Recipes

A Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe You Need to Try

Published
January 04, 2024

Reviewed by
Bridget Reed

A Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe You Need to Try
  • Prep Time

    20 minutes

  • Cook Time

    50 minutes

  • Total Time

    70 minutes

  • Yield

    8

When the chill of winter sets in, there's nothing quite like a steaming bowl of comforting chicken noodle soup to warm both body and soul. As humans, we have an innate connection to food that transcends its basic sustenance. 

We crave dishes that provide solace, triggering nostalgic memories of cozy meals shared with loved ones. With its fragrant aroma and savory flavors, chicken soup holds a special place in our hearts as the ultimate comfort food.

What Makes Chicken Soup a Comfort Food?

Comfort food, by definition, is a genre of dishes that provide a sense of well-being and familiarity. They soothe us, offering an escape from the challenges of our daily lives. Chicken soup, in particular, has become synonymous with the term "comfort food."

The desire for chicken noodle soup lies in its taste and the emotions it evokes. This dish carries memories of our grandmothers bustling around the kitchen, simmering a pot of soup that seemed to possess magical healing powers. It takes us back to childhood days, being tucked under a warm blanket while savoring the spoonfuls of tender chicken, aromatic broth, and slurp-worthy noodles.

But what exactly is it about chicken soup that makes it so comforting? The answer lies in the combination of ingredients that work together flawlessly. The foundational element is, of course, the chicken broth. 

Its nurturing warmth envelops us with every sip, instilling a sense of well-being. The rich flavors of slowly simmered chicken stock mingle with diced carrots, onions, and celery, infusing the broth with earthy sweetness and providing a medley of textures.

Moreover, chicken soup is often associated with a sense of nurturing and care. It's a dish that has been handed down through generations, bridging the gap between past and present. It not only fills our bellies but also fills our hearts with a deep sense of love and connection.

Chicken Soup & Winter...They Go Hand-in-Hand

As winter settles in, so does the desire for foods that provide comfort and warmth. Chicken noodle soup effortlessly emerges as a perennial winter favorite for many reasons.

First and foremost, its soul-soothing nature is exceptionally welcome during the colder months. The steam rising from a hot bowl of chicken soup offers respite from the biting cold, wrapping us in a momentary cocoon of coziness. It's the culinary equivalent of a warm, snug blanket on a frosty day.

But there's more to chicken soup's popularity than just its comforting qualities. During the winter, when colds and flu run rampant, chicken noodle soup is a powerful tool in battling illness. Its reputation as a natural remedy for common cold symptoms has been passed down through generations. The aromatic broth helps clear congested sinuses, while the actual act of eating warm soup can provide temporary relief for sore throats and coughs.

Additionally, the ingredients found in chicken soup offer nutritional benefits that contribute to overall well-being. The carrots, onions, and celery impart a dose of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which bolsters the immune system. 

The protein from the chicken helps repair and build tissues, while carbohydrates from the noodles provide energy. Chicken noodle soup becomes a comforting winter companion by nourishing both body and spirit.

A Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Ready to whip up a bowl of nourishing chicken noodle soup from scratch? This easy recipe will deliver a comforting meal in no time. Gather your ingredients and follow these simple steps:

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes Total Time: 70 minutes Servings: 8

Tools We Used

GIR I-Handle Flat Peeler: With a comfortable handle and sharp steel blades, vegetable prep time will be quick and easy!

GIR Ultimate Ladle: This ladle features a precision pouring edge designed so you don’t waste a drop of your comforting chicken soup.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or appx. 4-5 cups of cooked, shredded chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 4-5 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large cans (49.5 Oz each) chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 12-oz. package wide egg noodles
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Add the diced carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are fragrant and begin to soften (but not mushy).
  3. Pour in the chicken broth, then add the bay leaf, dried thyme, and dried oregano. Season with a teaspoon salt and about half a teaspoon of black pepper (or to taste).
  4. Allow the soup to come to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the flavors meld together.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil on your stovetop and cook the wide egg noodles al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  6. Remove the bay leaf from the soup and add the cooked chicken to the pot. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the chicken is heated through.
  7. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  8. Place a scoop of cooked noodles into a bowl and ladle in the comforting chicken noodle soup. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley.

Tips & Variations

While the classic chicken noodle soup recipe is undeniably delicious, there are several tips and variations that can add a personal touch or accommodate dietary preferences. 

