What is the Best Chicken Noodle Soup?
The best chicken noodle soup is a comforting and flavorful dish with a well-balanced broth, tender chicken, and perfectly cooked noodles. It should have a rich and savory flavor enhanced by aromatic vegetables and herbs.
How to Make the Best Chicken Noodle Soup – Easy Tips:
- Saute Aromatics: Sautéing onions, carrots, and celery in the beginning builds a flavor base. Cook until they are softened but not overly browned.
- Fresh Herbs: Using fresh herbs like thyme adds a depth of flavor. If unavailable, dried thyme is a suitable alternative.
- Quality Stock: Opt for a good-quality chicken stock or broth. Low-sodium options are recommended to have better control over the seasoning.
- Chicken Thighs: Using skinless, boneless chicken thighs ensures a tender and juicy result. Cook them in the simmering broth until fully cooked.
- Noodle Cooking Time: Add noodles towards the end of cooking to prevent them from becoming mushy. Adjust the cooking time based on the type of noodles used.
- Adjust Seasoning: Taste the soup periodically and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. The amount needed can vary based on the type of stock used.
- Fresh Parsley: Adding fresh parsley at the end provides a burst of freshness and color.
- Vegetable Addition: Include additional vegetables like peas, corn, or spinach for added nutrition and flavor.
- Spice it Up: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
- Lemon Twist: Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice into the soup just before serving for a bright and zesty flavor.
What Type of Noodles?
While the recipe suggests egg noodles, you can choose other pasta shapes like fusilli, rotini, or even rice noodles based on personal preference.
About the Chicken Stock:
Opt for a high-quality store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, or enhance the flavor by using homemade chicken stock. If using store-bought, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Make-Ahead and Freezing Instructions:
- Make-Ahead: Prepare the soup up to the point of adding noodles. Store the broth and chicken separately. Cook the noodles just before serving to prevent them from becoming mushy.
- Freezing: While the soup can be frozen, it’s recommended to freeze without the noodles. Cook fresh noodles when reheating the soup to maintain their texture. Thaw and reheat the soup on the stovetop, adjusting seasoning if necessary.
Homemade Chicken Noodle SoupCourse: SoupsCuisine: American
The best chicken noodle soup is a comforting dish featuring a balanced broth, tender chicken, and perfectly cooked noodles. Its rich, savory flavor is elevated by aromatic vegetables and herbs.
2 tablespoons butter, chicken fat, or olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped (optional)
1 heaped tablespoon minced garlic (4 cloves)
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4 or 5 thighs)
8 cups chicken stock or broth, low sodium, or homemade stock
5 ounces egg noodles (or pasta of choice)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Water or additional stock, as needed
- In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring every few minutes until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Stir in minced garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook, stirring the garlic for about 1 minute.
- Pour in the chicken stock, bring to a low simmer, and taste the soup. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, adding more if necessary based on the stock used.
- Submerge the chicken thighs in the soup so that the broth covers them. Bring the soup back to a low simmer, partially cover the pot with a lid, and cook, stirring occasionally until the chicken thighs are cooked through, approximately 20 minutes.
- If the broth seems low during this time, add a splash more stock or water. Turn the heat to medium-low.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Stir the noodles into the soup and cook until done, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the type of noodles used.
- While the noodles cook, shred the chicken into strips or dice into cubes. Return the chicken to the pot and taste the soup for seasoning. Adjust with more salt and pepper, if needed. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve.