A homemade Chicken Noodle Soup made from scratch using a whole chicken to make the stock! A classic that everyone should know, with the added bonus that there’s leftover chicken meat to use for something else. This is a must try at least once!
This is a chicken noodle soup made the old fashioned way. Just like your grandma and your great great grandma used to make it. Yours, not mine. Mine hated cooking plus she was Japanese and she rarely strayed from Japanese food, with the exception of Strawberry Shortcakes which she managed to chow down like a champion right up to the very end.
Actually, as sad as it was to see her fading away in a nursing home, it did bring the entire extended family much amusement that she would barely eat the provided meals but she’d scoff down a giant slice of Strawberry Shortcake. That, plus her totally inappropriate obsession with a boy band, the Japanese equivalent of One Direction. (I wet myself laughing when I first heard this!)
So, as much as I wish I could tell you this Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup is a family recipe handed down to me by my grandma, it is not. It is a recipe that I learned from the likes of Barefoot Contessa, Maggie Beer and other masters of comfort food classics. 🙂
Truth be told, I don’t consider myself a master of Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. The true masters make it so the soup is very clear, almost like a consommé. I know that one method of achieving a clear soup is to scoop the scum off the surface as the chicken is simmering away.
I never seem to get much scum while the chicken is simmering away. I swear, I clean that chicken inside out, and I make this with free range chicken (for recipes like this, it’s definitely worth buying the best chicken you can afford).
So my soup stock always seems to come out a bit murky and a bit more brown than a lovely clear yellow that is considered to be a “perfect” chicken noodle soup broth. Or if you make this with chicken breast (please don’t!).
I’m ok with that. The flavour is there, I promise you that. 🙂 I had a fleeting moment when I thought “this isn’t perfect, should I share this??” And I realised that my site is not about perfection. I’m a real person, I’m not a professional chef. My recipes are achievable for ordinary folk like myself. ❤️
You probably won’t even use half the meat on the chicken for this soup. After 1.5 hours of cooking, the chicken is definitely fall apart and there’s no denying that much of the flavour is extracted into the soup broth. However, it is perfectly fine to use for things like in salads, enchiladas, pasta bakes or anything where there is a sauce or spice mix to add flavour.
I make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with both pasta and noodles. Basically whichever I have in the pantry. I tend not to use long strand pastas like spaghetti, simply for ease of eating. I know that my friends in the States make Chicken Noodle soup with a specific type of egg noodles that are sort of like a short, wide pasta that is twisted. We don’t have those exact noodles here, but the pasta twists that I used for the photos are pretty similar.
I kept the veggies in the soup fairly classic, using just onion, carrots and celery. But don’t let my lack of imagination deter you – add whatever you want! – Nagi xx
As classic version made from scratch using a whole chicken. No store bought chicken broth can ever compare! Recipe video below.
- 1.8 kg / 3.5 lb whole chicken , rinsed and cleaned, the best quality you can afford (Note 1)
- 1 head of garlic , cut in half horiztonally
- 2 carrots , cut into chunks
- 2 celery ribs , cut into chunks
- 2 onions , peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves , fresh or dried
- 4 thyme sprigs (or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion , diced
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 medium carrots , cut in quarters lengthwise then chopped
- 2 celery ribs , cut into 1 cm/ 1/2" thick pieces
- 2 cups shredded chicken (from broth)
- 2 litres / 2 quarts chicken broth
- 200 g/ 6 oz egg noodles or pasta of choice
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley , finely chopped, for garnish
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 chicken boullion cube , crumbled
Place the chicken in a large pot. Add remaining Broth ingredients, then add enough water so the chicken is just covered (too much water = weak broth). Cover with lid, bring the water to a simmer over medium low heat. Cook for 1.5 hours until chicken is tender and easily comes off the bone. (Or 8 hours on low in a slow cooker)
If you see scum on the surface, scoop it off (I don't usually get much so I don't bother).
Use tongs and an egg flip (or similar) to transfer the chicken into a large bowl or dish (I stick the tong inside the chicken and put the egg flip under the chicken).
Strain the broth into a large bowl. Press out excess liquid from the veggies.
Optional: Refrigerate soup for a few hours until the fat sets, then scoop the fat off the surface.
Shred chicken while still warm.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium meat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots, cook for 10 minutes until quite softened and a bit sweet (they shouldn't brown, turn heat down if they do).
Add broth, turn heat up to medium high. When it starts to bubble, add the noodles / pasta. Cook per packet directions. (TIP: If you know there will be leftovers, cook pasta separately and place in bowls, then ladle over soup. This is an easy way to avoid bloated pasta in leftover soup).
Add chicken, stir (it warms quickly), then season with salt and pepper to taste - season well!
Serve soup immediately, garnished with fresh parsley.
1. This recipe will work fine for any chicken larger than 1.5kg/3lb. Any smaller and I would be concerned about the flavour of the broth, though having said that, you could top up the flavour with chicken stock powder, bouillon cube or even adding some liquid chicken broth/stock.
2. SOUP EXTRAS: The reason I suggest these extras is in case you find the flavour of the broth a bit weak for your taste. It could be because the chicken was a bit small, or quality because you get better flavour from better chooks. 🙂
When you taste the broth, don't forget that it is not salted! This will affect how "nice" it tastes. I always leave the salting until the end, but if you are concerned about the flavour of your broth, add salt so you can get a proper sense of how it tastes.
If using the Soup optional extras, add the thyme and bay leave with the onions, then add the bouillon cube with the broth.
3. LEFTOVERS: Noodles bloat! So if you have leftovers, it is best to separate the noodles and veggies from the soup. If you don't mind bloated noodles, then it's fine to leave them in the soup. Leftovers will keep for 3 days from when the broth was made.
Also, this recipe makes way more chicken than you will need. After 1.5 hours of cooking, the chicken doesn't have that much flavour, but it's great to use for things like salads with dressings, enchiladas, and pasta bakes which have sauces / spices to flavour the chicken.
4. This is a fairly classic recipe that I've used for as long as I can remember. When I was Googling around to compare with others, I was very interested to see it is virtually the same as this one from Tyler Florence. Great affirmation - I really like his recipes!!
Homemade chicken noodle soup recipe video!
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