Here are some ideas to consider:

Rotisserie Chicken or Chicken Thighs

For convenience, you can replace boneless, skinless chicken breasts with pre-cooked store-bought rotisserie chicken or boneless chicken thighs. Simply shred the cooked chicken and add it to the soup during the final stages of cooking for an extra savory flavor.

Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

Consider using a slow cooker or Instant Pot to make your cooking process even easier. Sauté the vegetables in a separate pan, then transfer them along with all the other ingredients to your slow cooker or Instant Pot. Cook on low for several hours in the slow cooker or follow the manufacturer's instructions for the Instant Pot.

Short on time? You could also place your chicken in a crockpot in the morning. Season it with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to taste, and add about 1/3 cup of water, letting it cook on low for 5-6 hours. It will be tender and ready to go when it’s time to add to the soup.

Nutrition-Conscious Options

If you're watching your sodium intake, opt for low-sodium chicken broth or make your own homemade broth using low-sodium bouillon. You can also enhance the nutritional content of your soup by incorporating bone broth, which provides additional minerals like calcium and potassium. 

Feel free to experiment with other nutritious veggies like kale or spinach — just add a handful of these frozen chopped greens during the last 10 minutes of cooking time and let simmer.

Garnish & Fresh Herbs

Add a burst of freshness to your chicken noodle soup by garnishing it with fresh parsley, fresh thyme, or other herbs like Italian basil. The vibrant green color and herbal aroma will elevate the visual appeal and taste.

Leftover Chicken

Anytime you have leftover cooked chicken, don't let it go to waste. Instead, use it to make a soothing pot of chicken noodle soup. Simply shred or dice the cooked chicken so it’s ready to add to your soup. It's a great way to repurpose leftovers!

Remember, the beauty of homemade chicken noodle soup lies in its versatility. Feel free to adapt the recipe to cater to your tastes and dietary needs. Whether you choose the classic version or experiment with variations, homemade chicken noodle soup — just like Grandma made — will always be the ultimate comfort food.

Need a great way to store your leftover chicken before adding it to your delicious soups? Check out our Silicone Stretch Covers Set that turns any of your cookware into an airtight container. 

What Makes Chicken Soup So Healthy?

Chicken soup has long been regarded as a remedy for sickness. This beloved comfort food offers a range of health benefits that can help you feel better when you're under the weather.

One of the key benefits of chicken soup lies in its ability to support the immune system. The homemade version, prepared with low-sodium chicken broth and an array of nutrient-rich vegetables, provides a wealth of vitamins and minerals that support overall wellness. 

Carrots, for example, are packed with vitamin A, which is known for helping our body maintain a healthy immune system. Onions and garlic contain antibacterial properties that may support fighting off infections. Conversely, Celery offers potassium, which can help maintain proper fluid balance and counteract electrolyte imbalances that may occur during illness.

Moreover, the warm broth of chicken soup helps soothe sore throats and relieves nasal congestion. The steam from the soup can help moisturize the respiratory passages, offering temporary relief from cold symptoms. 

Additionally, research suggests that specific components of chicken soup may have anti-inflammatory properties, which can potentially help reduce symptoms of inflammation, such as congestion.

In terms of nutrition, chicken soup provides a balanced combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The chicken is a lean protein source, essential for tissue repair and immune function. Homemade chicken broth made by simmering bones provides nourishing minerals like calcium and potassium. Adding egg noodles to the soup offers carbohydrates, supplying the energy needed to combat fatigue often associated with illness.

Chicken soup’s comforting and nourishing qualities make it a beloved dish that brings solace in the colder months or whenever you need a pick-me-up. With its fragrant broth, succulent chicken, and slurp-worthy noodles, chicken noodle soup holds a special place in our hearts and traditions.

Notes

Looking for a little something sweet to top off this hearty soup? Try our Quick and Easy Confetti Sugar Cookies! If you’d rather pile on the warmth with an after-dinner cocktail, you might like some of our Halloween cocktails that customers are still requesting!

Sources:

Why Every Home Needs a Dutch Oven | Consumer Reports

Kale Vs. Spinach: Which Is Heart Healthier? | Cleveland Clinic

Why Is Parsley So Healthy? | Medical News Today

Is Pasta Healthy? | Consumer Reports

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