First things first. In order to get the fullest flavour from your chicken, you should roast it. After a straightforward seasoning of salt and pepper, add chopped onion, garlic and carrots to the pan. These will go a long way towards contributing a deep and complex flavour.
After your chicken has roasted, discard the skin and remove the meat from the bone and shred it into bite sized chunks.
Create a base for your stock with chicken bones, pan drippings and roasted vegetables. Add another large sliced onion, celery, carrots, parsley stems, and bay leaf and cover with approximately 10 cups of water.
After bringing this to the boil, reduce the heat significantly and allow your broth to gently simmer for two to four hours. You will be left with the main attraction of your soup – a deeply savoury liquid that will elevate your dish to wonderfully tasty heights.
The most important vegetables for any decent chicken noodle soup are carrots, celery and onions. Besides lending a lovely depth to the stock, they also bring a delicate texture to the soup itself.
Sautee the onions in butter and oil until soft, then add the carrots and celery before covering with broth. Let this mixture simmer until veggies are soft. You'll end up with fork-tender vegetables that will pair deliciously with your soothing broth.
Herbs are a must in this soup. Add thyme and bay leaves at the beginning, which help to add a herby backbone to the broth. For a pop freshness, stir in a handful of chopped fresh parsley at the end. Other herbs will work, too. Instead of (or in addition to) the thyme and bay leaves, try rosemary.
Do not cook the noodles in the broth as they would absorb all the liquid. For this reason, you should definitely cook your noodles in a separate pot.
The final step is adding your noodles and chicken to the broth. Brighten things up with fresh parsley, and enjoy a luscious spoonful of chicken noodle soup.
The soup can be made and refrigerated for 3 to 4 days and frozen for up to 3 months.
If you are not planning on enjoying the soup straight away or plan to freeze it, you might want to hold off on adding the noodles. As the soup sits, the noodles soak up the broth. You can deal with this in two ways:
When reheating the soup, add a bit more broth/stock to the pot. Add a splash of plain water to the soup when reheating, if you like. As long as you don’t need to add a lot, it won’t thin the flavour of the soup too much.
When making the soup ahead of time, for the freshest, least soggy noodles, leave the noodles out then refrigerate or freeze the soup. When you are ready to reheat, bring the soup to a low simmer and add dried noodles. Cook until they are done and enjoy.
This recipe sticks to classic ingredients and flavours, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can add to make it your own:
For a creamy chicken noodle soup, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of heavy cream, half-and-half or whole milk.
Add three to four lemon slices for a lemon chicken soup.
Swirl in fresh spinach or kale at the end of cooking for more of a vegetable-heavy soup.
You may have memories of someone close to you making you a bowl of chicken noodle soup whenever you were feeling under the weather as a child. So, just how healthy is this culinary cure-all? As it turns out, it has an impressive reputation.
All those bits of carrot, celery, and onion commonly found in chicken noodle soup are a great source of vitamins C and K, as well as other antioxidants and minerals. Not only does this help build a healthy immune system to fight off viruses, it also helps your body recover from illness more quickly.
Chicken is full of protein that helps support the immune system. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, which boost immunity and help regulate digestion.
The noodles in chicken noodle soup aren’t just for show. They’re packed with carbohydrates that help you feel full and satisfied.
Vegetables like carrots are also high in beta-carotene, and can help reduce symptoms due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
So, chicken noodle soup may not completely cure your cold, but it’s a delicious way to load up on nutrients and increase hydration.