I make this soup — or some version of it — whenever my house gets hit with what I call Little Kid Ick, some bug, cold or virus my daughter brings home and inevitably passes on to my husband. With both of them home sick not long ago, I knew that making a big pot of chicken noodle soup would be added to that day’s to-do list. A quick trip to the grocery store for a perfectly-cooked rotisserie chicken and I had my soup on the stove in minutes.
When I’m using my soup as a weapon against cold or flu, I add extra garlic which contains a cold and infection-fighting antioxidant. For stuffy noses, add a few drops of hot sauce, which will help clear clogged sinuses.
Canned soups, while convenient, are extremely high in sodium and contain other preservatives to extend their shelf life. Homemade soup gives you the option of monitoring your soup’s salt content and it also gives you the freedom to add or exclude ingredients to suit your taste. This recipe calls for onion, carrots and celery but you could also add a handful of whatever vegetables you have on hand, like diced bell peppers, corn, green beans or even diced potatoes.
Keep the vegetables’ cooking times in mind to help you determine when to add them. Toss those that take longer to cook in early but stir in quick-cooking veggies like peas and corn near the end of cooking. I use cooked chicken pulled from a purchased rotisserie chicken, but this soup is a great way to put leftover chicken to good use.
This recipe doubles beautifully so consider making a larger batch and freezing half for a quick dinner down the road. If you’re planning to freeze your soup, don’t add the noodles. They’ll become soft and mushy when thawed. You can stir the noodles in when you reheat your soup.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 4 cups (1 quart) chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ cups egg noodles
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, about 3 minutes. Add carrots, celery and a big pinch of salt and continue cooking until vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep them from browning.
- Add the chicken and cook until heated through. Stir in the stock, water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Increase heat and return soup to a boil. Add egg noodles and cook until noodles are tender, 3-5 minutes depending on the size of your noodles.
- Season soup to taste with salt and pepper and serve.