Comfort food central! With my little tricks for extra flavour in the soup, you can make an easy Chicken Noodle Soup midweek that tastes like you made it with a full blown homemade chicken broth / stock from scratch using a whole chicken. Filling, nourishing and can’t-stop-eating it delicious!
I received an email from a reader asking me to share my chicken noodle soup. It might be in the middle of summer here in Sydney but the weather is swinging from heat waves to winter-like from day to day, so it was certainly no hardship to move from the barbecued Miso Marinated Side of Salmon I shared last Friday to this soup!
OK, maybe “winter-like” is a slight exaggeration. But when it’s 40C/104F one day then 24C/75F the next, it sure feels like it! 😉
I actually have 3 chicken vegetable noodle soups in my repertoire. My “ultimate” version is made using a whole chicken to make a full blown homemade chicken stock base for the soup. SO good. Takes 2 hours. 🙂 (Update: here it is, including a recipe video!)
My quickie version is the one I make the least which is made using pre-cooked shredded chicken and big flavour boosts for the soup broth.
Then there’s this one which I make using bone in chicken pieces, simmered until the meat is tender enough to shred to make a killer broth. Flavour wise, it is a small compromise from my “ultimate” version given it takes less than half the time. I have a few secret tips up my sleeve for this!
So here are the things I do that I think makes this easy Chicken Noodle Soup extra tasty even though it’s a relatively speedy midweek version:
1. Brown bone in-skin on chicken thigh fillets to create extra flavour base for the soup stock. You will be amazed what a difference this makes compared to just plonking pre-cooked chicken into chicken broth/stock. I discard the skin and excess fat BUT the most important thing is the extra flavour this adds when you mix the golden brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot into the soup. Also, cooking the chicken in the broth adds loads of extra flavour too!
2. Sauté dried herbs with the onion. This is an awesome tip for extra flavour! While it sautés, you can smell the fragrance that it releases that is so much better than throwing in herbs into the broth!
Feel free to load it up with more veggies if you want! I’ve kept it quite traditional with celery and carrots, but sometimes I throw in other diced veggies too! – Nagi x
PS For disclosure purposes, I made 1 1/2 quantities of the recipe below to adequately fill the beautiful white Chasseur dutch oven you see above. 🙂 #ILoveChasseur because it’s 30% cheaper than Le Creuset even though it’s made in the same TOWN!
This is how I make chicken noodle soup when I don't have the time to make a complete homemade stock from scratch. It's in between a super quickie version made using pre-cooked shredded chicken with chicken broth/stock, and the ultimate homemade version by poaching a whole chicken.
It's remarkable what a difference browning the chicken and cooking it in broth + water makes to the flavour base. Plus my tip for extra flavour is sautéing dried herbs with the onion!
- 1.4 lb / 700g bone in , skin on chicken thigh fillets (Note 1)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil , separated
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 small onion , diced (brown, white or yellow)
- 2 garlic cloves , crushed
- 2 cups celery , chopped (Note 2)
- 2 cups carrots , chopped (Note 2)
- 3 cups chicken broth/stock
- 3 cups water
- 6 oz / 200g thick egg pasta (or other pasta of choice) (Note 3)
- Finely chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat.
Add chicken, skin side down, and cook until brown - 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Turn the heat down to medium low. Discard all but about 1 tbsp fat from the pot. If you don't have any fat, add 1 tbsp olive oil (or 2 tbsp if there is not much chicken fat), then add the onion, garlic, thyme and oregano.
Cook for 2 minutes, then add the celery and carrots. Cook for 3 minutes.
Add a splash of the chicken broth and mix in, scraping the bottom of the pot.
Return the chicken and juices into the pot, add the chicken broth and water.
Turn the heat up to medium to bring to a simmer. Place the lid on and cook for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked enough to shred.
Remove the chicken into a large bowl or plate.
Add the pasta into the pot. (Note 3)
While the pasta is cooking, remove the skin from the chicken and scared it. Then shred the flesh into chunks using 2 forks.
Return the chicken to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve, garnished with parsley if desired.
1. I use bone in, skin on thigh fillets for maximum flavour infusion into the broth. However, you can make this with 1lb/500g skinless thigh fillets (or breast fillets, but that's my 3 choice).
2. I roughly chop the celery and carrots. You can cut them to the size you wish, but do not finely dice them (i.e. mince them) otherwise they will overcook.
3. Egg pasta in Australia is found in the dried pasta aisle and it is about the thickness of fettuccine. You can use any pasta you want, but you will need to adjust the cook time so they don't overcook and become too bloated.
4. Feel free to add other vegetables!
5. If you have leftovers, separate the noodles from the soup otherwise they will become really bloated and mushy overnight.
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings. This takes into account the chicken fat that is drained and also the skin that is discarded.