A homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe made from scratch using a whole chicken. With a beautifully flavoured golden chicken broth, this is a classic everyone should know!
Made the old fashioned way by boiling a whole chicken, you can toss in any vegetables, noodles or pasta and it’s going to be amazing. And everybody knowns Chicken Soup is the best soup for a cold!
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup – from scratch!
Simmering a whole chicken with root vegetables and herbs creates a delicious homemade stock for the soup, into which the chicken meat is shredded alongside chopped and sauteed vegetables. This is a Chicken Noodle Soup made the old fashioned way!
Regular readers know that “cool” is certainly not my middle name. I’m not one for following food trends. I just like good food done right. I’ll give foam and cauliflower crust pizza a miss thanks! 😂
How to make this good old fashioned chicken noodle soup
Yes there’s more steps than quick and easy chicken noodle soup recipes, but it is so worth it because this broth is something money can’t buy!
Simmer (don’t boil!) a whole chicken with broth flavourings (celery, carrot, garlic, peppercorns, herbs) for 1.5 hours to 2 hours until the flesh is tender enough to shred without effort;
Remove scum that floats to the surface once or twice;
Remove the chicken and the carrot etc;
Shred the chicken. You’ll need just under half for this recipe, save the rest for other uses;
Make it even healthier – and the broth even clearer! Refrigerate the broth so the fat hardens on the surface, then scoop it off.
Sauté onion, garlic, carrot and celery slowly – The slower, the better! The vegetables become sweeter with a more intense flavour;
Add homemade broth and noodles. Once the noodles are almost cooked, toss the chicken back in just to heat up;
How to ensure your soup broth is clear
One of the things we all love about a great chicken noodle soup is how clear the broth is. Transparent – yet full of flavour! There’s a few tricks to the clear broth:
Simmer the chicken really gently. Harder boil gets the chicken jiggling around = murkier broth
Scoop the scum off the surface (#2 in photo below);
Let the broth settle (or refrigerate overnight). You’ll find that the bottom of the broth becomes darker as “stuff” settles on the base of the pot. Then gently pour the broth into the soup pot, leaving behind the darker broth that settled to the bottom of the pot;
Don’t brown the sautéed onion, carrots and celery. Brown veggies = brown broth!
Don’t stir the pasta while it boils. That activates the starch in the pasta, making the broth cloudier.
What to do with leftover chicken
You probably won’t even use half the meat on the chicken for this Chicken Noodle Soup. So here’s a few ideas for things to make with the leftover cooked chicken:
Make a Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup!
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
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup – from scratch!
Watch how to make it
Homemade chicken noodle soup recipe video!
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (from scratch!)
- 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)
- 9 – 10 cups water (enough to just cover chicken)
- 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 homemade broth)
- 2 litres / 2 quarts homemade chicken broth (above)
- 200 g/ 6 oz egg noodles or pasta of choice (Note 3)
- 2 – 3 tsp Vegeta or other stock powder (Note 4)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 thyme sprigs , optional
- 1 bay leaf , optional
- Finely chopped parsley , for garnish (optional)
- 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 gentle simmer over medium heat. Then adjust heat so it’s simmering GENTLY with the lid on. Simmer 1.5 hours until chicken is tender and easily comes off the bone. (Or 8 hours on low in a slow cooker)
- Scoop scum off surface once or twice during first 30 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to pan. Shred meat and discard bones. You'll only need half the chicken meat, save the rest for another purpose.
- Remove carrots, celery etc from broth, and discard. Optional: Chop carrot and celery, add back into soup with chicken. (Note 5)
- Optional: Refrigerate soup for a few hours until the fat sets, then scoop the fat off the surface (I do this, healthier & makes soup clearer).
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium meat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots, cook for 5 minutes until softened and a bit sweet, don’t let them brown.
- Turn heat up to medium high. Gently pour 8 cups broth in (top up with water if necessary), leaving behind residue settled in the bottom of the broth pot.
- Add Vegeta (stock powder), thyme, bay leaf and pepper. Stir.
- When it starts bubbling, add noodles/pasta. Cook for time per packet MINUS 2 minutes. Stir gently only once or twice (Note 6).
- Add half the chicken, stir (it warms quickly), then season with salt and pepper to taste – season well!
- Serve soup immediately, garnished with fresh parsley.
1. Chicken size: This recipe will work fine for any chicken larger than 1.5kg/3lb. Any smaller and the broth flavour may be slightly lacking but you can just top up flavour with Vegeta, or chicken or vegetable stock powder/crumbled bouillon cube. Will also work with: drumsticks, bone in skin on thighs. 3. Noodles: Any pasta or noodles work perfectly here. Short, wide twisted noodles/pasta are ideal for ease of eating. Break Lon strand pasta into 3 or 4. I typically use whatever I have – I used fettuccine in the photos/video. 4. Vegeta – Vegeta is a brand of vegetable stock powder, labelled “Gourmet Seasoning” and “All Purpose Seasoning” in the US & Canada. See here for a photo, video, and here it is on Amazon US. Read in this post about Vegeta and MSG misconceptions! It’s my favourite stock powder to use in soup broths because of the flavour, colour, clarity and that you get little “bits” in the soup. It’s sold in the herb & spice aisle of supermarkets here in Australia. You can use stock powder (same amount)or crumbled bouillon cube (1 for each teaspoon) – use chicken or vegetable. 5. Cooked carrots & celery – I tend to discard because stove simmering for this long makes them extremely soft, bordering on mushy. If using slow cooker, they tend to have a better texture so I chop and toss them in (like in Slow Cooker Ham Bone Soup). But you can add them if you want – extra veg! 6. Stirring lots = activates pasta starch = cloudy broth 7. How to store Chicken Noodle Soup: Noodles bloat! So best to separate the noodles and veggies from the soup, then store separately. Will keep for 3 – 4 days in the fridge. Broth will freeze for months. Things to make with Leftover Chicken: You’ll only use 1/2 the chicken, if that. See in post for a list of suggestions of things to make! 8. Nutrition per serving.
Originally published May 2017. Updated with new words, new photos, a better video. Very minor changes to recipe to streamline / improve flavour slightly!
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