Cold winter months call for comfort food, and what comfort food is better than a simple Chicken Noodle Soup? Nothing beats the warm soothing broth, thick with veggies, tender chicken meat, and noodles.
If you have just 5 basic ingredients (chicken, carrots, celery, onion, noodles, and water) you can make this soup in ONE HOUR and enjoy for days!
When I was little, one of the very first things my mom taught me to make was soup. It’s the easiest, yet probably the most versatile dish you can survive on for many cold months. Chicken Noodle Soup is a classic, and undoubtedly every family has their very own recipe they proudly call “the best”. I won’t bestow this title on my soup, but only state that this recipe is as easy as it is delicious. ‘Nuff said!
Our Very Simple Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 lb Chicken (I often use a grill pack, which includes drumsticks, things and a bone-in breast, but I have also used only breasts or only drumsticks, and the results are equally delicious)
- 1 whole onion (to be discarded later)
- 5 carrots
- A celery bunch
- Other spices to taste (I used garlic powder)
- Bay leaf (optional)
- Noodles of your choice (we use what we have on hand; sometimes it’s spaghetti or linguine, and other times it’s fusilli or farfalle)
- 1 tbsp butter (optional)
Note: if you plan to eat your soup for the rest of the week, or if you have a large family, boil the whole box/bag. If you plan to eat soup for dinner and freeze the rest, boil only part of it, roughly 1/3 cup dry pasta per person.
- Large pot (I use this Dutch Oven)
- Medium pot
- Large spoon and a bowl to collect the “foam”
- A few spoons to taste for seasoning (you can use the same spoon and rinse it after each use, or keep a few near by and throw them in the sink after each use)
- Cutting board
Prepare the broth
1.Take the very loose leaves off the onion, leaving the majority of its brown outer shell intact
2. Rinse your chicken under the running water and pat it dry.
3. Place chicken, onion, and a few bay leaves (optional) in a large pot and fill it with water.
Turn the heat on medium high. Let the water boil.
4. Collect the foam.
As the water starts to boil, turn the heat down a little. Then grab a large spoon and a small bowl to collect the forming foam at the top of the water. I call it “dirt foam”, as I see it as all the impurities coming to the top, and I am happy to take them off my delicious soup. This will also ensure that the broth for your soup is clear and doesn’t have strange “floaties” in it.
5. Let the meat boil for about 20-30 minutes on medium-low heat.
Meanwhile prep your veggies
6. Wash and peel carrots (cutting the top and bottom off). Wash and chop celery.
Back to our broth
7. After 20-30 minutes of boiling your chicken, take the onion out and discard.
Then take the chicken out and put it on to a plate/bowl to let it cool slightly.
8. Check your broth.
If it’s clear, then you can put carrots and celery in and let them cook slightly on low heat.
If it’s not clear, you might want to collect the rest of the foam floating around or drain your soup into another large pot or bowl through a sifter to make sure the broth is clear. Wash your soup pot and pat it dry. Now return your now clear broth to the pot and keep it on low heat.
Look how beautiful and clean the broth is after straining!
9. Put your veggies in the broth and them simmer in the broth.
while the veggies cook on low heat, deal with your chicken.
10. Shred or cut the meat.
If you used breasts, simply shred the chicken into pieces using two forks or a fork and a knife.
If you used bone-in pieces, like drumsticks, thighs or breasts with bones, you may want to separate your meat from the bone at this time and cut it into smaller pieces or shred.
I prefer little pieces or cubes of meat in my soups, but shredded chicken will add to the thickness and fullness of the soup in your bowl.
At this point, you may discard the bones or save them for later to make bone broth.
11. Add cubed/shredded chicken to the pot.
Add it slowly to avoid hot splatter. Mix it all well and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes
Meanwhile, clean your kitchen and get out your spices.
12. After chicken and veggies have simmered for about 15 minutes, add salt and spices to taste.
How much salt to add really depends on the size of the pot and your personal preference. I typically add at least 1 teaspoon and then add more if necessary.
I typically stick to salt and maybe a dash of pepper. You may add Poultry Seasoning, Italian Seasoning, Garlic Powder, Minced Onion, even a bouillon cube if you wish. This part is open for interpretation.
13. Let your soup simmer for 10 more minutes to mix and incorporate all the spices.
After 10 minutes, turn the heat off, put the lid on the pot and let it sit.
Meanwhile, prep your noodles
14. In a smaller pot boil the water and salt for your pasta.
Note: a little trick hat my sister taught me is to boil your noodles separately from your soup. Keeping your noodles and soup separately will ensure that the noodles won’t overcook and later won’t become soggy and lose their shape as you reheat your soup in the days to come.
15. As the water starts to boil, add pasta and cook 2 minutes less than directed on the box.
You want your pasta really “al dente”. It will continue to cook when you put it in your soup.
16. Drain the pasta and add desired amount to each individual bowl.
Note: if you are cooking the whole box and saving this pasta to use in your soup for the rest of the week, add 1 tbsp of butter to your pasta (after it’s been drained) and mix. This will ensure that the pasta pieces won’t stick to each other after cooling and will be easier to use in the coming days.
After you have placed a desired amount of noodles into bowls, add your chicken soup. Typically, a bay leaf is removed after cooking, but in our family we continue a silly Russian tradition and leave the leaf in the pot. Whoever gets the leaf in their bowl is considered a lucky person who will soon receive a letter or some sort of interesting news.
So this how we make our Very Simple Chicken Noodle Soup! The instructions may seem long, but I just wanted to include all the details so that your cooking experience goes faster and smoother and without guessing. Trust me, it’s the easiest chicken noodle soup you’ll ever make with no fillers and other funky ingredients.
After playing the snow for hours, our Simple Chicken Noodle Soup is the best dish to come home to and warm up our insides. A loaf of fresh bread would go so well with this! And as soon as I master the recipe for that, I will post it here as well.
This soup is easy to make and so yummy to eat and enjoy! May your cold winter days be filled with pots of delicious goodness and loaves of fresh crusty bread!
Related: How To Survive a Snow Day