One meal I crave a lot is an old fashioned chicken soup. This week, I acted on that craving by making this old fashioned chicken soup with noodles for dinner. We ate the entire pot in one sitting and it was a treat!
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Chicken soup or chicken noodle soup is so nostalgic to me. My mom used to make it all of the time and it is just one of those meals that is nourishing, filling and plain ‘ole comfort food.
This last week I was thinking through meals for the week and just knew I needed to nail down a chicken noodle soup recipe. I am a little picky about this because most recipes call for celery and I am not a fan of celery. Like at all. But I still wanted that traditional taste for soup.
I started out by cooking my chicken and chicken bone broth/stock with a carrot, half of an onion and a sprig of parsley from our garden. I have talked about making bone broth before. Sometimes I make it in the Instant Pot, sometimes on the stove, and sometimes in the slow cooker (I use my Instant Pot as a slow cooker too). It really depends on what is going on and how much time I have.
My favorite way to utilize my chicken (especially with chicken costing so much right now) is to get the meat and a batch of stock in the first round of cooking. Then I save the bones and get a batch of bone broth going. There is a difference nutritionally and taste wise when getting the stock versus the bone broth.
When you add water when cooking your chicken (or any meat really) and save the juices after, this is stock. It has less marrow and collagen since the bones were not cooked enough to pull all of that good stuff out. It also could be made with boneless meat. Now when you add the bones, an acid such as ACV and water and cook either with enough pressure or time to pull out all of the collagen and marrow, you get bone broth. It will gel up when cooled and is packed with nutrients. Now this is not to say that there is no nutritional value in stock, it is just not as packed full.
We utilize both in our house to get the most out of our meat as we can. This gives us two large batches of broth/stock from just one meat source. Waste not want not, folks.
After I get the meat, stock and bone broth from my chicken, I also like to save any fat and skin. Have you ever heard of schmaltz? Maybe not, I sure hadn’t until a few months ago. Heard of tallow or lard? Tallow is rendered beef fat, lard is is rendered pork fat. Well schmaltz is rendered chicken fat! And it is DELICIOUS. Chicken fried in a mix of butter and schmaltz is just full of healthy fats and so yummy.
I will have to share about how I make schmaltz sometime but this post is about soup. I’m getting off subject here.
Now for the soup, you can use the stock or bone broth. Usually I use stock fresh and freeze my bone broth just because I don’t always need that much at once. I love having bone broth in the freezer for last minute soups.
For this specific old fashioned chicken soup with noodles, I first like to boil my chicken with a carrot and half of an onion. I usually cook mine from frozen because I never pull my meat to thaw like I should. So this usually takes an hour or two.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, I strain off the stock and put my chicken aside to cool enough to pull the meat off the bones.
After all meat is off the bones, I set aside the bones to make bone broth (sometimes I get this going immediately in the same pot and sometimes I let them cool then freeze) and set aside the fat to cook down or freeze.
Then I add about 1/4 cup of butter to a large stock pot. You could also do this in the Instant Pot with the saute function. Once hot, I add in about 1 tablespoon of parsley, 4-5 minced garlic cloves and the remaining half of the onion. You could also add thyme and rosemary for a nice touch. My husband does not really like the texture of onion so I finely chop or even mince it as well so a bit of the flavor is present but not overwhelming.
Next I add in around 5 carrots and let them brown without getting too soft. Then I add in around 3 cups of chicken. I let cook for a few minutes.
Last I add in around 8 cups of broth or stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, I add in my noodles.
Now, to me an old fashioned chicken soup with noodles is way better with homemade noodles. I have a favorite sourdough recipe (could also be done without the starter and long ferment) that is 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of starter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 eggs. You can omit the starter, mix remaining ingredients, roll and cut. Or you can do a truly fermented sourdough noodle by mixing all ingredients, allowing to sit at room temperature for 8-12 hours and then rolling and cutting. I am not concerned about the egg in this when fermenting but if you are, you can even allow to sit for as long as you’re comfortable with then move to the fridge to do a long bulk ferment. This will not ferment as quickly or as well as room temperature but it is still a good option.
Some days, I just do not have the time to make homemade noodles and honestly, it is just not something I bulk make and store. I should, but I don’t. Most dinners are also family meals with my parents who both cannot eat gluten. So making a gluten free noodle is a whole new level that I have not mastered. Lately we have been keeping Jovial gluten free noodles on hand and honestly, you cannot tell they are even gluten free. I love an old fashioned large noodle for soup like this so I actually use lasagna noodles and break them up a bit.
Continue to allow to boil until noodles are soft. Salt and pepper to taste. You will need plenty of salt and pepper since everything was cooked from scratch. My favorite salt is Redmond’s Real Salt.
Enjoy with a salad, toasted bread or even a yummy sandwich or piece of pie for dessert.
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