Who remembers their mom making Chicken Noodle Soup for them when they were sick? I do, but my mom’s was usually out of a can. I loved it at the time but now, not so much. However, this made from scratch recipe is just what the doctor ordered whether you are sick or just want to curl up by the fireplace with a steaming bowl of soup.
There are actually several health benefits to Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. It’s not an “old wives tale” after all. Here are a few I found:
- Strengthens the immune system
- Keeps you hydrated
- Contains immune-boosting antioxidants (onions, carrots, celery, parsley)
- Comfort food, which aids both physical and mental wellness
The base of this recipe is in the homemade chicken stock. It is more nutritional and contains a lot less salt than store-bought, thus making it even healthier. Of course, you can substitute purchased stock if you prefer or are short on time. However, the final results will be different.
FOR THE STOCK: Begin by heating 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Place half the onions, carrots, celery, and all the garlic to the pot along with the whole cut-up chicken pieces. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the water, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add additional water, if needed, to maintain the approximate amount of stock. Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. This is your basic chicken stock and can be used for any recipe that calls for it.
When the stock is prepared, remove the chicken pieces to a bowl and set aside to cool. Strain the stock into a large container and reserve for the soup. When the chicken has cooled sufficiently to handle, remove the skin and bones. Tear apart the chicken into pieces and set aside.
In the stockpot, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil Add the remaining onions, carrots, and celery. I added a little extra thyme but that is optional. Saute for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables begin to become tender. Add the chicken and the chicken stock. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Add the noodles to the stock and cook for the amount of time recommended on the package.
Serve with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.
Or, if you have a daughter with pneumonia you can pack it up for her and her family. It’s a mom thing!
HOMEMADE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
- 1 whole chicken cut up, 2 cups cooked chicken are needed for the soup
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 6 stalks celery sliced, divided
- 6 carrots thinly sliced, divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 12 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 8 ounces wide egg noodles
- fresh parsley, for garnish optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- FOR THE CHICKEN STOCK: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stockpot. Add half the onions, carrots, celery, and all of the garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover with 12 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Taste for seasoning during the time it is simmering and adjust the salt and pepper, as needed.
- Remove the chicken pieces and set aside to cool enough to handle. When cool, remove the skin and bones and shred the chicken with your hands. Reserve 2 cups for the soup.
- Strain the stock and set aside until you are ready to prepare the soup.
- FOR THE SOUP: Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in the stockpot. Add the remaining vegetables and saute for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to get tender.
- Add the chicken and 8 cups of stock to the pot. Additional thyme may be added if desired. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the noodles and cook for the recommended time on the package.
- Serve with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.