When it comes to chicken soup, my husband always says… “It might not help, but it can’t hurt.” So a stormy weekend had me making a big pot of old-fashioned chicken soup. I’m not really sure how to make soup for 4 or even 6 people. I only know how to make lots of soup. I made this in my 9qt dutch oven. It makes enough for leftovers, which I put in containers and freeze. A great grab and go for lunches during the week.
I think the key to great chicken soup is keeping it simple, like my grandmother’s. Although the smell of boiled chicken is not a memory I need to revisit, the result in the bowl was always delicious. I can envision her standing at her stove, stirring something in a big pot… always tossing in a little of this or a little of that. Who knows what she was doing? I should confess that I don’t make my own stocks. If you do, then bravo! Use your homemade chicken stock for this recipe. For the time being, I think a quality store-bought, low sodium natural chicken stock does the trick here.
- 2 whole chicken breasts (4 split) – on the bone
- 6 carrots, large dice
- 4 stalks celery, large dice
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Small bundle fresh thyme (4-6 sprigs)
- 10 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups extra wide egg noodles
- Handful of chopped fresh parsley (for right before serving)
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh pepper. Roast in the oven on a sheet pan for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (it will depend on the size of the breasts). Remove from the oven and let sit to cool. Remove the chicken meat and cut into a large dice, discarding the skin and bones. Set the chicken aside.
Chop the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Heat a large dutch oven on medium heat. Add a little olive oil to the bottom of the pot and sauté the carrots, celery and onions until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Toss in your thyme bundle and pour in the chicken stock. Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer partially covered for about 45 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Add the chicken and continue to simmer for 20 minutes more. Taste the broth and reseason with salt and pepper as needed. Remove your thyme bundle and add the egg noodles, simmering for the last 6-8 minutes to cook the egg noodles. Stir in the fresh parsley and serve.
* If you prefer to use pasta, I suggest cooking it separately from the soup. The starch in the pasta will make your broth cloudy and the pasta will continue to soften as it sits in the soup. To serve when using pasta, put some of the cooked pasta in the bottom of the bowl and add the soup.