my ultimate chicken noodle soup

I blame Katz’s for this. Two months ago, when we spent a day out playing tourist — i.e. breakfast bagels, Madeleine at the New York Historical Society followed by The Dinosaur Museum of Natural History (what my son calls it, please never correct him) — we decided to finish off our shivering afternoon with a visit to Katz’s Deli, a place I hadn’t been to in probably 10 years despite living fewer than 15 blocks from it, and the kid, never, shame on us. Alex ordered the chicken noodle soup and what arrived was peculiarly perfect: overloaded with noodles, colossal chunks of carrot and chicken and I… was jealous. My homemade chicken noodle soup never looked like this.

making the broth
what you'll need, plus the lovely broth

Now, it’s not like we haven’t made chicken soup here before. I shared last year my favorite uncluttered chicken stock, which is technically just some extra parts away from a completed bowl of soup. I’ve got a quickie recipe for from-scratch chicken noodle soup in the archives, too. But what I didn’t have was what was in front of me, the kind of soup that might take the better part of an afternoon to make but rewards you with a depth of flavor that makes everything bad — threatened head colds, shivering wind outside, pangs of social media envy over apparently everyone being on a tropical vacation but us and also this taunting me every time I walk by it — at least temporarily disappear. Everyone needs a winter miracle recipe like this in their back pocket.

diced chicken breast

extra-noodled chicken soup
chicken noodle soup

So, that Monday, a brutal 32 degrees outside, I began my chicken soup studies: what did the great recipes include that I didn’t? I found a few curious leads: a spoonful of tomato paste in a version of Cook’s Illustrated, some dried thyme in an old one from Gourmet, plus a few of my favorites: parsnips (my mother in law’s go-to addition) and leeks (which a friend’s houseguest had included in a recent chicken soup, to my delight). I used them all. And what came off the stove at dinnertime was unquestionably one of the best things I’ve ever made. I know I cook a lot, I know I gush a lot here about recipes, but it still isn’t even on a weekly or monthly basis that that the gap between what I’d hope to cook and what I ended up making is absolutely nonexistent, that a little bowl of anything manages to embody all of our chicken noodle soup hopes and dreams. But this one did.

my favorite chicken noodle soup yet

A tour de soup: [All the Smitten Kitchen soups, on Pinterest]

One year ago: Parmesan Broth with Kale and White Beans
Two years ago: Carrot Soup with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas
Three years ago: Carrot Soup with Miso and Sesame
Four years ago: Chard and White Bean Stew
Five years ago: Spicy Caramel Popcorn and Southwestern Pulled Brisket (still one of the greatest taco fillings of all time)
Six years ago: Pecan Sandies and Sugar-and-Spice Candied Nuts
Seven years ago: 96 Favorites from 2007 and Viennese Cucumber Salad (still a favorite)
Eight years ago: Best-Loved Recipes from 2006

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Blue and Red Berry Ricotta Galette
1.5 Years Ago: Peach and Pecan Sandy Crumble
2.5 Years Ago: Flag Cake
3.5 Years Ago: Skirt Steak with Bloody Mary Tomato Salad (on a lawn chair)

My Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 5 quarts, or about 10 to 12 meal-sized servings

You’ll want about 4 to 4 1/2 hours to make this in one afternoon. Or, you can break it up over two days or cooking periods by making the broth either on the stove in 2 to 3 hours or in a slow-cooker for longer (such as while you’re at work), at which point you’ll need just an hour to finish the soup, making it weeknight accessible.

If you’re a total heathen, as we sometimes are, you can use up to 12 ounces soup noodles here for recipe that will be almost more noodle than soup. But I recommend at least starting with the 9-ounce level before determining if overkill will be necessary.

2 medium-large yellow onions, unpeeled, halved or 1 large onion plus 1 large leek, cleaned and cut lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed a little
1 large carrot
1 large parnsip (optional)
1 celery rib
4 quarts water
4 pounds chicken bones (from about two carcasses leftover from a roast or rotisserie) or a combination of fresh chicken wings (my first choice), backs, necks or feet
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf

To Finish
3 bone-in skin-on chicken breast halves
2 large carrots, peeled and diced or 1 large carrot and 1 large parsnip, diced
1 large leek, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch segments
1 to 2 celery ribs, chopped or diced
9 ounces thin egg noodles or soup noodles of your choice
2 tablespoons finely-chopped flat-leaf parsley

Make the broth:

[On the stove] Combine all ingredients in a large (6 to 8 quart) stock pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a gentle simmer, skim any unpleasant looking foam (“skim the scum” is kitchen parlance for this step, but I’m trying to be polite) and cover with a lid. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

[In a slow-cooker] Combine all ingredients in a large (6 quart or larger) slow-cooker. Cook on LOW for 10 hours or HIGH for 5. Strain into a large pot (5.5 quarts or more) and let rest in the fridge until needed, or, if you’re finishing the soup right away, bring to a simmer on the stove.

Cook the chicken:

[Both methods] Add whole chicken breasts to simmering broth. Simmer for 20 minutes, until they’re cooked through, then strain broth [for stovetop method] or simply remove cooked chicken breasts [from the slow-cooker method] and set them aside. Taste broth, and adjust seasoning if needed.

Finish the soup:

Add diced vegetables to simmering broth on stove and cook for 5 minutes, until firm-tender. Add soup noodles and cook according to package instructions, usually 6 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, once chicken breasts are cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and shred or chop into small chunks. Return chicken to soup and simmer for 2 minutes, until heated through. Finish with parsley and serve to some very lucky people.

To de-fat the broth: Once the broth portion is complete and the soup has settled a little, you can skim any fat that’s accumulated at the surface with a soup skimmer or spoon, to taste. If you’re going to chill the broth before finishing the soup another day, it’s easiest to take the fat off right before you use it; it will have solidified at the surface. P.S. Don’t toss it, please! It makes for wonderful matzo balls and fried latkes.

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373 comments on my ultimate chicken noodle soup

  1. Christine

    (And I haven’t been to Katz’s in at least 15 years. For shame. Do they still have the table marked where “Harry Met Sally”? I used to really enjoy that.)

  2. Leslie

    These seasonings are almost exactly the ones I use for my famous “Grandma’s chicken noodle soup” that is known to my family. I’m excited to see that I was on the same track with you — my cooking hero. :-) The difference is the addition of the turnip, increased onions, and the bay leaf. Can’t wait to make the changes and elevate my soup. Thank you so much for all you do to make us look like great cooks.

  3. Roast chicken and chicken noodle soup are the two things I miss the most from my meat eating days. There’s something so comforting about out a bowl on a cold winter day. Love the addition of thyme here. Definitely sending this over to my mom.

  4. Have you spent any time using your pressure cooker for stocks/broths? We’ve done it once or twice, and it’s practically magic the way it slices time away. Honestly, though, I tend to use mine for soups with ingredients like sweet potatoes that can be whizzed into a thick soup directly in the pot with a magic wand blender.

  5. Jillian

    This is so close to mine that I’m stupidly excited to try the additions from cooks and gourmet. It’s always a good day for chicken soup in January!!

  6. deb

    Melody — I usually use dried egg noodles, the skinny ones. They usually come in bags instead of boxes and are right in the pasta area of stores. You can use any pasta or noodle you’d like. Orzo is popular. Rice is too.

    Molly — No, and I keep promising I will. Worse, I’ve made this three times this fall — actually Alex made it solo two weeks ago, because he is awesome — and thus had many opportunities to audition it. That said, I think you could use the directions for any pressure cooker chicken broth/stock to make the broth portion here.

    Christine — Yup!

    Joanna — Whoops, now fixed.

  7. I just made chicken soup yesterday, so it’s funny you posted this today. I use a whole chicken and turnips, but otherwise my recipe is similar.

    I don’t often comment, but I’m an avid reader, and I’ve got my dad reading now as well! For New Year’s Eve, we both made recipes from your site, he made the smoked whitefish dip with horseradish and I made the squash toasts with ricotta and cider vinegar. Both were delicious. Thank you!

  8. Jessica

    So what I always feel like I am missing from my ‘ideal’ chicken noodle soup memories from childhood is noodles like what are found in Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. regular pasta just isn’t the same. I’ve tried the thin egg noodles, but they seem to turn to mush before I can even finish my bowl. Help!?!

  9. Mert

    Joanna– I think that’s an accidentally duplicated sentence.

    A soup that embodies all our chicken noodle soup hopes and dreams? Done.

  10. Jeanne

    This looks great–can’t wait to try. Do you ever make your own egg noodles? I remember being fascinated as I watched my mother break an egg into a big mound of flour and then magically produce noodles! She’s gone now, but I would love to recreate the magic if I had a recipe!

  11. Thea M.

    First, I’m regularly using your recipes in my kitchen – thanks a great site for healthy, delicious, and attainable homemade food!

    Secondly, Joy Wilson posted a recipe for broth this week as well, and I just can’t wrap my head around the carcass part. When we eat [devour] roasted chicken, we have a lot of less-than-desirable stuff still left on the bones; do you just throw the carcass with that in the broth, or do you strip it down still further? I like the method you mentioned to use chicken neck/back/wings. Do you throw them into the stock whole?

    Thanks! I’ll be making this recipe before the winter is through.

  12. I recently decided to tackle chicken noodle soup because I’ve never been a fan, which I blame solely on Campbell’s. I made mine (on my blog) by poaching a whole chicken in the crockpot with tons of scallions, cilantro, star anise, ginger, and mushrooms, so it had a definite asian flair to it, but holy crap… it was so simple and amazing that I felt like I had won the lottery. I wish I had thought of those thin egg noodles you used though! I added normal egg noodles to our bowls, and while totally delicious, I think the thin ones would be even better.
    I’m really jealous that you have easy access to Katz’s. We just moved away from New York and I’ve been craving a pastrami sandwich, and some real matzoh ball soup. UGH.

  13. amanda

    Deb – the onion thing confuses me. Is that two different options you’re giving us? Sorry if I’m being dense …

    Happy 2015 to you!

  14. alex

    This looks amazing! I’m assuming that if you add the breasts to the slow-cooker, the 20 minutes is on high? With the top off or on? And does the whole thing need to be strained and moved to the stovetop before the last step with veggies and noodles? Thanks for bearing with my little questions…

  15. Well it’s a balmy 11 degrees below zero and colder with the wind chill in the suburbs of St Paul Minnesota this morning and this soup does indeed look marvelous; I can almost feel the steam coming off the bowl. I will be making this soon. Thank you for the wonderful recipes ~ I love your blog and I love your cookbook! Your narratives are such a delight to read.

  16. Cindy

    i cannot find leeks, parsnips, or celery here in equatorial Uganda, but my chicken soup recipe is quite similar to this. Of course, I have to go out and catch the chicken, slaughter and pluck it, so I use the whole chicken. Thank you for all of your recipes. Even though I cannot find some of the ingredients, I enjoy making substitutions based on the local foods and challenging my imagination as I try to adapt your recipes to my cultural context.

  17. Katharine

    Can’t wait to make this! How many onions are we talking about here? Does “2 medium-large yellow onions, unpeeled, halved, 1 onion plus 1 large leek, cleaned and cut lengthwise” equal 3 onions with various states of peel-age?

