It’s been incredibly warm and summery here all winter, but today was cold, dark, and rainy. Which is perfect because I had planned to make a big ‘ol pot of chicken noodle soup to soothe my tired, achy body. I hadn’t made chicken noodle soup from scratch in probably 6 or 7 years, but I knew it was exactly what I needed. There’s no bouillon needed here, folks. This broth is the real deal. Every time I’ve made this soup I’m always surprised at how just a few simple ingredients can create such a flavorful broth.
This soup is seriously easy but it does require some time to simmer. It can easily be adapted for the slow cooker, if that fits your schedule better. Just pop everything in the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for eight. Pull the chicken out at the end and remove the meat from the bones in the same manner.
Speaking of bones, you really want to get chicken on the bone for this recipe. The bones and connective tissue add a lot to the flavor of the broth. Yeah, it sounds scary to the uninitiated, but I promise, bones are the secret to a good broth.
Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.24
- 1 medium yellow onion $0.63
- 3 cloves garlic $0.21
- ½ lb. carrots $0.49
- ½ bunch celery $0.75
- 2 split chicken breast (bone-in) $5.35
- 1 tsp dried basil $0.05
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley $0.15
- ½ tsp dried thyme $0.03
- 1 whole bay leaf $0.15
- 10-15 cranks cracked pepper $0.05
- 1 Tbsp salt $0.10
- 6 oz. egg noodles $0.90
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Begin cooking them in a large pot over medium heat with 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
- While the onion and garlic are sauteing, wash and slice the carrots and celery. Add them to the pot and continue to saute.
- Pull the skin and any excess fat from the chicken breasts. Add the breasts to the pot along with the bay leaf, basil, parsley, thyme, and black pepper. Add eight cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour. Make sure the pot continues to simmer for the whole hour. If the heat is turned down too low and it is not bubbling away, the chicken will not shred easily.
- After an hour of simmering, remove the chicken from the pot. Using two forks, pull the meat from the bone and shred it slightly. Season the broth with salt. Begin with one teaspoon and add more to your liking. I used one tablespoon total (or three teaspoons). The flavor of the broth will really pop once the salt is added.
- Add the noodles to the pot, turn the heat up to high, and boil the noodles until tender (about 7 minutes). Return the shredded chicken to the pot, add two more cups of water (to account for evaporation and absorption from the noodles). Taste and season again with salt if needed (I didn’t need to). Serve hot!
Step By Step Photos
Begin my dicing the onion and mincing the garlic. Place them in a large pot with the olive oil and saute over medium heat.
While the onion and garlic are cooking, clean and slice the carrots and celery. Add them to the pot. You’ll only use half of a one pound bag of carrots and half of a bunch of celery, but the rest doesn’t need to go to waste. You can clean and slice the rest and freeze them to make another batch of soup with later. I do it every (other) time. It takes just a few more minutes and is super convenient later!
This is the chicken breast that I used. It’s called “split” because it is one whole (two sides) of a chicken breast simply split in half without the skin or bones removed. It will also sometimes be labeled “bone-in chicken breast with rib meat”.
The skin should pull away from the breast meat fairly easy. You may need to use a knife in a few spots around the edges.
Add the chicken breasts to the pot along with all of the herbs (bay leaf, basil, parsley, thyme, pepper).
Add eight cups of water, cover, and bring up to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for one hour. Make sure that you don’t turn the heat down so low that it stops bubbling. It needs to simmer the whole time.
After an hour, pull the chicken out of the pot…
Using two forks (because it will be piping hot), pull the chicken from the bone and shred it slightly.
Meanwhile, season the broth with salt. Start with a little (a teaspoon or so), and add more until it is where you like it. I added one tablespoon total.
Add the noodles to the pot, turn the heat up to a boil, and cook until tender (about 7-10 minutes). You can use any noodle that you like, but I really like egg noodles in chicken noodle soup. They have a nice firm texture and they don’t disintegrate in the soup.
Add the shredded chicken back to the soup.
At this point I added two more cups of water to make up for evaporation and absorption by the noodles. Taste it again to see if you want more salt because the noodles (and adding more water) may mellow it out a bit. I didn’t need to add any more, but that’s up to you. Serve it hot with some nice crusty bread!
As usual, I portioned mine out before refrigerating and about half of these will end up in the freezer… and one stayed in a bowl because I ate it for lunch! :)