Chicken noodle soup is my favorite (and, in my opinion, the greatest)! Without a recipe for chicken noodle soup, no food blog would be complete. Our version is nutritious, filling, and delicious. Plus, this soup can be made from scratch in under 40 minutes! Go to the recipe for Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.
Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Every time I think of this soup, I want to cook it. Chicken noodle soup is a classic comfort dish. Thankfully, our recipe is so simple that you can prepare it right now! One of the simplest soups to make is chicken noodle soup. Simple and inexpensive ingredients are used. This soup will take about 40 minutes to make from start to finish. Not bad, especially because 20 minutes of the time is spent doing nothing !!
How to Make the Best Chicken Noodle Soup
We’ve been making chicken soup for years and have experimented with several variations. We’ve even begun from scratch with a full chicken.
I’ll take a cup of chicken soup any day, but we keep coming back to this one. It’s simple to produce and takes only a few minutes.
It’s crucial to use high-quality chicken broth. Our freezer doesn’t always contain homemade chicken broth, which I wish it did. When buying store-bought broth, we opt for low-sodium broth. In addition to dark-colored store-bought broth (that usually has better flavor), I also like to use boxed bone broth since it has more of a backbone (but sometimes we make bone broth ourselves).
In case you’re curious, we prefer Trader Joe’s Bone Broth as well as Pacific Foods Bone Broth.
Don’t be scared to season your soup with salt and pepper. Seasoning soups ahead of time and tastes them frequently for seasoning. We always check the seasoning level of the broth before adding the chicken thighs to the soup. If the flavor isn’t strong enough, add a pinch of salt.
Use the fish sauce as an alternative. It may seem strange, but a small sprinkle of fish sauce always brings something back to life when we’re eating something and it’s just lacking that something special. In our Pho soup recipe, fish sauce is a key ingredient.
I use chicken thighs to make the finest chicken soup. The flavor of chicken soup is enhanced when it is cooked with darker meat. In the soup, the chicken thighs become tender and squishy, much like the chicken in our shredded chicken recipe. In the soup, the chicken breast does not tenderize and remains hard. Both cuts of chicken can be used, but the soup will be best if you use the thighs.
Herbs are essential in this soup; we start with thyme and bay leaves, which give the broth a herby backbone. Add a handful of chopped fresh parsley towards the end for a burst of freshness. Other herbs can also be used. Try rosemary instead of (or in addition to) the thyme and bay leaves. Fresh chives are a good choice for the final herbs because they have a light onion flavor.
You can use whatever noodles you choose for the noodles. We prefer the lightness of egg noodles, but you may use any pasta in this recipe.
Make-Ahead and Storing Tips
The soup can be cooked ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
If you’re not going to eat the soup right away or plan to freeze it, don’t add the noodles yet. The noodles absorb up the broth as the soup settles. You have two options for dealing with this:
Add a little additional broth/stock to the pot while reheating the soup. When reheating the soup, I’ve even been known to add a splash of plain water. It won’t dilute the flavor of the soup too much if you don’t add too much.
When cooking the soup ahead of time, leave the noodles out and chill or freeze the soup for the freshest, least soggy noodles. Bring the soup to a low simmer and add the dry noodles when ready to reheat.
To summarize, keep the following in mind when making homemade chicken noodle soup:
- Make sure to use high-quality stock or broth.
- Season the soup ahead of time and keep an eye on it.
- Chicken thighs are more tender than chicken breasts and create a better soup.
- Herbs can enhance taste at the beginning and at the end of a dish.
YOU WILL NEED
- Chicken fat, olive oil, & 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 large and 1 chopped onion
- 2 large carrots and 1 chopped onion
- Chopped (optional) & 2 stalks celery.
- Heaped tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 2 bay leaves
- Use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Boneless chicken thighs (4 or 5 thighs) & 1 pound skinless
- Use low sodium, homemade stock or 8 cups chicken stock or broth
- 5 ounces egg noodles (or pasta of choice)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Finely chopped & 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- More water or stock would help.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Combine the onions, carrots, and celery in a large mixing bowl. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies soften, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Combine the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme in a mixing bowl. Additionally, Cook for 1 minute while stirring the garlic around the pan.
- Add the chicken stock and reduce to low heat. However, Season the soup with salt and pepper after tasting it. You may need to add 1 or more teaspoons of salt depending on the stock used.
- In the soup, fully submerge the chicken thighs. Let the soup simmer on a low simmer for about 20 minutes, then partially cover it with a lid and stir it occasionally.
- If the broth appears to be running low during this time, add a splash of stock or a splash of water. Reduce the heat to a low setting.
- Place the cooked chicken on a serving platter. Cook, stirring occasionally until the noodles are tender, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the type of noodles used.
- While the noodles are cooking, shred or dice the chicken into strips or cubes. Return the chicken to the pot, then season with salt & pepper to taste. As needed, season with extra salt and pepper. Serve with a garnish of parsley.