  18. deb

    Thea — Yes, you can absolutely use the carcasses leftover from roast or rotisserie chicken, and whatever is left on them. If there’s a liver or something you worry would find unpleasant, you can remove it, but the time-honored way of making chicken stock is just to use old bones like this. For backs and necks, I usually have them leftover after I take a chicken apart (and a good reason to learn how, so economical!). You can throw them in a freezer bag to later be used for stock. They go in, bone, skin and all. Same with wings. For the wings, I tend to look for a bulk bag. I really think they have the most lovely flavor in soup, but are probably the least economical (er, save Ina Garten’s recommendation that you boil 3 (!) 5-pound roasting chicken for broth and then throw them away, not to troll my favorite TV host or anything).

    amanda and others with onion questions — Whoops! The word “or” was missing, now fixed. You can use two onions, or 1 onion and a big (or two medium) leeks, depending on your flavor preference. I often buy leeks in bundles of three, so using two in the broth and one in the final soup makes for efficient usage.

    alex — In a slow-cooker, I’d probably feel safer giving them 30 to 40 minutes minimum. Lifting the lid and adding cool ingredients will knock the temperature back a bit. The good news is that should your chicken seem a little underdone as you skin and chop it for the final soup, you can just simmer it a few minutes longer in the final broth and get it caught up, so you do have an insurance policy, so to speak.

    1. Vilija

      The chicken in the slow cooker part is still confusing to me. Are you saying to add all ingredients to a slow cooker for the broth, including chicken wings (or combo parts) and ALSO add the chicken breasts that you will then remove and set aside after the 10 hours on low or 5 hours on high? Thanks! I really want to make this.

  19. Liz S.

    This looks WONDERFUL! I never throw away a chicken carcass until I have had an opportunity to make broth with it, and always have several quarts of broth in the freezer. Since my husband is still trying to shake a very nasty cold and the temperatures in New Jersey are set to plummet, I think it’s time to break out a pot of this soup. DONE!

  20. I love that you sort through all the available options and come up with the perfect combo so we don’t have to :) This one looks tasty. It is definitely chicken soup weather out here in Seattle. Heading to NYC in a week or so – should I hit up Katz’s?

  21. Yum – perfect timing! I’ve been craving soup and have been in the mood to whip up pot after pot. Last night we made a chicken soup, but I’d love to try this one!


  22. Here is a question I always wonder when I see different recipes for the same thing from one source (or similar sources.) Do you think that this will replace your previous chicken noodle soup recipes from here on out?

    1. deb

      Zulkey — Yes, absolutely. I really try not to do multiple recipes for the same dish here because it can be confusing, so when I do, it’s almost always about filling a gap left by the others. The perfect chicken stock is indeed still my favorite chicken stock. But stock isn’t broth; it can be used as broth but if you were making it for the sole purpose of being the backdrop of chicken noodle soup (rather than a backdrop to any number of soups or sauces that call for chicken stock), you’d probably prefer it with all of these other things. The quick chicken noodle soup in the archives is about making a good-enough chicken noodle soup after work on a weekday. But this is the real deal. This, for me, is the gold standard of chicken noodle soup, the kind I think most people crave, and thus might not mind the labor entailed. And I hoooope I’ve broken it down in ways that it still could be made in a single afternoon, or slow-cookered while one was away all day and finished in time for a reasonably on-time dinner. Hope that helps.

  23. Anna Ruby

    My favorite chicken soup recipe is a bit different, inspired by a friend’s recipe and chicken soup in Peru. I start with a base of sauteed onions and add an inch or two of grated fresh ginger to it and then 1/4-1/2 tsp of turmeric and coriander and I thicken up the broth a little with a handful each of quinoa and red lentils. Finally, 10 or so garlic cloves get cooked whole in their skins in the soup until the end when I fish them out and squeeze the cooked garlic into the soup to combine with chicken, carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, and kale. It’s great for colds!

  24. Karen C.

    A small squeeze of lemon with the parsley at the end is the key to good chicken noodle soup IMO. It adds much needed brightness.

  25. shira kestenbaum

    pretty much the way i make my soup (but i add parsley and dill at the end) – but i never heard of adding tomato paste! Have to give it a try this week – we’re expecting a snow storm here (in Jerusalem).

  26. Susan

    My biggest gripe about noodle soup is how bloated and soggy/gummy the noodles get when there are leftovers. I discovered on your quickie Chicken Noodle Soup recipe that when I used the “no yolks” noodles, which was all I had at the time, they held their firmness until the soup was gone. For that reason, I fear using any other noodles. How did your noodles in this recipe fare if there was any left over?

    1. deb

      vera — For chicken bones, most people just keep their leftover bones after eating roasted or rotisserie chicken. Or, you can buy backs and necks at a lot of butchers/meat counters. As I mentioned, I usually opt for bulk wings instead. They can be frighteningly inexpensive, but really do make for delicious soup.

      Susan — I hear you! Mine have held up well, we are using no-yolk noodles because it’s all we could find. However, an easier solution would be to just ladle some broth and a little water into a separate pot, make the noodles and keep them separate until you’re ready to heat them into the soup.

  27. symphonic chef

    Hi Deb, this looks great! How do you deal with removing chicken fat from the soup? Do you have a separator that you recommend? I love making chicken soup (especially the tortilla variety) but I find that icky fat floating on top the next day to be a deterrent. Thanks!

  28. Robyn

    This is almost my own recipe exactly, except for the tomato paste, parsnips, and thyme. I also put chunks of potato in the finished soup, and use about 10 peppercorns in the broth stage. I find that it is the leeks that really take the broth over the top as I have made it without and found it lacking. I have not tasted a chicken soup that comes close to this! My husband even told his own mother that her chicken soup doesn’t hold a candle to mine.

  29. Ellen in Rockville, MD

    Deb, Love your site, have been following you for years. Even have your cookbook, felt a need to support one so deserving! I don’t understand why it has to be a two step process. Why not just use the whole chicken, remove and shred it? Have been doing this for years. Too old, 70, to change now, but was just wondering.

  30. Aarthi

    OK, I am not one of those people who take a perfectly good meat dish and want to make it vegetarian but any suggestions to make this vegetarian? I have a husband with a head cold and terrible rainy weather here in Seattle and I know a noodle soup would be much appreciated. I am making a minestrone which is tolerated but a noodle soup will win me medals :)

  31. Curt

    Long time listener, first time caller. Echoing SC’s questions about fat. I am careful to remove every bit of floating fat – either through painstaking skimming or overnight chilling. But you don’t mention it. Should it be removed? Is a little bit OK. Thanks. I’m getting straihght to work on this.

  32. Nita

    I’m echoing Ellen C. – kluski noodles are awesome and I think they’re Campbell’s-like. I found them in my local bagged near the other egg noodles. I tend to cook mine on the side, store separately, and ladle soup over them (I hate mush noodles the next day) but they are more substantial noodles anyway.

  33. Elila

    This sounds like golden treasure to have in the freezer for those days that only homemade chicken soup will cure. Does this soup freeze okay as is (or without the noodles)? Or would it be better just to freeze the finished broth and wait to add the veggies and chicken meat along with the noodles?

  34. deb

    Skimming fat — You can use a fat skimmer once you’ve strained the broth and let it settle a little. My favorite way to remove it, and what I find easiest, is if you let it rest overnight and the fat solidifies on top and is much easier to remove; you can remove almost all of it. Either work. For first-day cooking-and-eating, I just skim what I can and it never seems terribly greasy to me.

    Ellen — Yes, that’s definitely the old-school way to do it. But, I find that I’m always in a fight with the soup — I want to cook the chicken longer to get more flavor but I don’t want overcooked chicken. A typical way to give the soup more depth is to add a few pounds of bones, so you can remove the chicken as soon as it’s poached. This, I hope, simplifies that further. You don’t have to pick a whole chicken and you can use leftover chicken bones or less-popular chicken parts to get the maximum flavor in the broth, and just add what you need in cooked chicken at the end.

    Kelly — Bone in, skin on. Basically, whole wings, tips are fine too.

  35. AlyssaM

    Truly, madly want to make this…BUT, where am I getting 2 chicken carcasses in a hurry? Have you ever asked your local butcher (or butcher at Whole Foods, as would be the case for me) to save you some? And, if not, I roast chickens every few weeks, could I put the carcass in the freezer until I need it for soup? Thanks!

    1. deb

      AlyssaM — Yes, they can be saved from roast chickens and frozen. No, I haven’t gotten any from a butcher before. (Backs and necks, yes.) When I don’t have a carcass or two laying around, I just use the chicken wing option — 4 pounds, usually bought in bulk so the price is very reasonable.

  36. As I type this, it is currently -31 Celsius (makes 32 Fahrenheit seem balmy, huh?) and I’m sort of, kind of, hoping the cold snap lasts long enough for me to make this.

  37. Char

    Try adding a whole star anise into the pot along with the bay leaf for seasoning – it’s not enough to make your stock taste of licorice, just adds a pleasing note. I haven’t tried the tomato paste but will remember that one.

    And in reply to Susan’s comment (#51), in my family it is verboten to cook the noodles in the same pot as the soup – they are always held separately and added directly to the bowl with hot soup ladled over top – nothing ruins a great bowl of soup like soggy, slimy overcooked noodles.

  38. Camille

    Whenever I roast a chicken I always freeze the carcass (if I’m not making stock immediately). Then over the following weeks I add stock ingredients to the freezer bag. My current favorites are: Leek tops, fresh fennel fronds, apple, carrot, onion, celery tops and centers, and garlic of course. Then on a soupy day all I have to do is dump the bag in a pot, cover with water, add some herbs and voila!

    My partner made delicious chicken soup yesterday and in an inspired moment finely diced a yellow beet and added it. It was amazing! Satisfying golden colour (eat your heart out Lipton!), sweetness, earthy, umami-y depth. Try it! I dare you!

    I wonder if ramen noodles would work in chicken soup? They are certainly designed to hold their shape in broth…

  39. JP

    I have been trying to decide to take the plunge with Cook’s new slow cooker chicken noodle soup but yours looks easier- not only that, but the addition of leek makes me think that Smitten knows best! Nothing like hot soup on a cold day…Jewish penicillin to be sure. :) Thanks for starting the new year right.

  40. Jaime

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for thinking to include a slow-cooker method for the first step. That will be a huge help!! I think I will start it the night before, so it can cook low and slow overnite, then before I head out for work, strain the broth, throw it in the fridge and finish it when I get home. I just think some things taste so much better when the flavors have had time to “get to know one another” in the fridge (hello spaghetti sauce and chili) I also love that you gave us options for the broth: chicken carcasses or wings, so we can make this with whichever we happen to have on hand. Love it! I can’t wait to try this!

  41. The soup does look delicious. The recipes does sound great. BUT. I think that my mum’s chicken soup with home made noodles is the best! I always ‘request’ it when I go home. :) So, it will be mid February!

  42. redgirl

    ok…I regularly make chicken soup – I buy the 2 whole coleman chickens from Costco and go from there. but I found one step makes the whole thing easier: for the first 10 minutes (at least) JUST the chicken parts and water. the scum will bubble up to the surface and it is sooooo much easier to get a clear stock if you de-scum the water first – otherwise you’re fishing out peppercorns and pieces of turnip, etc.
    additionally, I always crack a few peppercorns and throw them in – since i’ll strain the stock before reassembling with pieces of chicken and veggie.

  43. I’ve never tried making chicken soup on my own. Pretty much the only kind I’ve ever had has come out of a can. This looks so yummy I think I might actually attempt to make this one!

  44. Leslie

    I haven’t read all the comments, but have you ever tried this in your crockpot over night? It’s the easiest thing I’ve found to do. You throw your chicken carcass in with all your stuff after dinner, around dishes time. Let it cook on low til the next evening, done! You get an even richer and healthier broth as you’re getting all the nutrients from the bones since it cooks so long. That’s when I either put it in the fridge til the next day, or just use it for soup that night. I find it easier to put in crockpot at that time of night rather than during the day. And you should see tha broth that comes out :). I use Himalayan pink sea salt to flavor, which has an amazing mineral content and makes your finished soup even healthier!

