It’s January and it’s cold, even in Fort Worth, Texas. Even worse, it has been raining for a few days, so we are chilled through. This is perfect weather for hot soup. There is something sooo comforting about holding that hot bowl or mug in your hands. Chicken noodle soup is classic feel-good food. What’s not to like about tasty broth and noodles? As with most of the recipes on the site, I am going to give you the complete homemade version, but you can make you can make it easier by using leftover chicken, or a rotisserie chicken, with store-bought broth. In most recipes, the chicken is discarded after making chicken stock. But in this recipe, we are cooking the chicken gently for only an hour and a half. The broth will be very flavorful, and the chicken can be used in the soup.
For the chicken stock (makes about 2 quarts):
- 1 4-5 pound whole chicken (discard the innards)
- 3 carrots, unpeeled, chopped in large pieces
- 3 ribs celery, chopped in large pieces, with leaves
- 2 yellow or white onions, quartered
- 1 bunch thyme
- 2 bay leaves
For the soup:
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 yellow or white onion, finely diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and small-diced
- 3 celery ribs, small-diced
- 8 oz wide egg noodles
- 2 quarts chicken stock (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 tsp herbes de Provence (not a deal-breaker if you don’t have it, but really good)
- Place all ingredients in a large pot. Add water to cover the chicken, about 3 quarts
- Heat to boiling, then simmer gently on low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Add water as needed to keep the chicken covered.
- Remove the chicken. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and shred with a fork into small pieces. Set aside.
- Pour the liquid through a mesh strainer into a bowl. You should have about 2 quarts.
To make the soup:
- Heat your soup pot, pour in the olive oil, and add the new onion, carrots, and celery. Heat, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and other vegetable are softening (about 5-7 minutes).
- Add chicken stock and herbes de Provence, and heat to boiling.
- Add egg noodles, bring back to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add chicken pieces and continue cooking until the soup is heated all the way through.
I made this soup yesterday, but didn’t want to take the time to make homemade stock. I roasted two chicken breasts in the oven for half an hour (drizzled first with olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper). When the meat was cooled, I shredded it with a fork. I used store-bought chicken broth for the soup. You don’t have to spend all day to make a delicious meal. Try this, and add whatever you like to make it your own (more noodles, additional vegetables, rice instead of noodles, etc). Sip contentedly and feel yourself warming up from the inside out.