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The cold months are among us, which can often bring illness. Everyone knows that a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup is just the ticket to recovery when you need a pick-me-up. It's my go-to when one of my kids doesn't feel well. It's wisdom that's been passed down from generations and engrained in our brains that chicken noodle soup nourishes body and soul.
Full of easily digestible veggies, mineral and gelatin-rich broth, and simple protein, it's no wonder we all crave it when we're under the weather. Plus it just tastes like good ol' comfort food. Don't resort to that sub-par stuff in the can though. That is far from tasty or comforting. Take a little extra time and love and make it from scratch. I promise it isn't hard. We all know I don't delve into difficult waters very often around here.
This recipe uses a whole chicken to make it's own broth. All of the meat does not get used in this recipe though, which gives you a head start to another meal later in the week. You could use the extra meat for chicken enchiladas, chicken fried rice, bbq chicken, stir fry, chicken and biscuit pot pie, or on a big salad with homemade dressing. Anything that gets me ahead for another meal is a win in my book. To make this a quick weeknight meal, cook the chicken and broth ahead of time on the weekend so on Monday you can have dinner on the table in around twenty minutes.
For my low-carb or grain-free friends, you can certainly make this without the noodles. I would use a little more chicken and vegetables though if you aren't bulking it up with noodles. My daughter is allergic to wheat, so we always use rice noodles when making anything with pasta. My two favorite brands are Jovial and Tikyada.
I think you will love this soup. I hope it becomes a staple in your kitchen this winter.
Chicken noodle soup
- 1 whole chicken
- 12 cups water
- 2 ½ tsp salt more or less depending on taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 large carrots chopped
- ½ onion diced
- 2 celery ribs diced
- 2 cups noodles of choice any short cut pasta will do
- 1 tbsp olive oil or butter
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- In a large stockpot, place chicken, 12 cups of water, 1 bay leaf, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a gentle boil, and simmer partway covered for about an hour.
- When chicken is finished cooking, remove, allow to cool, and debone chicken and reserve two cups of chicken for soup. Set aside. The rest of the chicken can be used for another meal.
- Strain broth and reserve eight cups for this soup. If you have any leftover, use for another meal.
- In an empty stock pot, heat 1 T. olive oil or butter. Add carrots, onion, and celery and cook under crisp tender.
- Add 8 cups broth, an additional 1-1.5 tsp salt depending on your preference, thyme, and a bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil and add in noodles. Cook until noodles are al dente.
- The last few minutes of cook time for the noodles, add in 2 cups chopped reserved chicken. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.