  45. You know what would put it over the top??
    Before ladling the soup into the bowl, put a dallop of sauerkraut ( no liquid though, shake it off) in the bottom of the bowl

    If your ever wondering what’s missing flavor wise… Sauerkraut brings it over the top

    I’ve done this a couple times and can’t believe the amazing flavor
    Try it

  46. Cate

    I’m not sure if nutritionists would agree, but I’ve been adding a little apple cider vinegar to chicken and water and leaving it for 30(ish) minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients and turning on my slow cooker overnight. I understand it helps leech calcium from the bones and into the stock.

  47. deb

    This recipe is one I will try, for sure. I am on a never ending quest for a deep, rich chicken soup. Question – do you skim off the fat and if so, at what point?

  48. Suzzanne

    Oh, this looks so good. It is not going to go above zero on Wednesday here in Iowa, so I think I will make another batch of chicken soup this week. Besides being comforting for colds, this will fit in my weight loss diet. I made chicken tortilla soup. I had fried up the drumsticks and thighs for chicken and waffles. I cut the breast meat off the bone and started my pot with what remained of my chicken – wings, back bones, breast bones. Once the water came to a boil, I added my chicken breasts and poached them for 20 minutes and them removed from the pot. I let the broth simmer with the bones for about an hour. My supermarket, factory processed chicken was full of fat, so I had a lot of fat on the surface once the broth was chilled. I should have saved the bones leftover from my fried chicken and thrown them into the pot. Lots of good ideas from your readers.

  49. I’m having Persian Chicken Noodle Soup tonight – very similar to this except for the broth ingredients. I also add a dried lime to the soup and use reshteh noodles. This looks fabulous!

  50. Jody

    We had homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner, but I will try this next. It sounds and looks wonderful! I might add white corn and hard-boiled egg, in honor of my Gram. She made yummy chicken corn soup–she could make delicious soup out of whatever leftovers were in the fridge!

  51. dkooistra

    I’m also wondering about that dollop of tomato paste. What does it do, I wonder? Cooks is always so hilariously analytic about these things…but I didn’t see an explanation for this one!

  52. Cejay

    Thanks for posting this, I’m always searching for the perfect chicken soup. Looking at your brutal cold weather, but of course you can have too much of a good thing. 44 degrees centrigrade (=111 degrees Farenheit) at my particular nook of the southern hemisphere yesterday.

  53. Jeff Carr

    This may be a novice question, but as many of the vegetables in the first and second part are the same, are the ones for the broth in the fist part used in the soup in the second part or discarded?

  54. DANG it! THIS was the recipe I was gonna feed the nits and myself tonight…until I got to the part about the chicken bones. It’s 8:25 pm here in SoCal and that just ain’t gonna happen tonight. But you’ve lit the fire and placed the bar high….this weekend, my pretties….

  55. Hal Jay Greene

    Okay recipe, but missing some crucial ingrediments (noted by some other commenters) namely, generous equal amounts of parsley and dill, a squeeze of lemon at the end, and instead of wings (really?) chicken FEET.

    NOW you’re cooking!

  56. Sonnie

    What the backs, neckbones and wing tips add are collagen protein. That’s what makes the stock gelatinous in the fridge, and gives the stock a richness and a certain “mouth feel.” The old Jewish grandmother, as well as my Kansas farmer grandma and Chinese grandmothers too, would put a few chicken feet in the pot. Yep — and stop saying “eww.” I don’t always use them, but I have good Asian and Mexican grocery stores in my area (Southern California), where the feet are available and inexpensive. I’d be willing to wager that your deli uses them.

  57. Marcia

    My Grandmother always used Barley in her chicken soup , in place of, or in addition to noodles, so I use Barley too. I always feels virtuous and it is delicious. ..about !/3 to 1/2 cup of Barley to a pot of soup ..(It expands). One of the things I do to channel my Grandmother. With the next vortex about to blow in , i think its time.

  58. Tracy

    Deb ~
    You have an amazing knack for making any day better with your posts. Thank you for your voice, your recipes, and your “realness”!
    Can’t wait to try this chicken soup!! It’s one of my favs!

  59. AussieBeth

    Wouldn’t the chicken breasts take longer to cook in the slow-cooker method than the stove top method? I’m wondering at what point I should add them to the broth when using a slow cooker. Thx.

  60. I have been trying to decide to take the plunge with Cook’s new slow cooker chicken noodle soup but yours looks easier- not only that, but the addition of leek makes me think that Smitten knows best! Nothing like hot soup on a cold day…Jewish penicillin to be sure. :) Thanks for starting the new year right.

  61. Kathleen

    Vancouver,Canada here..have tried numerous recipes from your site..and made things over and over..tonite I made the date/orange to keep it to myself before my boyfriend sees it..will be nice toasted in the am
    This soup looks mom used to make one with barley instead of noodles which was very good also
    Love New York..hope to come back one day as my first time was before 911

  62. David

    Re: mushy noodles in soup.

    I usually do as Deb suggests and cook noodles separately then add them to soup, especially if I’m making if I know there will be leftovers.

    On an early episode of the PBS series ‘The Mind of a Chef’ (now available on Netflix) this problem was discussed. Harold McGee (the famous food scientist) said that noodles made with an alkaline ingredient does something to the gluten in flour which prevents them from getting mushy and eventually dissolving in soups. It also makes the noodles yellowish, which perhaps is a clue to why traditional egg noodles seem to hold up better in soups.

    Chinese grocery stores often sell fresh, very yellow noodles (in 400g pkgs here in Toronto.) I’ve found that they seem to work well in soups. Might be worth trying.

  63. shira kestenbaum

    re – chicken fat

    For those who, like me, prefer to make the soup with as little fat as possible (i know, i know, all the flavor is in the fat etc) simply make the broth with just bones (necks/backs with no skin). I usually do this in the slow cooker. the end result is an almost fatless broth.

  64. suzi

    this is going to dound like a dumb question, but I need to ask it anyway. When you say chicken carcasses – are you speaking of cooked ones or raw that have the meat cut off? I made lots of soups from leftover turkey bones and chicken bones, but it’s pretty hard to come up with pounds of bones.

    I have a hubby who hates onions, so I often have to leave them out. I do pressure cook mine but often seems to lack flavor so I have to add some chicken base. any suggestions? I love a good soup and am always making something. I buy the chicken legs and thigh pieces when they’re on sale…. currently? $.59lb in the family pack. I could eat Chicken soup every day. I wait until the last to put in the cooked chicken / turkey or it gets overcooked and weird…

  65. I got bought a slow cooker for Christmas and this recipe looks like a perfect excuse to use it. Guaranteed to be more effective than any medicine for beating a winter cold too!


  66. Meredith

    Looks delicious! I made a similar soup this weekend – a nice hearty, homestyle turkey noodle which had a lot of your same attributes. LOVE the inclusion of the leeks; I used them in my soup and I really think that simple addition puts it over the top! Mmmmmmm!

  67. YUM. I’m not much of a cook (I’m pretty terrible actually) and I’ve never made soup before. As cold as it is today, this inspired me to make my own soup and give it a whirl. Thanks for posting!

  68. This looks phenomenal. I love the skinny little noodles and the gorgeous yellow broth.

    Do you think I could freeze the soup as is – for (forced) future consumption otherwise, I’d eat the whole damn thing in one go – or should the noodles be left out for freezing?

  69. deb

    Gluten-free soup noodles — There are many brands that sell them, but it seems as easy to make make a chicken-rice soup or use Asian rice noodles, breaking or chopping them up to a desired size.

    suzi — Carcasses usually refers to the bones/parts leftover after roast or rotisserie chicken. I will clarify in the ingredients, because it might be confusing. The other parts suggests — backs, necks, and wings — I’m suggest fresh ones.

    AussieBeth — I haven’t added the chicken breasts directly to the slow-cooker before, because for me at least, it was counter to the way I used it — i.e. since I’m going to have to move everything to the stove anyway, might as well cook the final chicken there too rather than for a longer period of time in the slow-cooker. But that, of course, wasn’t your question. I mentioned to Alex in Comment #32 that I’d give them longer in the slow-cooker, even up to an hour on low or 40 minutes on high, to be safe. I also mention that even if they were a little underdone at that point, you can finish cooking them in the final broth, so it’s not a big deal.

    Chicken feet — How could I have forgotten? They really make the best stock. Good stocks come from lots of bones with little meat on them, thus feet are perfect. Plus, most of us aren’t eating them anyway. Ask your butcher if he can put some aside from you, unless you’re near a market that sells them all the time.

    Jeff — I usually discard the broth ones but I don’t care for soft, overcooked vegetables, which were mostly there to flavor the broth. Not everyone agrees. Some people like them in the final soup too. I prefer to put in fresh and more flavorful ones.

    Just added — Skimming and de-fatting notes.

  70. Kim

    I started making chicken noodle soup this year for the first time in ages. The broth was similar but I like some of the seasoning changes so will try those. What we thought takes chicken noodle soup right over the top, is making your own noodles which are very simple with a food processor to whip up the dough (2 eggs, 2 c flour, little salt and a drizzle of olive oil). Now, this is comfort food at its best. Thanks for bringing us so many dependable, wonderful recipes.

  71. Chava

    I didn’t read all the many many posts on this one, so I apologize if this doubles up on someone else’s thoughts.

    The best broth without exception is made from chicken feet. Add a carcass if you have it, but believe me, the chicken feet are spectacular. Organic, frozen, very clean chicken feet are available, and better yet, they are also very cheap. I hope you will try it Deb!

  72. Valerie

    This sounds great. Unusual additions but sure to have lots of flavour. One thing, you don’t say to skim the yuck from the pot after you the soup first comes to a boil the chicken. This is so important and for newbies it’s a really important step that they may not know.

  73. Esmee

    Janice — definitely the juice of half a lemon… and I boil the noodles and add them separately so that they’re fresh and not soggy in the leftover soup.

  74. Esmee

    I love the comments about the wonders of chicken feet… i spent a lot of time in the USSR looking for a chicken without them before I found a friendly butcher who was happy to cut them off (and reserve for himself the delicacy, i’m sure) for the weird American woman who obviously knew nitchivo about chicken. I don’t know — I got used to it finally, but they still make me cringe.

  75. Justine

    My grandmother and then my mother always used parsnips and a small sweet potato, as well as carrots, onion and celery to make the broth along with lots of dill cooked with the broth and taken out at the end. I never heard of using tomato paste, but my late mother-in-law–who was a terrible cook–used to put ketchup into already cooked chicken soup.

  76. Valerie Miller

    Every time I’m in Manhattan, which is only once a year or so, we hit Katz Deli for for corned beef sandwiches. It’s always cold out and why oh why haven’t I had this soup? I’m going to make it and order it!

  77. seema

    I make a similar chicken soup for my family all the time and it’s a hit. But, I throw in chicken wings with all the veggies and water because I once read that they provide just the right balance of fat with tons of flavor. Also, because I got the recipe from my Indian mom, I throw in some fresh ginger and turmeric with all the ingredients. It’s a go to for my kids.

  78. Julia

    That looks so awesome! This sounds great, especially since it’s so cold outside where I am. My mother makes a mean chicken noodle soup that’s been passed down my Romanian family line, but I would love to try your version.

  79. karen koffler

    Deb, you had mentioned an easy vegetable stock when you shared your chicken stock recipe awhile back; if it’s ready, can you please post it? Both of my girls are now vegetarians. Thanks!

  80. My Dad made wonderful chicken soup and it looks a bit like this one. He would make it whenever I got sick, even after I married and moved away from home. I think I’m going to make a pot of this for my neighbors who are sick this week. Great idea!

  81. Cristy Lee

    The short lived Octavia’s kitchen (East village) put brussels sprouts leaves in their matzo ball soup, a move I’ve since stolen and now include in both matzo ball and chicken noodle soup. It’s pretty, delicious, and an easy way to up the veggie intake in a one pot meal. Now, if I could only figure out how to copy their house made pickle brine for gin martinis. On second thought, probably better if I didn’t.

