Chicken Noodle Soup is one of those recipes that no matter how hard I try, I rarely make it the same way every time. I often scrounge through the refrigerator to see how many veggies I have left that need to be used, and usually just throw in a bit of this and a smidgen of that. What I’m really saying here is, chicken noodle soup is forgiving. Very forgiving. And that’s a good thing. That must be why it is also one of my favorite soups to make and have on hand. You never know when someone is going to come down with a cold or the flu and it’s really nice to have some stashed away in the freezer.
A few weeks ago, my husband came down with a stomach bug. This was a major ordeal for us. I like to think he has an iron stomach and my daughter and I are usually the ones who have to deal with those issues, but this time, it was him. And ladies, you know what that means. Then, our two-year-old daughter caught it. Ugh! I knew I was next! And as I was trying to be the good wife and momma before I too was stricken, I asked my daughter what sounded good to eat and she of course said, “Chicken Noodle Soup”. This is also what she requests most nights, but eh, it seemed to fit the bill. Smart girl.Since I didn’t already have a batch in the freezer, I went to work prepping the veggies and the chicken for the soup before I even realized I was out of noodles. Well, rats. That now meant I was going to have to make the noodles too, as to not disappoint my daughter. Which, if you’ve never made your own noodles, please do. They really are quite easy. They take a bit of time, but they can easily be made while the chicken is boiling, which is what I ended up doing. And get the kiddos to help if you can! They could roll the pasta dough or cut the noodles with a pizza roller, if you don’t trust them with a knife. Of course, if they are sick, you may want to skip that step, but if not, put ’em to work!
I’m not sharing the homemade noodle recipe today, but if you wanted to make the soup and not the noodles, you could easily purchase frozen, homestyle noodles, if you prefer. I just cannot guarantee the soup will taste the same. I just prefer homemade. It’s how I roll. 😉
And I promise, this really is easy to make. I used a colorful blend of heirloom carrots and onions because I already had them on hand, but basic orange carrots and white or yellow onions will also work. Stash half the batch in the freezer and be one step ahead of this year’s cold and flu season!
- 4 lb whole chicken (a little more or less is fine here)
- 9 small to medium carrots, divided
- 4 stalks celery, leaves and all, divided
- 1 large onion, divided
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- pepper to taste
- 10 cups water or enough to cover bird
- Additional 3 cups chicken broth and 3 cups water
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- In a large stock pot, combine the chicken, 3 carrots, halved, 2 stocks of celery, halved, half of the onion, whole garlic cloves, and approximately 10 cups water or enough to cover the chicken. (You're making the broth here, so cutting the veggies in half makes for easier removal after the chicken has cooked.)
- Bring to a boil and boil for 1-1½ hours or until chicken falls off the bones. (Reduce heat as necessary to prevent foam from boiling over.)
- Meanwhile, slice or dice the remaining carrots, celery, and half an onion. Set aside.
- Remove chicken and strain out the vegetables. A wire mesh strainer will help ensure no small bones or chunks of meat or veggies are left.
- Add 3 cups more chicken broth and 3 cups water. Bring back to a boil.
- Add the sliced or diced veggies and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
- While the veggies are cooking, pick the meat off the bones. Place meat back in pot with broth and chopped veggies.
- Bring to a boil again and add 3-4 cups raw noodles. If using homemade egg noodles, boil for 5 minutes or until noodles are tender. If using store bought noodles, follow package directions.
- Serve with crackers and enjoy.