It’s been incredibly warm and balmy 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, because 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 (except the noodles) 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 do need 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 tasting and good for you broth.
Images and prices updated 2-8-17
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
- 1 medium yellow onion $0.37
- 3 cloves garlic $0.24
- ½ lb. carrots $0.49
- ½ bunch celery $0.83
- 2 split chicken breasts (bone-in) $6.64
- 1 tsp dried basil $0.10
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley $0.15
- ½ tsp dried thyme $0.05
- 1 whole bay leaf $0.15
- Freshly cracked pepper $0.05
- 2-3 tsp salt $0.05
- 6 oz. egg noodles $1.00
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large pot and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent.
- While the onion and garlic are sautéing, wash and slice the carrots and celery. Add them to the pot and continue to sauté for a few minutes more.
- 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, some freshly cracked pepper, and eight cups of water. Cover the pot, bring it 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 2-3 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. Taste and season again with salt if needed (I didn’t need to). Serve hot!
Step By Step Photos
Begin my dicing one onion and mincing three cloves of garlic. Place them in a large pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent.
While the onion and garlic are cooking, clean and slice 1/2 lb. carrots and 1/2 bunch celery (3-4 stalks). 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!
Remove the skin (and any excess fat) from two split chicken breasts (2.5-3 lbs. total). Split chicken breasts come with bones and rib meat, both of which add a LOT of flavor to the broth. They will also sometimes be labeled “bone-in chicken breast with rib meat”.
Add the chicken breasts to the pot along with 1 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1 Tbsp dried or fresh parsley, 1 bay leaf, and some freshly cracked 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 simmering. It needs to simmer the whole time.
After an hour, it will look something like this. 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.
Add 6oz. egg noodles to the pot while you’re working on the chicken, 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. Season the broth with salt, beginning with one teaspoon and adding more until the flavor of the broth really pops (2-3 teaspoons).
Add the shredded chicken back to the soup, stir to combine, and you’re ready to eat! It’s never a bad idea to give it one last taste and adjust the salt if needed.
This makes a big batch about about 12 cups, or eight 1.5 cup servings, so it’s not a bad idea to freeze some. Always refrigerate the soup fully before transferring it to the freezer. When making big batches of soups and stews, it’s a good idea to divide it up into smaller portions before refrigerating so that the hot liquid can cool down faster once in the refrigerator.