  82. donna murphy

    My mother, age 95, always put tomato paste in her turkey soup. Don’t know why, but it amps up the flavor beautifully. Will,start doing the same for my chicken soup. Also she used chicken feet whenever they were available. The Best!

  83. liz

    Perfect timing! I was planning on making chicken noodle soup this weekend and didn’t have a good recipe on hand. I’d also like to know about when to freeze the soup- after making the stock/broth, or is it possible to freeze it with veggies and/or chicken in it? I want to have it on hand for when my husband or I get sick this winter and would like to minimize the prep time, as when he gets sick he gets on the hangry side :)

  84. Kay

    I’ve read a bunch of the comments, but I think I’m still a bit confused! Do I leave the chicken wings in the soup in addition to the chicken breast, or do I just throw those away after straining it? Do I throw away all the veggies I just cooked in that broth too, or are those the veggies I chop up for finishing? This will be my first time making a broth from scratch, which probably is the reason for all of my confusion, sorry!

  85. Elia

    Hi this looks wonderful! I’m just curious ( I hope you haven’t answered this yet) do you just discard the chicken parts used to make the broth ? Making this tonight! Thank you so much

  86. julie

    As a grandma who learned from her mother & grandmother, here are some hints for good soup. An alternative to chicken which I’ve been doing for years…I keep turkey wings in the freezer…for a small batch of soup one half of the wing will do. Kosher supermarkets usually pack up chicken bones after they bone chickens for breasts and they also pack chicken backs. These are great…divide into smaller batches and freeze. If there is excessive fat…render it. Also if you’ve never tasted one try halal chicken for your soup…the meat is sweet and delicate.

    “Soup greens” I use…. chopped fresh garlic, half an onion cut up small, cut up celery plus some of its leaves, cut up the following: small white turnip, parsnip, carrots, parsley root, celeriac (knob celery) if available,Italian/flat leaf parsley, and fresh dill. If I’m in the mood I use some barley (which can lead to making mushroom barley soup) or occasionally brown rice…..salt, white pepper and always a bit of paprika for color. It is worthwhile removing the vegetables once they are cooked and continuing with cooking the soup. The veggies then can be warmed in soup just before serving, along with a dollop of fresh cut parsley. Cook noodles separately, drain then add to the soup bowl. This prevents soggy noodles

    Regarding paprika…do not, unless you have no other option, use canned paprika.The only word for it is blahh. You can find bagged paprika imported from Spain, Turkey, as well as Hungary if you are in a metro area. It has etter flavor… Warning…use sweet paprika, not hot which is like using chili peppers.

  87. julie

    Re chicken feet….people in Eastern Europe used them….scrub, dip in boiling temp. water then scrape off skin (unless they are already skinned) is quite easy to do. The feet add gelatin to the soup…remove from soup before they begin to fall apart.

  88. Melanie

    Can I use the chicken broth that I made this weekend, using your recipe? But would i omit all broth ingredients? (love the simple broth!)

  89. Naomi

    I made your 2012 chicken soup recipe just a couple of days ago. My little girls don’t eat soup (why?!) but they loved this. I can’t tell you how happy it made me that soup has finally made the family menu. Now I have to do a taste test and check out the 2015 version!
    On another note, I noticed in the 2012 photos and comments that you blocked off your vegetables before dicing them (perfectionist?), but not in 2015. I wondered whether the demands of being a mother to a young child (oh and the insanely successful blog) had meant that the pleasures of perfectly chopped vegetables had to take a back seat!

  90. Yum! This recipe is perfection. I think everyone could use a little chicken soup in their life. Cold, snowy January days were made for food like this. Homemade chicken broth is so easy and makes a world of difference. This recipe will come in handy with all of the cold weather headed my way.

  91. Sarahb1313

    Great recipe!
    Katz’s! Grew up on their pastrami. Still remember receiving my sample of freshly cut hunk of meat over the counter when I couldn’t even reach it! Such sweet memories. Must go back. Me too, I think closer to 12 years…

  92. OMG – this soup is truly amazing and my new go to recipe. Not only is it delicious but easier than what I have been making for years. I am kinda of known for my chicken soup – actually have been in the newspaper about it. I roast bones and add it to the water with the whole chickens cut up and vegetables. This adaption was after I took a cooking series where the soup was made first by making stock with roasted bones, onions and tomato paste. Then the stock was made into soup with cut up whole chickens. Well – that is essentially Deb’s recipe – except she does not roast the bones. I made a quadruple recipe today (can you imagine how great my house smells!!) so I made 1/2 with raw bones and 1/2 with roasted bones – the end result had no noticeable difference. One of the best things about Deb’s recipe is there is less playing with the chicken – not as much to take off the bone – only the breasts added at the end. Also, I am pretty sure that starting with bones is less expensive then starting with whole chickens. But the result it the darkest, richest most flavorful soup I have ever had, So, Smitten Kitchen has – in the last few months – caused me to change 2 of my trademark recipes – babka and chicken soup. Thanks Deb!

  93. Patty

    34 degrees is balmy! Come to Chicago for 34 below zero wind chill.
    Made my broth after work tonight and the smell is heaven. I cannot wait to finish it tomorrow night. Perfect timing as always. Thanks, Deb!

  94. Sara A.

    My mother always includes a nice inch-size chunk of ginger in her chicken soup. I find that I’m always looking for it when I have a bowl else-where. Following her lead, I add a tablespoon of fresh ground ginger, a few smashed cloves of garlic, and an onion cut in half. Then I do a bit of a fridge clean out, adding carrots, celery leaves, the green part of a leek, parsnips and turnips. Lately my noodle shape of choice has been stars, the only way to get my 2 year old to eat soup. I also prefer to use the carcass of a roast chicken, it stretches the dollar a little more and has more flavor for less work than raw.

  95. Marsha G

    I made this soup yesterday because we have colds with a cough. My husband said it was the best chicken soup he’s ever had. I added a can of low sodium white beans because my mother in law always threw them in for extra protein. They add to the richness of the soup.

  96. Denise C.

    Homemade noodles are so easy to make and truly make the soup “from scratch”. I just take one cup of flour (I like to use my home milled soft white wheat which makes the noodles the yummiest but regular AP flour will work just fine) and I mix in 2 eggs (minus the shells, of course). I don’t add salt because there is usually enough salt in the broth. If you like more salt then add a bit to the flour then mix in the eggs. Roll out the dough to a thickness you prefer, cut them into strips or squares (I use a pizza cutter to cut my noodles – we like thick noodles) and drop them in the soup stock. That makes a true homemade chicken noodle soup recipe complete. I make chicken noodle soup a lot using whole chicken carcasses. I will definitely try this recipe since there are additional items like tomato paste that I’ve never tried in my version. I must admit I will leave out the red pepper flakes because I can’t handle any type of “heat” in foods. Thanks.

  97. Carol S.

    Deb, I know people use raw chicken in crock pots all the time. I see so many recipes calling for it. I’ve been hesitant to use it ever since I saw an article saying slow cooking chicken can make you sick, and to always cook it stove top before putting in a slow cooker. I realize this is probably unnecessary, but scares me nonetheless. Do I have reason to be, especially on a low setting?

  98. deb

    Carol — I’m not sure where you read this, and I’m hardly a food safety expert, but I cook chicken in a crock pot all of the time and have never gotten sick.

    Payton — Absolutely. Any noodle you have around or enjoy in soups will work.

    Leah — It keeps I’d say four days in the fridge and much longer in the freezer.

    Kay — The wings and all the vegetables use to make the broth can be tossed. (Although some people find this heretic.) The meat/vegetables you eat are usually the ones added at the end.

  99. Maggie

    Made this yesterday for a very sick hubby believing in the old adage – chicken soup is Jewish penicillin. Added a splash of fresh lemon juice just before serving. Delicious. Thank you!

  100. Kate

    Deb, I’ve been using your site for over two years and have never commented on a recipe. This was so excellent that I felt I owed it to you to give you my thanks! I trudged to the store on a -10 degree Chicago night. It’s been so cold that even the snow on the roads had not turned to slush, but I was rewarded! I’m sure the food gods will strike me down with lightning, but the stock was much richer and less than half the cost than Ina’s. The only minor modification I would consider in the future would be to take the soup of the heat earlier when the noodles were underdone or to cook and store them separately, so it would be easier to get them to stay al dente. I found they continued to cook as the soup was cooling and during reheating.

    Thanks for all of your hard work. My family was noting my progress as a cook over the holidays and I think it’s surely to your credit!

  101. Adam Eran

    Suggested additions: 1. Turnips (for the broth, but also in the soup). 2. small potatoes. 3. Limes (for serving) and chiles, cilantro / mint a la Vietnamese.

  102. Nina

    I just made this for dinner tonight. The house has smelled wonderful the whole day long and when I tasted the broth it was so good that… I spooned myself up a cup of it to drink while I post this comment, even though I just ate lunch. This is the first time I’ve felt this way about any chicken broth I’ve ever made. Thanks, Deb!

  103. Jackie

    I made this for dinner last night… It was so easy and so delicious. I don’t know who was happier… me for how delicious my house smelt, my boyfriend who housed like half of pot or my dog who got the chicken scraps. Great recipe!

  104. Amanda G

    Now, wait a minute…I seem to remember you mentioning several times how much you hate chicken noodle soup?? Hence the semolina dumpling soup in beef broth (fantastic, btw!)

  105. Josie

    I always wonder with chicken noodle soup. Do you add the noodles in uncooked? Or do you boil them in a separate pot and add to the soup at the end. The only reason I wonder is that my noodles always end up mushy and your noodles look perfect! Help?

  106. Darlene

    I made this today. Super yum! It’s the very first time ever that I haven’t had to cheat and add some ready made broth. I have never gotten it right before. This time perfection. Can always count on Smitten Kitchen.

  107. Rachel

    How much stock do you have when you are finnished? I have a bunch of stock already made in the freezer that I would like to use.

  108. Bev

    I agree with the previous reader re: adding a source of acid to the broth during the cooking process. I use a glug or two of good apple cider vinegar, about 2-3 T, (Braggs, or Solana, or a good locally made variety)when I am cooking the wings, feet and/or carcasses. The acid pulls calcium, magnesium and other important minerals out of the bone matrix and by the end of the cooking period the vinegar flavor has gone, and the minerals add additional richness.. These minerals alkalize our bodies and are valuable to support immunity. The longer the cooking time, the more minerals extracted. But I wouldn’t add more vinegar than this… Too much acid could toughen the chicken meat, and you obviously don’t want to cook meat on bone for 24 hours, or it will be flavorless. Red wine in beef stock does the same function.

  109. Laura

    Looks delish, I love a good warm winter recipe. Although I had to laugh at the “brutal 32 degrees” after I converted it to Celsius! It is a brutal -37C (-34F) here today in Winnipeg!

  110. Becca

    This is a great recipe! This is one of my favorite things in life-something I pride myself on being able to make moderately well. I CANNOT wait to try your version. Thank you very much for your outstanding culinary undertakings. I DO have a question, and I am praying that you will indulge with an answer. Here goes: can you offer a recipe for Cioppino?? I ask because my local newspaper published a recipe for said Cioppino in yesterday’s edition, and I made it, and the whole time I was making it I kept wondering what YOU might have for a recipe, how similar or different it might be from what I was attempting, etc. What I made was edible (score!) and actually downright tasty (double score!!) and my H went back for seconds (validation!!!), but it all left me, in the resulting hours dissecting the recipe and wondering how I can improve. Please please please tell me that you have a Cioppino recipe. Thank you so much!

  111. I made this for dinner yesterday. Except for adding some garlic powder to the finished soup, I followed the recipe exactly. This soup is delicious. It will be in super heavy dinner rotation at our house. Thanx.

