noodle soup I’ve had/made! I really loved it and the recipe was so quick and easy, it’s hard to believe it all came out so flavourful!
The only issue I had was in the chicken browning stage — despite moving the ingredients around frequently, I ended up with a thick burnt layer at the bottom of the pot and found myself switching pots after this stage so that the broth wouldn’t be affected.
Any tips on how to avoid this?
I am facing a tooth extraction today – the most horrifying thing that could happen (I had a very painful experience of this procedure in my childhood). My knees are tumbling, my hands are shivering, and I am terribly out of breathing air, overall very anxious.
I needed something to fix all this, you know, something calming and reassuring, as mothers hug. I made this soup, and you know what? I dont feel that this tooth extraction is going to kill me anymore.
Thank you, Deb! You just made my life much better. No words in the whole world would do these.
Good luck today! I hope it couldn’t possibly be as bad as last time. Sending good vibes.
I made this tonight, as I needed something wholesome and delicious. Mission accomplished! The parsnips at the shop were rubbery and bendy, so I substituted it with swede (rutabaga), and it was as delightful as I imagine the parsnip would have been. Halfway through, and taking heed of Deb’s cautions of over-seasoning, hubby and I wondered if there was something that could lift it just a little bit… the secret to this was just a smidgen of Vegemite – the salty, yeasty flavour just made it sing, although it killed any hopes of authenticity!
looks so good.
This is has replaced my former go-to chicken soup. The flavor of the broth is wonderful.
I tried the recipe for grandma-style chicken noodle soup in your SK everyday cookbook and it was very different from this, no browning the chicken, no salt while cooking and way too much water. It was a bit disappointing, but next time I will give this version a try. Just wondering why this recipe wasn’t used in the book instead?
I have three recipes for chicken noodle soup with different purposes.
* This is the quick one — ideally an hour or less. There’s more browning, but less depth of flavor overall.
* There’s an “ultimate” one on this site too — it spares nothing, takes a while, but is very rewarding.
* As I discuss in my book, the grandma-style one, the third, has its own purpose. It’s the way generations have made chicken noodle soup. It’s inexpensive, it has a short ingredient list, a relatively long cooking time, and it’s all about getting the most economy from ingredients; I think of it as a life skill. It’s the way I make it when someone is sick. If you end up with too much broth it in, you can simply reduce it until you get the correct amount (and a better concentration of flavors). I mention how much broth you should have when you’re done so you can measure against it if you’re unsure.
Made this with a rotisserie chicken and extra simmering time, and it turned out perfectly! My family really enjoyed this soup. Thank you!
Planning to make this ahead to bring to my grandparents’ for the holidays. If I’m making the broth and freezing it a week or so in advance, can I also freeze the cooked chicken to re-heat with the soup? Or should I just start over with fresh chicken when I’m serving it?
This may be totally obvious and reveal my noob-ness at cooking, but what happens to the onions when you strain the broth? Like.. all my onions obviously get caught by the strainer. Do I throw them all back in? Wouldn’t they be covered in the grime that I was trying to strain out in the first place? Somehow it’s not connecting in my visualization of this recipe :|
You thank them for their service and toss or compost them — they’ve given all of the flavor that they can.
Hi! I love all your recipes. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Due to this covid-19 craziness my delivery for yellow onions was substituted with red onions. Could I use red onions with this soup? Would it change the flavour too much? Please let me know! :-)
No, it should be fine.
Made this for a second time and it is lovely.
But I can’t figure out why my broth is so dark?
I prefer a lighter broth.
I use a stainless steel all clad pot.
1 neck, 1 breast, 1 wing and 1 thigh.
I followed all the other steps as per the receipt.
Any suggestion as to how to get it lighter?
It gets dark from onion skins, usually.
I took the onion skins off?
Wow, all I can say is WOW. In all my many years of making and eating chicken soup, this is the first time I came across the method of browning onions and then the chicken. Easy Peasey and oh-so-delicious. My usual method takes two days and two rounds of veggies. Thank you thank you thank you! I also can’t believe I never noticed this recipe before.
I added a lot of veggies to the soup, mostly fresh, some frozen. And I made a batch of matza balls instead of noodles. Cause I needed some comfort after getting the Covid vaccine!
I have a confession. This was the first time in three decades of making chicken soup that I followed a recipe. Usually, I go with my late grandma’s advice for making chicken (matzoh ball) soup, and it’s all about eyeballing. I followed your recipe almost to a “T,” –okay I may have used a little extra parsnip–and it was delicious; the broth was clear and the vegetables firm. I added a little more liquid because I think I cooked a bit off while cooking … Ooh, and I followed your “please don’t add salt” advice; I’ve been down that over-salting path, and it’s not fun.
This has been my go-to soup recipe for nearly 10 years, and I’m not even usually a soup enthusiast. Just made it again tonight, still great as ever. Thank you!
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When my fiance requested chicken noodle soup, I was torn between this recipe and your Ultimate – this is the one I chose. The broth is amazing, and I love the flavor and sweetness the parsnips bring. Your leek, chicken, and rice soup is still my absolute favorite, but this was extremely solid and super easy. Thanks, Deb!