On a cold day, you just have to have chicken noodle soup. There are a few things I don’t like about canned / store bought chicken noodle soup:

  1. Too salty (used as a preservative)
  2. Noodles get soggy
  3. Noodles don’t fit on a spoon – inefficient
  4. Chicken is cubed and doesn’t even look like chicken

So my solution is to make chicken noodle soup from scratch. It is well worth it.


First thing is first, get the stock started. Buy a whole cut-up chicken (or a whole chicken and cut it up yourself). I usually omit the neck, since I can be squeamish. Don’t forget to season the chicken with salt and pepper.

1 whole cut up chicken
1 tablespoon salt & pepper

In your stock pot begin to brown the chicken pieces. Start with the breasts and then after 3 minutes add the rest of the pieces. It takes about 5 minutes. The goal is to brown the chicken, not cook it all the way through. Depending on the size of your pan you may need to do it in two batches.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
While the chicken is browning, get the vegetables ready to go. Slice all the vegetables and set aside.
1 carrot
4 sprigs celery (+ leaves)
1 white onion
IMG_1340  IMG_1351IMG_1343
Next get the herbs ready. Use whatever is handy, but I like this combination.
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig sage
1 sprig thyme
To save some time later, put the herbs in cheesecloth or tie up using some kitchen twine.
Now everything is ready to go. Remove the chicken onto a plate, to get the vegetables started. Sauté the onions in the stock pot until soft, then add the celery and carrots. Sauté for an additional minute.


Next add the cold water, peppercorns, bay leaves, herbs, and chicken. Set to medium heat and bring to a boil.

small handful peppercorns
10-12 cups cold water
2 bay leaves
Once the soup reaches a boil, turn to low and let simmer for at least 2 hours (the longer the better!). Skim the fat off the top as you go.
When you can’t stand the wonderful aroma for a moment longer, it’s time to finish the soup off. Remove the chicken pieces onto a plate.
Using two forks (one in each hand), shred the chicken breast meet on a separate plate. Save the meat of the other pieces for another recipe. Add the shredded chicken breast back to the stock.
Remove the bay leaves and bunch of herbs. Cook the noodles according to box directions. I like to use bow tie pasta because they fit just perfectly on a spoon.
1 box bow tie pasta
Keep the pasta separate and only add it to individual bowls before adding the broth. This prevents the noodles from getting soggy. Salt the broth to taste, this is a very important step!


Add equal parts of broth mixture to pasta in each bowl.

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