  112. My grandmother’s recipe calls for adding “a beef bone wit some meat on it” to the pot as you make the stock. I asked how gig a bone and how much meat? “Enough to make the filling for the kreplach.” I always figure about 3/4 lb of meat plus the bone. It really adds great flavor to the soup. Love your site.

  113. Michelle

    I just made turkey broth, then soup and then the next day I see this! But I have to say it was the best soup I’ve made! So, I used some of what I saw in Cooks Illustrated and what I had on hand. For the broth I had the frozen turkey bones from xmas and used celery root (recommended by Cooks as being less bitter than celery), leeks, parsnip, carrots, garlic, bay, thyme, rosemary. It was great! I will try adding some tomato paste next time. Reame egg noodles, in the freezer section at grocery store, are great too!

  114. Marie

    Great minds Deb! I just made chicken soup yesterday with some stock I made last week using your stock method (wings, crockpot) but with added veggies/aromatics like this recipe. Everyone was sick (and tired) yesterday so we used a rotisserie chicken for the meat and since I started with the stock the whole thing came together in less than 30 mins. So good and we all feel better today. Thanks for all of your inspiration – it definitely makes me a better cook.

  115. deb

    Rachel — I’d say just under 4 quarts, expecting a little evaporation. You could use 4 quarts in full, though.

    Josie — I cook mine in the broth, but it’s the very last thing I do so it doesn’t get overcooked. If you find your noodles get mushy and you don’t like it (I mean, who would?) you can always cook the noodles separately in some broth or just water or a combination thereof, keeping them on the al dente side, and only add them to the soup to rewarm as needed.

  116. Lisa

    It seems like this will make quite a lot of soup (and there’s only 2 of us in the house), so I’d like to freeze half the broth so I can use it again next week. I’m assuming this freezes well? Or how long would it last in the fridge?

  117. I agree with those who said to add ginger. It adds a spicy depth of flavor plus it really helps soothe a cold/cough. I know Deb you don’t like ginger but you might like just a hint of it for that soothing feeling.

  118. Carolyn

    I have to agree with the parsnip addition – when I first tried it, it was like I could hear a choir of angels singing with every sip. I have never tried the tomato paste though… might have to experiment!

  119. Deb,
    This sounds great, and though I haven’t been to Katz’s in many years, I’m sure I’ve never had their soup. Yours looks wonderful, such great color!
    Due to my impatience I am a fan of broth made in my pressure cooker (similar to yours, but I am definitely going to leave on the onion skins and add the leek from now on).
    This certainly has me craving some chicken soup especially with this very cold snap!

  120. Jene

    It is a bitter cold day here in Austin, which means that everyone descends on the grocery stores 2 days before a cold snap and cleans them out. I braved the cold and 3 grocery stores this morning to get at this recipe. My house smells amazing right now and am almost ready to sprinkle in the parsley! Thanks for the recipe, Deb.

  121. Liz S.

    Made a big pot of this last night with some pre-made (frozen) broth, and used the “country style” wide egg noodles. It certainly helped offset the frigid temperatures, and was wonderful!

  122. Joey

    I just have to say, this soup is absolutely phenomenal! It was a delicious smelling process, and the end result was SO well rounded, and exactly what one would want in a chicken soup. I couldn’t find long thin egg noodles at my Whole Foods, so just used regular wide egg noodles, which turned out just great! The addition of the parsnip was also very lovely. The stock was certainly quite fatty, and I just purchased myself a slow cooker, so will try to make the stock in there next time. All in all, YUMMY!

  123. Kristin

    Deb, when I strain the stock after cooking the breasts, do I need to use a cheesecloth with the strainer or do you just pour it in the strainer alone (after removing the big bones, etc)? I’ve got it all on the stove now and my kitchen smells divine! Perfect, perfect, perfect for the weekend ahead!

  124. this recipe is basically the ultimate comfort food. i have a ton of extra chicken broth in my fridge right now, so I think this is going to be on tonight’s menu. :)

  125. Angela

    Modified recipe the other night and we all enjoyed sharing the soup over a winter’s night. Below zero temps. followed the meal. I snuck turnips in place of parsnips and used orzo for noodle. Three times during meal, husband commented at how yummy soup was. Can’t bring myself to buy chicken parts anymore, after raising own chickens, so used breasts and save rest of chicken for another meal. Used store bought broth :( but looking forward to making homemade stock this month from parts of our laying hens that are in our home freezer. Thanks, Deb!

  126. caro

    You never disappoint! I particularly like the fact that this soup is made with so little salt and is so delicious nonetheless (with a glass of pinot noir)! The leeks lend a mild sweetness that is perfect. Thank you. I wish there were more good recipes in the world with minimal salt.

  127. karen on the coast

    hm…was wondering about the feets!
    soooo good!! am sitting here with a second bowl almost devoured. You are right about the noodle thing: I have so much noodles going on here that I almost have to look for the soup ;-))
    One commentator mentioned sauerkraut, another lemon juice: didnt have the kraut, but added the weensiest amount of vinegar to my second bowl (too much in my first bowl made it veer into the Asian flavour range). I found that the sour element gives the finish a touch of a lift, especially if you havent skimmed the fat off, like me, because I couldnt wait to get at this soup!!
    As I had a very large chicken to work with, I was able to do a comparison: half the back and neck and one wing into my slow cooker 15 hrs, the other pieces into the pressure cooker 40 minutes (like I said, I wanted this soup pronto!). All the other ingredients were as per your recipe for each cooker. Result: taste was exactly the same for both broths, slow cooker broth was clear as glass, but once strained less so; pressure cooker slightly less also. After straining the broths, I combined them into one big pot and clarity was still lovely.
    Added the chicken breasts for the 20 minute burbblelating
    (kitchen speak around here for simmering), but as the piece was quite large, I increased the time by close to ten minutes.
    Superb, Deb, well done — thanks! The only thing I am finding that I want is some good pastrami…its been years.

    PS: A thought for the veggies from the broth, as I too tend to fret over tossing them: blend them with a handheld blender, strain if needed, add a bit of roux, reheat with extra broth, adjust flavours and voila, extra soup! Goes great with grilled cheese and chicken salad sandwiches.

  128. Agnes

    This looks amazing!! My best ever chicken soup recipe (until I try this?!) includes a handful of fresh chopped parsley AND a handful of fresh chopped dill, added at the end. Sooooo yummz! Look forward to trying this!

  129. Sally

    Kind of a dumb question – for the leeks at the end, is is just the white part, or the entire leek?

    Thanks – making this for the week, as it is FREEZING here!

  130. MK

    Different technique I learned from a Jacques Pepin recipe that I’ve adapted to my own laziness:
    Cut up the vegetables in fairly large dice and cut up a whole chicken into the pot. You don’t have to butcher it but it fits better in the pot if you do. Cover the whole thing with cold water and stir in a tablespoon of chicken Better than Bouillon (I use that instead of salt).
    Bring the whole thing to a full boil on the stove. Turn off the heat. Cover the pan. Wait for 1 hour
    Then lift out the chicken pieces and let them cool enough to
    Pick the meat off the bones. Refrigerate that and then add bones and skin back to the broth and simmer another hour and a half or so, uncovered so it will reduce.
    Then strain it through a colander (press on the veggies to extract all the flavor.
    Now add 1/4 cup flour mixed into 1/2 cup or so of water into the broth (gives it a nice creamy texture) and simmer a few cut up carrots and some sliced celery in until tender crisp. Add noodles and cook until they are done. Taste — I usually add some more Better than Bouillon here or you can add salt. Last fold in the chicken meat and simmer just until the meat is warmed through.

  131. Kendra

    I started the broth last night in my crock pot and my house smells absolutely heavenly. The only problem I had was that I couldn’t fit all 4 quarts of water in the slow cooker once all the wings and veggies were in there – should I just add the extra water once I strain the broth or will that negatively impact the flavor?

  132. I made a variation of this soup the day I read this post! (I made some substitutions based on what was in my fridge). My mom made chicken soup too that day and mixed a carton of chicken stock with a carton of vegetable stock and her broth looked just like yours! The broth you made seems to be a hybrid of chicken and vegetable stock and I LOVE it!!!

  133. Erica

    So, yesterday when I was making my shopping list, I asked my boyfriend if there were anything in particular he wanted to have this week. Of course, he said he wanted chicken soup! It was my first time making it from scratch.

    I bought a rotisserie chicken from the market, picked off the meat and set it aside. Then, I used the bones of the rotisserie chicken and some frozen wings I had in the freezer to make the broth. I shredded the meat into spoon-sized chucks and just used that to add back in to the soup later on. It worked out great! I’m having some for lunch right now. :)

    I also made a batch of your garlic soup again and it was delicious. The bf is getting over a bad cold, so soup, soup, and more soup is the name of the game!

  134. Anon

    Hi Deb, I was left with not too much broth…
    How much broth should be left after the initial 2.5 hours of cooking?
    You mention adding 4 quarts of water to the pot and that this should yield 5 quarts of soup so something here doesn’t add up…

  135. Cheryl

    I just finished freezing two gallon bags of this MOST DELICIOUS SOUP (each half full per the question/comment above). Sadly, our beloved mother passed away just before Thanksgiving and like a lot of Jewish mothers, her chicken soup recipe was not written down. There have been a lot discussions on exactly what she put in it – parsnip, yes, leek, no. I discovered this last week and made it this weekend. While one my nieces wish we knew EXACTLY what she put in hers, she agreed that this soup WAS OFF THE CHARTS.

    I have frozen it in preparation for Shabbat dinner next weekend, when I plan to serve it “chicken in the pot” style – like you ahve shown above.

    I used chicken wings like you suggested and the kosher butcher had a couple of small carcasses for me. I think kosher chicken makes a huge difference in terms of flavor.

    Thank for a great recipe and I think I just might be the new “go to” soup balabuste in the family!!!

  136. deb

    Anon — 4 quarts water, cooked with the lid on, and then loads of vegetables, chicken chunks and noodles added made 5 quarts for us. (The 5th photo, for reference, shows the soup in a 5.5 quart Dutch oven.) That said, you might just have had more evaporation or your noodles may have drank more soup than mine did. In this case, the flavor should be fairly concentrated, yes? And you might be able to add a little water to stretch it back at least to 4 quarts, blasphemous as it sounds, with all of those flavorings and bones, it should be just fine with reseasoning.

  137. Rebecca

    Thank you! Made this on Sunday (minus the noodles), cooked noodles and served on Monday night — and it was soul-warmingly delicious. 3 year old said “thank you for this yummy dinner” and my husband said it was like eating with Nonna — I don’t get higher praise than that. Only thing I changed was that I skipped the parsnips, because the kids won’t eat it, and I forgot the parsley. And I found it very manageable to prep on a Sunday while getting other stuff done.

  138. Dallas

    This soup was fantastic! Both my husband and ultra picky stepson loved it too. I’ve eaten it for Sunday night dinner and lunch on Monday and Tuesday, and am hoping there’s enough left in the fridge to have it again tomorrow.

  139. Linda

    i live in a tiny, leek-free town. it’s almost parsnip free as well. no matter–the soup was delicious. today i shared it with my teacher friends at school. luckily, there will be enough for lunch tomorrow as well. thank you from the bottom of our tummies!

  140. Wanda

    I read somewhere back there in the roughly 5000 comments (who knew a little soup could be so powerful?) someone asking whether to freeze the soup with the vegetables in it, or just the broth and put in veggies when you’re ready to eat it. I have a suggestion. During this part of the year, it is good to have things in the freezer that take next to no work. Imagine when you feel all shivery and weak and just want to go lie down. That’s when you’d be thankful you put aside that soup complete except for the noodles. In other seasons, you might find uses for your broth other than soup. When I saw the photos of this wonderful soup, I knew I had to make it even though I’ve always had my own way of doing it. Yours is as beautiful as any soup I’ve ever had. Thanks for this!

