I love soup. It’s one of my favorite dishes, there are so many you can make, different bases, different flavor profiles. Practically good all year round, say maybe for summer and I would probably argue I could find some good ones for summer too!
My all-time most treasured is chicken noodle soup. I have made it my mission the last ten years to perfect this recipe best I can. I think I have done a pretty good job and anyone who tastes it, tends to agree.
There is just something so satisfying about a warm, savory bowl of chicken noodle soup. Reminiscent of a tender grandmother's embrace. A comforting reminder of childhood. Mmmmm.
When I cook, especially the dishes I try to perfect, I am not just looking to satisfy taste buds. I want to create an experience. I want that experience to have feeling, to reach deep down into a primal place and connect one with nourishment. Nourishment not only for the body but for the mind and spirit. I want the delicate smells and bold flavors to permeate and dance with the senses. When a person thinks of chicken noodle soup I want them to think of the time when I fed them, and I want them to crave it. It’s probably the perfectionist in me, but it’s how I show my love.
I am not a person who believes in secret recipes or keeping things to myself. I think the more love and joy and deliciousness that can be spread the better! So I thought I would put together how I make chicken noodle soup that will blow the socks off anyone who tries it. Hopefully!
You have to start with a good base. I prefer to make mine with homemade bone broth or chicken stock. When I make either, I will freeze it to use for later. But in the, more common than I like, event that I didn’t do that, I will use store-bought. It must be stock or bone broth and I never use low sodium. Chicken broth and broths and stocks with low sodium, lack on flavor, as well as nutrients.
The whole chicken and nothing but the whole chicken. I prefer the whole chicken when it comes to the meat of the soup. This way there is light and dark meat, you get the essential fat and it just tastes better than plain chicken breast. I love roasting chickens and a whole chicken is quite a bit cheaper than chicken pieces. The chicken skin gives it this richness I can’t duplicate without it. I have found the best way to roast a chicken is this: load it up with your preferred spices, put slices of butter under the skins, drizzle with olive oil and for some sweetness just a touch of honey. Preheat your oven to 500*, roast the chicken for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350* and continue roasting until thoroughly cooked. Generally 15 minutes per pound of chicken. Then shred and add to the soup. If you are feeling lazy a store-bought rotisserie chicken will do just fine. Keep in mind the flavor profile you are going for, as some flavor profiles like southwest, may not jive well with your chicken noodle soup. I do put the chicken skin and even some of the bones, like a whole wing or drumstick, into the soup while cooking it and then will fish the unwanted parts out.
Spice of life. Don’t rely on just the chicken and vegetables to flavor your soup. I generally use the same spices for my soup and only vary if I want to increase the heat level. Fresh herbs are better than dried, but dried will do as well. I typically use a combination of the following: rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic (whole cloves), bay leaves, oregano, lemon, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, seasoning salt, parsley, marjoram. Season to preferred taste.
Eat your veggies! I have tried adding different vegetables and I always come back to the tried and true. Celery, carrots, onions. That’s it. Super simple. If available I use the rainbow baby carrots, they tend to bring a different flavor profile.
Noodles! I am super picky about noodles, they can break or make your soup and really do make quite the difference. My first choice is homemade noodles, hands down. But that can be quite intimidating, and unless you know what you are doing can have a high rate of failure. The next best option is frozen egg noodles, I prefer Grandma's Brand. If I have to use a dried noodle I always go for old-fashioned or homestyle wide egg noodles.
I think these are the key elements to a really good chicken noodle soup. Other than the noodles it's relatively healthy and you could always switch out the noodles for zucchini noodles or gluten-free noodles.
Do you have your own favorite tips for soup? Did you try the following recipe and want to share your experience? Be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Happy souping and enjoy the recipe below:
Shae’s Perfect Chicken Noodle Soup:
1 whole chicken or rotisserie chicken
64 oz or 2-3 boxes of 32 oz. chicken stock (more or less depending on how much broth you want)
2 tbsp olive oil or butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 bag of baby rainbow carrots or 2-3 large carrots, sliced to desired size
2-5 celery stalks, or more depending on how much you want, sliced
16 oz egg noodles
1 lemon, if you are roasting your own chicken
1-2 sprigs rosemary & thyme
2-3 tbsp parsley, chopped
2-3 tbsp garlic, minced
1 clove garlic, whole
1-2 whole bay leaves
2 tsp oregano
1tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground yellow mustard
Salt & pepper to taste
Roast chicken until fully cooked, season with desired herbs. The more seasoned the chicken, the better the soup. Reserve the juices from cooking the chicken and add to soup later.
Shred chicken and set aside. Heat oil or butter on medium-high heat. Add onion, cook until translucent. Add carrots and celery. Cook over heat about 5-10 minutes until just before they are soft. Add spices and herbs, stir. Add stock, remaining juices from cooking the chicken and chicken. Bring to a boil, add noodles then turn heat down to a simmer. Let simmer until noodles are desired softness. Garnish with fresh parsley.