Is there anything more comforting than homemade chicken noodle soup? Perfect for cold weather, and especially good if you are fighting off a cold or flu. There are probably as many ways of making chicken noodle soup as there are moms who make it.
The key is homemade stock made from chicken parts or a whole chicken. The iron rich gelatin from the chicken cartilage and bones is good for you, and one of the reasons why homemade chicken stock is so beneficial.
If you don’t already have a cache of homemade chicken stock, the following is a recipe for making the entire soup from scratch, starting with a whole chicken, parted out. Already have chicken stock? This recipe includes instructions for a 30 minute shortcut version as well.
This recipe makes an especially clean tasting soup with a rich, clear broth, and plenty of noodles.
How to make Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch using a whole chicken
If you have a couple hours, making a chicken noodle soup entirely from scratch is the way to go. All you need is a whole chicken (cut into parts), water, celery, onions, and carrots, seasonings, and egg noodles.
The recipe is basically two parts: first you make the stock, then you strain out the bones, and make the soup.
Make the stock:
Some recipes will have you cook the chicken you will use as meat in your soup for the entire time you are cooking the bones for stock. This will produce dry, over-cooked pieces of chicken.
To avoid dried out chicken in our soup, in our recipe we first separate the breast and thigh meat from the bones that we plan on using in the finished soup. We make the stock and then add the chicken meat near the end of cooking. You could also cook these pieces whole, in the broth, and remove them after 15 minutes of cooking or so, cool them and shred them to be added at service.
To make the stock we first parboil the stock meat and bones, at high rolling boil, for 3 minutes, then discard the boiling water. This hard boil forces the scum to the surface all in one go. This is a classic stock making technique that helps produce a clear, clean-tasting broth. (You will still get all of the nutritional value from the chicken during the long simmering step that follows.)
We then return those parboiled meat and bones to the pot, add some celery, carrots, onions, garlic, and herbs, cover with water, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours to make the stock.
Make the soup:
When the stock is ready, we strain out the solids, and add fresh veggies to the stock. Any vegetables you used in making the stock will have had all of their nutritional value simmered out of them after an hour, which is why we are adding fresh vegetables.
Once the soup and vegetables are simmering, we chop up the raw chicken breast and thigh meat we had removed from the bone in the first step and return it to the soup. Then we add in the dry noodles, and the soup is done when the noodles and chicken pieces are cooked!
The quick version: making chicken noodle soup in 30 minutes
If you already have chicken stock (again homemade is best), you can make this chicken noodle soup in 30 minutes or less; just start at step 6. Add chopped carrots and celery to the stock and bring to a simmer. Then add chopped chicken breast or thighs and bring to a simmer again. Then add dry noodles. When the noodles are done, add seasonings like parsley, salt, pepper, and thyme, and you’re done!