  141. Schuyler

    The first time I made chicken noodle soup from scratch was a couple months ago, when the cooking school in the suburbs put together a cookbook of some favorite recipes. Their version uses dill, which I never would have thought of, but it tastes amazing in this soup (maybe it’s just that I’m a huge fan of dill). I’m going to try adding leek next time I make it; that sounds like a great addition!

    I will never have the courage to make broth from scratch, so the Trader Joe’s concentrate packets are a great alternative for me.

  142. Jen

    Wanting to make up the broth component of this recipe tomorrow and then finish it off the net day. I happened upon a nice chicken carcass at the farmers market this weekend (leftover from butchering chicken for sale). I had planned to use that uncooked carcass, not now I am second guessing that. It sounds as if you are recommending the carcass left from a roast or rotisserie (both having been cooked obviously) or wings, etc. Will an uncooked carcass contribute enough flavour to the broth? Could I roast it off before throwing it in the stock? I’d rather not have to make that extra step, but want the best flavour possible!

  143. Alli

    This soup rocks. It’s absolutely delicious. It makes me want to clean out my freezer so that I have room for the stock that I will inevitably make again so that we can eat this ALL.THE.TIME. :)

  144. Roger

    I have made your Perfect Uncluttered Chicken Stock and have a bunch of it in the freezer. Can I use that instead of doing the whole chicken thing again?

    1. deb

      Absolutely, but I might simmer it with the extra ingredients — thyme, tomato paste, etc. — just long enough to give it more flavor. 5 minutes? And then continue with the recipe.

  145. Esha

    What are your feelings on using skinless chicken breasts here? And also leaving out the tomato paste from the broth? I’m kind of in a blizzard-spawned soup-making frenzy, and am limited to what’s already in the fridge/freezer.

  146. Maya

    I just want to clarify, if you’re cooking on the stove top do you still need to strain everything to get the broth? Do you just throw away the bones and whole onion/carrots/etc…. everything you put in there?

    I’m using a mixture of backs/necks and chicken wings for the broth. I still have the chicken breasts to add in later. So what do I throw away? Keep the wings in? Reuse them for something else? I’m guessing you take out the veggies that aren’t chopped up? Do I throw them away too?! Help me please, I’m confused with the transition, never made chicken soup w/ my own broth, haha. Thanks! :)

    1. deb

      I toss the stuff I use for the broth part but I know not everyone does. For me, I feel like it’s fulfilled its usefulness (and also I find that picking wings takes forever and yields little, which is often overcooked due to the long simmer time). But I know a lot of people are uncomfortable throwing things away; if so, you can always chop them into the final soup.

  147. Sophia

    Hi Deb!
    I am a huge huge fan of your site and always trust you to give me the best recipes. i was trying to make chicken soup for the first time and obviously went straight to this site for a recipe. I just finished the broth and it tastes UNREAL! I am so excited to serve this tonight!
    Thanks again!

  148. Erin

    I have made many a soup in my life–I’m not sure what magic just happened in my kitchen but this is the best tasting chicken soup I have ever had. EVER. Thank you.

  149. Marie

    This is the most consistently delicious and easiest chicken soup I have ever made! It is wonderful to have a pot of soup simmering on the stove on a cold and snowy day. : )
    I made the soup twice as posted with the addition of a pinch of turmeric for color and I made homemade egg noodles, because I like the texture.
    Congratulations on the new baby!

    1. deb

      Rika — It’s supposed to be. Good broth always is. It’s from the gelatin in the bones, and it gives body and flavor. The second you warm it, it returns to its liquid state.

  150. Adam

    I have a pot of this simmering as I write this — can’t wait to taste it! But I’m writing because I used an 8-quart pot and it BARELY fit everything. I cannot imagine this working in a 6-quart pot, so if anyone was thinking of using one…don’t!

    1. deb

      Abby — Just meant raw, uncooked. Chicken wings are such a “thing” in the US to eat cooked/roasted/spiced, etc, and many people make stocks from used bones, I wanted to make it clear that this is not what I was calling for.

  151. Margaret

    I made the broth yesterday, but did not achieve the gorgeous golden color of yours. Mine is brownish. I used 4# chicken necks, a skin-on yellow onion, 1 leek, 2 small carrots, 2 small ribs of celery, 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, 1 bay leaf, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, red pepper flakes and kosher salt. Any suggestions?

  152. I must say this soup taste was really good.I don’t prefer any soup because i don’t like it.But yesterday i visit my nearest friends home and he serve me this one and i taste it.It was really good.Any or soup recipe suggestion????

  153. Staci

    I’ve made this soup about 6 times now and we love love love it! Since I’m only cooking for 2 these days I ladle quarts of the soup into containers for the freezer before adding the noodles. On the day we eat the soup that has been frozen ahead we add the noodles to the simmering soup. Turns out much nicer than freezing soup with the noodles already added as they turn into mush. Making up another batch of this today! Thanks for such a delicious recipe!

  154. Dave

    If I may add a tip for removing the fat on top of stock in a hurry…gently place a paper towel over top of settled hot stock to excavate the fat off top without wasting any precious broth. Repeat till all gone. Works great!
    Dave from Parksville B.C.

  155. You are so inspiring! Nothing can apparently match my husband’s Italian grandmother’s long lost tortellini in chicken broth, well except Chez Panisse and Della Santina’s in Sonoma, but I keep trying. So I am definitely trying this until I get that tortellini en brodo right.

  156. Karina

    This is a more elaborate version of a soup I make at least once a month – I can get about three meals out of one batch for our family of four, so I don’t put all the noodles in at the beginning – I set aside the soup, without noodles, in freezer cartons and then add noodles once we are ready for the next soup meal. That keeps them from getting soggy. Also, I love to shred some cooking greens (kale for example) to bump up the healthy factor; again, I customize it for whoever is eating that night! You could also switch things up and use rice or barley instead of noodles. FYI my simplified version is to boil up one roasted carcass to make about 6 cups of broth, strain out bones and skin, reserving tasty bits of meat, then add equal that amount of Swanson’s organic chicken broth, and let the rest of the flavors come from the onions and veggies which are similar to what Deb has written. It might not be the highest standard but it is still amazing and relatively quick.

  157. Rob

    This recipe sounds great but it’s not my grandmother’s Jewish Penicillin without dill. When she was alive we would have the broth with veggies and some bits of chicken. We would eat big pieces of the chicken and veggies with yellow mustard.

  158. Annette

    This recipe popped up on my facebook page today and coincidentally I had made a chicken soup last night that was exactly like yours without knowing about it. The only other ingredient I put in my stock was a sprig of lovage, a herb which grows in my garden and I use it in soups, it’s delicious and gives the broth that last special note.

  159. Fefe

    Made it last night -delish! Very long process, but will break it up next time. Will try the slow cooker method to help my timing a bit. Used one carcass from a rotisserie that I used for lunches and two pounds of wings. Added more tomato paste than recipe called for (my moms chicken or turkey soup always had a ton of tomato purée in it when I ate it growing up)….after reading many commenters, intend to add dill and lemons in broth phase. Had a hard time getting the chicken breasts cooked fully, and zapped them in the microwave. Will add the breasts early in broth to fully cook and remove so they do not over cook. Delicious broth! Added angel hair pasta instead of egg noodles , and they did not over cook. Thanks for the recipe!

  160. Lauren

    I don’t like to cook the noodles in the soup- turn to mush. I like to cook them even a little under and throw them in super hot soup right before eating.

  161. Maggie

    Hi Deb – thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and the leftover turkey carcass, would one large one be roughly the equivalent to the 4 lb of chicken bones used here?

  162. Raquel Silies

    Made this today and it is marvelous. Actually I made the broth yesterday in the slow cooker and then skimmed it and made the soup today. Really does not take hardly any time at all. We all loved it, my luncheon guest complimented me even! Next time I will see if I can find some parsnips, but otherwise made exactly to recipe, using a rotisserie chicken carcass. Really hit the spot on this gray windy day here in Ohio.

  163. Jen

    I made this soup today, then realized I forgot to pick up noodles. I tried my hand at homemade noodles for this and was delighted with both. The whole family loved the soup tonight! Thank you for such consistently kick-ass recipes!

  164. Tanya

    I’ve made this soup before and love it. Planning on making it again, but was thinking about using tortellini for the pasta. My questions: should I keep the tortellini separate and add in as needed? And would it freeze well with the tortellini?

  165. Michelle

    Question about using carcasses – does the four pounds include the skin and inedible fatty bits as well? I buy a rotisserie chicken almost every week for lunch meat, etc., but I just weighed the bones only and got just 9 oz. It will take awhile to have enough for broth! Thanks!

  166. Marisa

    I made this yesterday with four pounds of wings. So. Freaking. Good. Even better the next day. I used dried spaetzle noodles, which one of my kids thinks are too thick, so I’ll try finer noodles next time. Deb, you never disappoint!

  167. Michelle

    Oh! My question was actually about using carcasses, not wings. I’m assuming the 4 pounds worth of carcasses includes skin and other bits, not just clean bones?

  168. Little more onion, more bay leaves, buy grocery store cooked chicken and strip the meat off of the bones, add chicken necks to get 4 pounds to create the stock, refrigerate stock and skim off and save the fat that gels at the top, pick the meat off of the cooked chicken necks to add to the finished soup, cook noodles separately so they do not sit in the soup overnight or in frozen containers, garnish with parsley,and pass the siracha when serving.

  169. Erika

    My husband, who works from home, called me in a panic at 12:30p, saying, “The soup from last night is a solid block of broth but I don’t think it’s frozen. Are you sure it’s safe to eat?” Little did he know that this was the sign of an amazing broth! And it was delicious–it hits all of the chicken soup buttons for me. Only thing I’d change is to cook the noodles separately and add them to each bowl. But really, an outstanding recipe.

  170. Chris

    Looks like a fantastic soup recipe. My only problem with noodle soups is that the noodles always drink up all the liquid. I’ve put the noodles in dry. I’ve cooked the noodles first. I’ve cooked the noodles as the soup cooks. Never fails that the noodles will drink all tithe soup. My work around has been to put the noodles in a separate dish and add to each bowl. Keep in mind this only happens with leftover soup or what I making for lunch next day.

  171. Anna

    So I made the soup and it was a hit! But my soup broth looked brown, and yours is pretty and golden. Any idea why the different color? I used a slow cooker (10 hrs, low), had to half the recipe due to my slow cooker size, and used drum sticks for the broth. Also, where would I get thin soup noodles – most of what I see are thicker? Thanks for the recipe. :-)

  172. hello

    Hi Deb,
    Thanks for this amazing site! I love coming here and hearing what’s up with you and the food and the fam. A non-recipe question: Where are your soup bowls from? Do you have others that you like/recommend as well? I’m on the hunt for some soup bowls!
    Thanks so much!!

    1. deb

      hello — Thanks. My soup bowls are from our dish set, which is discontinued. It was called Khaki Cargo from Calvin Klein. Mostly they’re in sage, a very light gray-green, but up top is also one in the “raisin” (red/brown) color and white (but it’s off-white).

  173. Katie

    I’ve made this soup several times and now it’s a habit to make another batch whenever I run out of it, so I always have some on the freezer (sans-noodles.) I like the savory taste of adding more tomatoe paste and thyme.
    This is hands-down the best chicken soup I’ve ever had. So worth the effort!

  174. Jane

    I made this with turkey necks and turkey breast for my bf who is allergic to chicken. I used farfalline tiny bow ties for the pasta. Came out great.
    So used hunts petite diced tomatoes. Thanks! I never used leeks or dill before in my soup and parsnips wow! That tasted Delicious!

