When I am feeling under the weather, my go to meal is, of course, chicken noodle soup. It reminds me of the “Jewish Penicillin” (AKA matzo ball soup) that my mom makes. In fact, the same base can be used for both soups and I often decide at the last minute whether to make chicken noodle or matzo ball soup. This soup is warm and comforting with a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables.
What gives this soup its rich flavor?
Richly flavored broth: I encourage you to use homemade chicken stock (click the link in the recipe card). I know, I know, work is crazy, the cat is clawing at your leg, your tiny humans are screeching in your ear, your couch is singing its siren song and now I demand that you do MORE WORK?? Ok, ok, stop yelling at me. It’s fine, just make sure to use your favorite high quality store-bought stock.
Sautéed vegetables: It pays to take a little time to make sure that your veggies cook before adding broth. This adds an extra layer of flavor, bringing out the natural sugars from the carrot and onion. While you’re cooking the veggies, add the salt, pepper, and thyme. This makes for well-seasoned vegetables and not just a salty stock. But look, if you’re just not feeling it, you can cut your veggies into big pieces and skip this step.
My favorite choice is egg noodles because they maintain their texture well upon sitting in the soup. However, other short noodles will also work. Try rotini, farfalle, macaroni, or mafalda.
Just about any cut of chicken will work for this soup. It mostly comes down to the amount of work you are willing to do as far as skimming and separating the meat after cooking. The easiest choice is boneless, skinless chicken breast. Just shred once cooked and toss back into the soup. However, a cut with bones will add more flavor to the stock, such as bone-in breasts, thighs, or wings. Just keep in mind that these cuts are a little more work.
You most certainly can. To make it simple, try my favorite matzo ball mix. Otherwise, you can make matzo balls yourself. Either pre-cook the matzo balls in salted water or add an extra 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock to the recipe and cook them in the soup.
Other soups you might like
Sauté your veggies, cook your chicken in the stock, then add noodles in the last few minutes of cooking. Bing, bang, boom, you’ve got some soup for your family. Now sit back, breathe in the comfort of the soup, and thank yourself for taking care of your body.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- 40 ounces chicken stock
- 1 onion Diced
- 3 carrots Diced
- 3 celery stalks Diced
- 3 garlic cloves Minced
- 10 ounces chicken*
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 teaspoons salt more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper more to taste
- 5 ounces wide egg noodles**
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onion, carrot, celery and 1 tsp of salt to the pot. Cook stirring occasionally until vegetables are lightly softened, about 7 minutes. Mix in garlic, thyme, and pepper and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Pour the broth into the pot and add bay leaf. Turn the heat up to high until broth boils, then add chicken, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 45 minutes, skimming fat once or twice if you are using a fattier cut of chicken.
- Remove chicken from the soup and shred meat, discarding bones and skin.
- Meanwhile, remove the cover from the pot, turn the heat up to high, and bring the soup back up to a boil. Add noodles and reduce heat to medium for about 6 minutes or according to the al dente directions on your chosen noodles.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Mix shredded chicken back into the pot then adjust salt and pepper to taste.