Overhead photo of Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch (whole chicken) in a bowl, ready to be eaten
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4.87 from 43 votes

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (from scratch!)

Recipe video above. A classic version made from scratch using a whole chicken. It's light yet full of flavour that you can't get using store bought chicken broth!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Soup
Keyword: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Servings: 6
Calories: 277kcal
Author: Nagi

Ingredients

Homemade Broth:

  • 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 (2.25L) water

Soup:

  • 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 homadme 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)

Instructions

Broth:

  • 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.
  • 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).

Soup:

  • 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 chicken, stir (it warms quickly), then season with salt and pepper to taste - season well!
  • Serve soup immediately, garnished with fresh parsley.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 464g | Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 669mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3525IU | Vitamin C: 5.1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1.7mg