  175. Anna

    We have colds at my house and I was going to make our standard using chicken stock because I could not wait until the weekend to make the broth. I used stock in place of the water adding the veg and herbs, it was still amazing with this shortcut. I poached boneless breasts after about an hour of simmering, took them out and then strained it. It was a huge hit! Thank you.

  176. Alexandra Hans

    We always used Celery root (celeriac) in place of celery for flavor. I have heard that people put in turnips and Jerusalem artichokes. Are they some things you would ever include?

    1. deb

      Alexandra — Absolutely. Chicken noodle soup is, to me, a lot about the flavors you find cozy. We always put parsnips in soups like this; other people may not. Not reason not to use other roots if that’s the flavor that makes it taste right to you.

  177. Andrea

    The ingredients list here is phenomenal! Just in time for *critical* chicken soup weather. There’s just one thing I would change, and that is how the broth is made. Several people have asked about thighs, and I’m here to tell you I would never use anything else. I agree with the commenter who thinks breast meat is rather dry. Thighs to the rescue! I buy a family sized package, dump them in a huge soup pot, add garlic and onion, and boil for an hour or so (skimming the foamy stuff once in a while — my dog loves this with his kibble, haha). Remove the chicken onto a platter and let cool. At some point remove the skin, bones, and cartilage bits, and chop up the meat before adding it back to the soup. This broth is rich and satisfying. My family absolutely loves it too. This from an old family recipe for Italian wedding soup (with meatballs and kale). I will try this Smitten recipe with just this modification. Thanks!

  178. Andrea

    A couple of corrections to my broth — no onion at first… just chicken, garlic, chopped flat parsley, and SALT (sea salt or kosher, amount you prefer — I use about a tablespoon). Also, regarding the wedding soup, the green vegetable is escarole, not kale (but that would prob work too).

  179. Carol

    Hi. Everyone loves my chicken soup to which I add chopped fresh ginger. But…I’m making this one today and can’t wait to try it! I never thought of adding tomato paste. One question, on the red pepper flakes, did you mean chili pepper or bell pepper flakes? I put in both but was very skimpy on the chili pepper flakes. I can only find the bell pepper flakes at Penzy’s now. They used to carry them at Trader Joe’s, but not any more.

  180. Allie

    Hi! I love chicken noodle soup and I have been trying to find a perfect recipe, and this sounds about right! However, this is the first time that I have heard of putting tomato paste in, which is really quite interesting. Do you think that I could go without using the tomato paste, or would you say it’s “crucial” to the recipe? Can’t wait to try this out on these cold winter days!

  181. This soup looks absolutely delicious! I have recently come back from my travels to Asia and want to learn how to make noddles soups! The only downside is it takes so long to make, so will be doing it on a weekend :-)

  182. Ben

    Great Blog! Soup is great for a rainy day and I make chicken noodle nearly every time. Something that might help is if you cook it in a crock pot for a day so it can really soften up and be delicious. Next time I do this, I should try using a thin, long noodle like the ones you use because egg noodles are getting old. Hope your quest to make the best chicken noodle soup is successful!

  183. Zara

    I love this soup, the broth is simmering away right now. I am home sick and have some canned soup in the cupboard, but managed to drag myself out of bed to make this. Every time I’m sick it heals me, so I hope it works this time. The only sad thing is I don’t have a pot large enough so I had to half the recipe. A stock pot will be going on my wedding registry for sure just to make this!

  184. MaryLou

    Colder weather is right around the corner and so is my taste for soup. I have a whole stewing chicken I want to use for this recipe. How or would it change the broth cooking instructions?

  185. Hello, I’m getting ready to make this recipe in a slow cooker. When I add the whole chicken breasts for simmering do I also cook them in the slow cooker for 20 minutes or do they require more time? I’m not much of a cook, but my son is sick and I’d like to attempt to make this recipe for him! Thank you!

  186. This is on of my favorite recipes ever. As much as I’ve always wanted to love chicken noodle soup I never really found a homemade recipe that I loved. This one though. All the heart eye emojis. My 4yo son request this whenever he has a cold. My husband hovers over the stove as it cooks. I’m having twins in February and I plan on making at least two batches of this to have in my freezer for after they’re born. I’m already excited.

  187. connie

    Oh my gosh!!! I’ve finally found the holy grail of chicken soup! We don’t have parsnips or leeks where I am, so I subbed a turnip root and green onions. It was heavenly. I’ll never make another recipe for this. It’s perfect.

    1. nfranklin2015

      Rachel, just throw everything, including the skin into the pot. It adds flavor, and you will be removing it later anyhow. The only time I leave the skin out of our stock bag is if I’ve used a rub on the chicken that includes sugar, as sugar in broth is icky to my palate.

  188. Amy

    Hi Deb, I’m looking to make this today for a friend going through chemo. I’ve never made homade chicken noodle soup before & was wondering If I use the fresh chicken wings for the broth do I add them to the pot raw or do they need to be cooked somehow first?

  189. Cristina

    I’ve tried a lot of chicken stock recipes, and with this one I feel like I finally hit gold! Full chicken taste, beautiful gold colour, perfect salt, no fussy steps and done in the same amount of time (or less) as other recipes. Life changer!

  190. Claire Conlon

    This looks delicious!! I plan on using rotisserie chicken so do I add the chicken breasts (from they “cook the chicken” section) at the end when I’m
    finishing the soup or while the broth is simmering? I’m assuming at the end so I’ll t doesn’t get too dry. Thanks for your help!

  191. Anna

    Was reading the parmesan broth recipe, which references chicken soup, and was wondering if you ever throw a few rinds into this? I’ve got a few in the fridge, but was imagining that it would confuse the flavor here a bit.

  192. Jessica

    Deb, first off, I’ve loved your blog for years! Thank you for so many delicious meals. I am making this soup for the second time, but instead of doing it all in one go this time around, I’m hoping to break it up into two. I am using the stove top method. My question is at what point so I stop on the first day? Is it after I cook the chicken breasts in the broth and then strain (but then the chicken breasts won’t be good for when I want to use them…)? Or do I stop after I make the broth and freeze the broth with the veggies and chicken wings? I think it’s clear if you use the stove top method since you will be straining it before adding the chicken breasts. Thank you!

  193. Yolanda

    I suddenly am unable to print your recipes out! Help! Every other site is working but yours, could it be a problem on your end??

    1. deb

      Printing should be working. You can get to it by clicking Cntrl+P in your browser or by clicking the printer icon in the Do More: line at the end of the recipe, before the comments begin.

  194. Kirsten

    I have some (2 qts-ish) leftover chicken broth from a chicken that was roasted with minimal additional flavors/accoutrements last weekend – where in this recipe should I jump in, and or would you add anything to enhance the already existing broth?

  195. Gail Wides

    Sounds amazing! Could I use this broth for matzoh ball soup? Are there any changes you would make to use it for matzoh ball soup? Also, any suggestion as to what size slow cooker I’d need to make enough broth for 25 people? And lastly and randomly, have you ever found a potato kugel recipe you really liked? Fun fact, years ago, when you came to do a talk and book signing at Politics & Prose in Washington, DC, the crowd was so huge, my daughter and I waited till about midnight to have you sign our books. You were so patient, and we were so happy to meet you.

  196. Shannon Segil

    I have made this soup several times and l absolutely love it!! This last time I made it, my broth took on a greenish color after I refrigerated it overnight. Any idea what I did wrong? It tastes fine, but glad I just made it for my family this time! BTW love the new book!! Made the miso maple ribs last week – outstanding.

  197. Jenny

    While I love the recipe, I hated the thin noodles. Perhaps I bought an inferior brand but they turned so soft so quick! The noodles dissolved/disintegrated in the soup and I couldn’t tell what was broth and what was noodle mush. If you also are saddened by mushy noodles I highly recommend using something sturdier and hardier (broad egg noodles, homemade thick noodles, or even rice). The overall recipe, however, is amazing.

  198. Chicken Roast and chicken noodle soup are the two how easy and tasty they are, and how thorough your instructions are.Chicken soup is honestly one of my favouritest things in the whole entire world
    How nice easy and tasty This soup was too yummy?

  199. Regina Yuneman

    I’ve made your chicken broth in my slow cooker a million times, I love it. I happened to see you use the instant pot to make a broth on instagram and I was wondering if you were pleased with the outcome. If so, will you share

  200. Lindsey

    Deb- do you have a ballpark idea of how many cups of broth you should have after cooking the stock? I used 4 lbs of chicken necks and found that I had to skim off over 2 cups of fat and was left with much less stock than expected so I added a lot of water just to be able to cook the rest of the ingredients. Also- the chicken was very dry. Any tips for how to mitigate either issues?

  201. Salpy

    Late to the party, I know, but I wanted to comment on how I really appreciate how the tomato paste turns the scum a lovely pink, “here I am!” color. ;)

    Looking forward to tasting the final result in a few hours!

  202. Victoria

    this is THE BEST chicken noodle soup I’ve ever made. We scale up and make extra so we can freeze stock for other things. I love it. Saving chicken bones again now so I can make it again in the future.

  203. Cortney

    I love chicken soup, I could eat it everyday. I really loved this recipe. I think this is one of the most flavorful broth recipes I’ve made in a long time. It’ll be my go to from now on. Thank you for sharing!

  204. Nancy Essig

    Chicken soup is my ultimate food. I’ve become quite good at it. There was one tip an old lady told me about that takes it to a level of sublime, that is to simmer the stock with one or two whole star anise pods. You don’t taste the anise but the flavour change is significant and delicious

  205. Stephanie

    Hi!!! Have loved your blog for years and years!!! Am accessing it through the Facebook app on an iPhone, and today there’s an ad in rotation on your page which is popping up spam. I’d include a picture but not sure how…anyway thought you could check it out. And can’t wait to make this recipe!!! Hoping to crack the “I don’t eat any soup that tastes like chicken soup” attitude of my husband :)

  206. Norma Augenblick

    And have failed at quite a few. With Flu season among us, this recipe is like a hug. Definitely a keeper and so grateful to you Deb! Thanks again.

  207. Laura

    I’ve made this several times now, and it is hands down my favorite chicken soup recipe EVER. So good for the soul. Have made it with leeks and with onions alone, and both are excellent. I love how the slight acidity in the tomato paste brings out the flavors. I put in some extra garlic, and a decent amount of ground pepper. It doesn’t last long in my house :)

  208. Amanda

    This chicken broth is so fantastic. I can never make chicken noodle soup without in now because it is just so much better than store bought chicken broth. I make it in my electric pressure cooker with chicken wings usually, its just so easy and delicious. With my pressure cooker I usually just use less onion because I feel like the pressure cooker makes that flavor stronger and I don’t want the onion flavor in the broth to be too strong. I always make extra to keep in the freezer. Yum!

    1. Sarah

      Hey Amanda! I was thinking of making this in the pressure cooker as well. How did you alter the recipe, in terms of steps/cooking time/etc. so that it worked in the pressure cooker? Thanks so much!

      1. deb

        I actually recently made a different chicken noodle soup (the grandma-style one in my new cookbook) in the IP and it works great. You can use the pot itself for all simmering parts, and for the longer cook time, the 2 1/2 hours, you can swap that with 45 to 60 in the IP on high pressure. Hope that helps.

  209. Lynn

    If you were intending to have leftovers, would you cook and store the noodles separately, or cook together and risk mushy noodles? thanks!

  210. Joan

    I love your Chicken Noodle Soup from Oct 2012 so much, I had to try this “ultimate” recipe. While the stock was good, I have to give my vote to your earlier recipe, for two reasons: 1) I think browning the onions and chicken makes all the difference for a flavorful stock, and 2) it’s quicker, and more economical, to skip making the stock out of wings (& or other parts), and go right to making the stock with the chicken you will eat. I always start a day or two ahead to make the broth, strain it, and leave it in the fridge overnight so I can skim off the fat. Thanks, Deb, for providing me with a ton of “go to” recipes!

  211. Blair

    Hi Deb! I’m a weirdo who loves soup in the summertime (I love this recipe), but I was wondering if you have modified instructions using the InstantPot? Sometimes a girl just needs chicken noodle soup on a Wednesday in mid-August… Thank you!

    1. deb

      Gah, this is killing me because I’ve absolutely done it but can’t find my directions now. Basically every part cooks as you’d imagine (I just use the simmer/saute setting, open lid, for most steps) but for the bone broth portion, I give it an hour at high pressure.

  212. Sophie

    Have you ever tried German Wedding Soup? I think I’ll use this recipe as a starting point next time I make it!
    Wedding soup is made from a broth or base soup, meat balls (best made by rolling the filling of raw Bratwurst sausages into little balls), chicken, carrots, asparagus (white AND green), leek, tiny noodles and Eierstich. Eierstich is a mix of eggs and milk seasoned with nutmeg, let stock (my grandma did it in a casserole dish and it took forever, my aunts microwave it in a cup), then cut into cubes that float on top of the soup (if the mix was frothy enough). Maybe the milk can be substituted to kosherize it? Because really, you can’t omit the Eierstich.

  213. Anne

    I am late to the SK party but now enjoying it tremendously (as is my family!). Thank you for being so generous with your time! One thing I do find confusing is multiple recipes for the same thing. Should one assume that the most recent recipe is the best? Also, how do I think about the Perfectly Uncluttered Chicken Stock recipe alongside this Ultimate Chicken Soup recipe? Is it best to make the stock from the first recipe to use in the this recipe?
    Many thanks!

    1. deb

      No, each recipe is self-contained. The older chicken noodle soup is a quickie one, for weekday nights. The stock is a stock, meant for where you need a generic chicken stock you’d use for a recipe that called for it, or as drink-alone bone broth. This borrows from both but makes a stock specifically formulated for this soup, which I consider not the fastest but the best out there. If you’ve got the afternoon, make this one.

  214. This was my first time making soup. This recipe is delicious and easy to follow. My family loved it! 🥣
    your site is my go-to recipe book when I need to find a good recipe quick and I know it’s going to be good.
    Thank you for sharing! 💙

  215. Erin Corcoran

    When making the broth do you chop the carrot, parsnip, and celery or leave them whole? Then when you’re ready to turn it into soup (adding chicken and chopped vegetables) so you remove the whole carrots and celery ???

    1. Amanda

      I’m scouring comments for an answer to this question, too! My veg are whole in the broth, but it seems foolish to discard the boiled veg for the stock. I can’t believe this hasn’t been discussed already!?

    2. Sheena

      The whole veggies are completely soft and mushy by the end of the initial 2.5-3hr simmer, and they’re completely flavorless so the recipe calls for straining them out. Then you add new chopped veggies for more flavor and some texture.

  216. Hollie

    I made this yesterday and am eating for lunch today. Let me tell you, it’s a chilly 19 degrees here in MN and this is the perfect soup to warm a person up! Yum! I have not made one of your recipes that have not been a hit. I made your cranberry pie with pecan crumble for Christmas and it was loved so much it was requested again for New Year’s Eve. Your spice gingerbread cookies were also a hit! Thank you for sharing your delicious, accessible recipes!

  217. Beth Coller

    Can I use the meat from a rotisserie chicken for the final soup and use the carcass from that to make the stock. Would one carcass be enough to make the stock? Just wondering if cooking the raw breasts in the soup is adding a lot more depth to it and therefore I shouldn’t skip that step.

  218. Abby

    I made this in a 6qt Instant Pot which was a bit of a fail bc I didn’t take note of the size pot I was meant to use (Hint: if you do the same, go ahead and halve the recipe). What I wound up doing is leaving out one onion but putting everything else in with 6 cups water, running high pressure for 45 min, taking out all the veg and as many chicken wings as necessary so I could put 6 more cups water in (totaling 12 cups or 3qts) and running for another 15 min. When that was done I strained it, put it back into the cleaned instant pot and finished the recipe on the sauté setting. Even with all those mistakes it was amazing. A hug in a bowl. I’m never making anything else.

      1. LIZ

        Thanks Deb! For a soup… I currently rely on your matzoh ball soup (which I am currently making much to my family’s delight) but always keen to try something new. Incidentally I cook my matzoh balls separately and then add them to the soup at serving time… So looking for you preference for stand alone soup taste. Love your site!

  219. Betty

    Another great recipe from your site – thank you. One note though – I used the carcasses (awful word) from two rotisserie chickens. They are quite salty so I chose not to add the tablespoon of salt. Otherwise I followed and enjoyed your soup. Thanks

  220. Jaime

    I made this and it tastes amazing but my broth turned a brownish color and not the bright yellow typically found in chicken broth. What could have caused this? The onion skin, cooking it too long?

  221. Staci

    There’s the tiniest hint of fall in the air today and my husband says, “You know what would really taste good? A big bowl of that chicken noodle soup.” This soup has become the gold standard by which all chicken noodle soups are judged. Thank you for this soup! We will enjoy it this week, and will make it again and again until late spring when it becomes so warm outside that soup is no longer on our mind, until the year turns again.

  222. Laura Jane

    This chicken noodle soup is… otherworldly. I think it’s the best I’ve ever had; it’s certainly the best I’ve ever made. I used the chicken wings to make the stock. The only changes I made were to skip the tomato paste (mostly because I didn’t want to open a jar and worry about using it in the next few days), and I topped with dill instead of parsley (because I had it in my fridge). It is so, so good, and I’m so excited to eat more for leftovers at lunch tomorrow. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. (As an aside, this is the third of your recipes I’ve made for dinner in the past week. I’ve followed and cooked from your blog for years, but have been on a real kick this week– it’s been delicious!)

  223. Miriam Esterkis

    This is my go to chicken soup. My mother was not a great cook, but she made a mean chicken soup. This is better!!!! I have recently made friends with my Instapot after letting it languish in the pantry unopened for two years. Do you have a suggestion for completing the first part of the soup ( broth) in the instapot. How many minutes?? Apologies if this has already been posted.

  224. Helene Glass

    Your ultimate chicken noodle soup is very confusing. You give no instructions for using a pressure cooker or instant pot. Do you have a chicken soup recipe that uses either one of those from start to finish? Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you.

  225. Tyler

    Yes! Made this on Sunday with wide egg noodles – just like my mom used to make. Can NEVER find good pre-made chicken soup and decided I finally had to learn to make it myself properly once and for all. Loved the unfussy stock approach and how common sense this recipe is. Have tried others that had me simmer the SAME CHICKEN for stock that they expected me to eat in the soup! Or the same vegetables! What? Also, I’d never purchased chicken feet, so that was an experience. My husband ate the leftovers for lunch and he said the way he could tell it was good was the fact that the broth had congealed overnight in the fridge, ha! Anyway – thanks for this winner! Will definitely be my go-to chicken noodle.

  226. Gwendy

    I’m going to try this!!
    My go-to add-in is ginger. When my kids got sick it was the only thing they wanted to soothe their tummies.

  227. Dominique

    Excellent. Made the broth in the instant pot (high pressure for 1 hr, natural release – b/c I had the time). Strained this into a large, 9 quart pot and finished the soup on the stove. While I could’ve finished in the IP, I didn’t have a vessel large enough to strain the broth into that wasn’t a pot. I used 2 carcasses I had frozen for the broth. I didn’t bother defrosting them. I used 2 carrots as I did not have a parsnip for the stock.

    I did not have leeks and used regular yellow onion instead in the soup (good, but leeks would have been better). I also had boneless chicken thighs to use up, and used those instead of bone-in chicken breasts. I cooked those for 15 mins in the broth, but that was likely a bit more than needed. I used ~9 ounces from a 16 ounce bag of egg noodles and would likely use the whole bag next time. I cooked the noodles in a separate pot of boiling water so as to not use up the broth. I then ended up with a lot of broth, but I like it that way. I did not skim the fat off the soup at the end (laziness). but I did trim the chicken thighs pretty carefully prior to dropping them into the soup. I did not find the amount of fat bothersome, but if I can easily skim off the soup that has chilled, I will.

    All in all, would definitely make again. I’d be curious to see if I prefer the stock with chicken wings per Deb’s suggestion. However, this felt like a great way to use the carcasses.

  228. Carly

    Absolutely dynamite. When I make soup it’s usually about the ‘guts’ but with this, it really is the broth that shines bright.

  229. Wendy

    What a terrific recipe. The best chicken soup I ever made. I used chicken wings to make the broth. Well worth the cost. I was hoping to have some to freeze but the 3 us gobbled it up.

  230. Jennifer

    I’m a little confused about the directions. Do I strain out the onions and bones and stuff used to make the broth and get rid of them then add fresh veg and chicken?

  231. Laura C.

    Hi. I want to make this soup this week. I was wondering, where can I get the chicken necks and backs and carcasses? Do you use just all wings? o

  232. Laura C.

    Hi. WHat do you do with all the chicken wings once you are done cooking the soup? I don’t know if I have the patience to take the meat off…. oy.

  233. Wynne

    The instapot wasn’t a thing when you made this. Ive discovered it makes extraordinary bone broth in just two hours on high pressure. Ill make that first, and then complete your magnificent recipe for the best chicken noodle soup! ❤️

    1. deb

      In the “Cook the chicken:” step.

      [Both methods] Add whole chicken breasts to simmering broth. Simmer for 20 minutes, until they’re cooked through, then strain broth [for stovetop method] or simply remove cooked chicken breasts

  234. Tricia

    Snow day here in Maine and I am planning to make this soup. Question: I have 5 pounds of fresh chicken backs. Do I need to roast of sauté them to season them first since they are uncooked?

  235. Annie Slocum

    I am curious why you do not sauté the vegetables first?! I am going to follow your directions and hope to learn your technique! Love your recipes!

  236. Howard

    Just finished the broth and it tastes just like I remember my Bubbie’s soup. Thanks, Deb. This will be a definite go-to recipe.

  237. what are the best noodles to use? I usually use whatever is in the pantry, but if the soup is not eaten right after cooking, the noodles swell up and soak up all the broth after refrigeration.

    1. deb

      I find it safest to keep the noodles separate if not eating it right away. I like using egg noodles, sometime twisty, sometimes thin, depending on our mood.

  238. Mary Francis

    I was excited to make this on a nasty weather day here in eastern NC. I used chicken wings ($18 for 4 pounds, ugh!), followed the recipe exactly, but the broth had very little flavor. The soup needed quite a bit of salt. I’m thinking it would have been better if I had sautéed the veggies and wings before hand to give it a bit of caramelization. Any thoughts? Sorry, I always love your recipes!

    1. Gail

      I was going to brown the wings beforehand, too- for a deeper flavor. I was on smitten looking at her chicken soup recipes just now thinking that I had seen one of hers that recommends just this… maybe not. I tend to just give her credit for all good food things! 😀

  239. Rose

    This is just so darn good. What a magical trick, putting just a little tomato paste and chili flakes in the broth. It creates a punched up chicken flavor and color, but no real tomato flavor! We have been having buckets of it.

  240. Elle

    I’m afraid I must have done something wrong…this was a little disappointing! Can someone help me to identify any errors?

    First – I bought 4 lb fresh chicken wings for $20… 💀 So that was shockingly expensive. Then I was only able to fit about half a gallon of water into my slow cooker with everything else. So I cooked it all on low for 10 hrs and then added 3 cups of water after straining it (this is my suspicion of where I went wrong…but that’s really not that much water on this scale?)

    So the soup just tasted like it could never get enough salt. It was really underwhelming when finished! And for as much as it cost (I don’t know, maybe $40 total?) it was really confusing. Curious what others experiences have been!