Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Bowl of chicken soup
Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Sometimes, nothing but a soothing old-fashioned soup will do and it doesn’t get more classic than this comforting Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup.

However, Chicken Noodle Soup can sometimes be, well, blah and rather tasteless unless it has some seasoning. I am a big believer in layering in flavors to create a tasteful dish and that is how I have designed this soup.

Whether you simply crave homemade comfort food or you’re feeling under the weather, this soothing and nourishing broth-based Chicken Noodle Soup will be just what’s needed.

Pre-Preparation

I highly recommend some pre-prep work to make the soup-making process easier and more efficient. Start by removing the chicken pieces from the refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before searing them as they will sear better if they are not super cold.

Chop the onions and slice or dice the carrots and celery. Mince the garlic. Measure out the poultry stock and seasonings. Weigh the noodles and, if using, squeeze the lemon juice.

Chicken

Use chicken with skin on and bone in for this soup. Starting with raw chicken (as opposed to already cooked chicken) helps to create a good flavor base for the soup. Choosing chicken that has the bone in will add more flavor than will boneless chicken pieces. Leaving the skin on the chicken allows the fat to add flavor to the soup and is useful when searing the chicken as explained below. So long as the weight of chicken called for in the recipe remains the same, any cut of, or combination of, chicken pieces can be used – e.g., chicken breasts, thighs, legs. That said, breasts and thighs will yield more meat. For ease of cooking, I recommend using similarly-sized pieces that will all cook for about the same amount of time. I used equal-sized chicken breasts for the soup in the photos.

Searing the chicken pieces till the skin is golden-brown helps to keep the meat moist and provides an outer “buffer”, to insulate the chicken as it continues to cook in the stock thus helping to prevent the chicken from becoming dried out and rubbery. Of course, searing the chicken till it is golden-brown, helps to add color and flavor to the soup. If you have a grease splatter screen/guard that fits the top of your stockpot, I recommend using it to avoid fat splatters and potential skin burns as the chicken sears. It will spit and splatter so do be careful around it.

Use an instant read thermometer to test chicken for doneness (165°F internal temperature), inserting the thermometer into the thickest meat part of one of the chicken pieces that has temporarily been removed from the stock to have its temperature taken. The cooking time I have suggested in the recipe is to be used as a gauge only as cooktops vary in their heat generation and chicken pieces cook at different lengths of time based on their cut and size. Use a thermometer for accuracy. Do not overcook the chicken.

After searing the chicken pieces, be sure to deglaze the stockpot with a bit of the poultry stock called for in the recipe. Scrape up any brown bits left in the bottom of the pan from searing the chicken. These little tidbits will add great flavor and additional color to the soup.

Poultry Stock

I prefer to use my own homemade poultry stock as the base for soups. You can find my recipe here. I find it is flavorful and I can recognize and pronounce all the ingredients in it so I know what I am eating! I never throw out a chicken or turkey carcass as it makes fabulous stock. I always have a ready stash of poultry stock in my freezer to use as the base for making soups which are a mainstay in my diet.

Homemade Turkey Stock
Homemade Poultry Stock

While I recommend the use of homemade stock, commercial stock from your grocer’s store shelf can be used if you don’t have homemade stock on hand. Just be sure to buy a good quality, flavorful stock and preferably one that is not overly salty. Sometimes, some commercial brands are little more than lightly colored salted water, in my opinion, and they will not give your soup either flavor or color. Because this is a broth-based soup, use a high-quality stock as it is the key ingredient to this soup’s flavor.

Mirepoix – Well Not Quite

A traditional French mirepoix would have an exact ratio of 2:1:1 of onion to carrots and celery and the veggies would be very uniformly and finely chopped. While I will often adhere to this holy grail ratio, sometimes, my tastebuds lead me in another direction, especially when I don’t want to over-do the onion flavor and yet want the bulk of more celery and carrot in the dish. I wanted a cup each of celery and carrot but not 2 cups of onion as per typical mirepoix ratio which would, in my opinion, overpower the soup’s desired flavor (I am using 1 1/3 cups chopped onion in this recipe). So, all this to say….in my view, sometimes it’s the cook’s prerogative to go with taste versus scientific ratio (some chefs may, no doubt, beg to differ!). Sautéing these aromatics before adding them to the soup, allows them to release their flavors that will give deep, well-rounded flavor to the soup.

Vintage bowls filled with homemade chicken soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Noodles

Almost any noodles can be used in this soup. I typically use broken up pieces of thinner type pastas like spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine, broken into about 3” pieces. However, wider egg noodles or other pasta shapes, for example, can certainly be used in this recipe. These are added near the end of the cooking and should only be cooked until they are barely al dente.

Vegetables

Any kind of favorite mixture of frozen vegetables can be used in this soup. I often make it with nothing more than peas and/or corn (as was done with the batch of soup shown in this post’s photographs where frozen corn was the sole frozen vegetable used). However, there are so many different frozen vegetable combinations on the market today that there is a mixture for everyone’s taste. Just make sure, whatever vegetables you choose to use, are not overcooked. They should just be al dente.

Season As You Go

I recommend tasting the soup as it is being made and adding additional salt and freshly ground pepper conservatively. The amount needed will largely depend on the kind of poultry stock used. If it already has a hefty amount of salt in it, then the soup will need very little additional salt.

Broth-based Soup

This soup is meant to be a broth-based soup. However, I do add a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with water to form a paste. Be sure to temper this paste with a bit of the soup’s hot liquid so that it will blend well when added to the soup. This amount of cornstarch is minimal compared to the amount of liquid in the soup so it won’t make it a thick “chowder consistency”. It will, however, strengthen and give a bit more body to the broth so it won’t be quite so thin and watery. This addition is optional so, if your preference is to have a very thin broth base, by all means, skip this step.

Add a Spritz or a Splash of Freshly-squeezed Lemon Juice

This step is totally optional but, at the time of serving, a light spritz or splash of freshly-squeezed lemon juice can add a bit of brightness to the soup’s flavor and the lemon’s acid balances out any salty flavor which is especially useful if using a salt-laden commercial stock. A word of caution, though, go easy on the amount of lemon juice used as adding too much will quickly turn this lovely flavorful soup into a not-so-pleasant sour soup.

Add a splash of lemon to brighten the flavor of chicken soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Freezing the Soup

This soup freezes well so is great to have on hand. Freeze it in freezer-safe containers of desired serving size. Be sure to label and date the soup.

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

2-3 tbsp cooking oil
2 – 2½ lbs chicken pieces (e.g., breasts/thighs, bone-in and skin on)

7 cups poultry stock
1 large bay leaf
1½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp dried Basil
½ tsp dried summer savory
½ tsp dried turmeric
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp ground dried fennel
Salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 1/3 cups chopped onion
1 cup carrots, diced or sliced thin
1 cup celery, diced or sliced thin
Sprinkle of salt
3-5 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with water to form a paste

4 oz uncooked noodles of choice (e.g., egg noodles, broken spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, or other pasta shapes)
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables of choice
Salt and pepper, to taste

2 – 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

Method:

Pre-Prep:

Remove chicken pieces from refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before searing.

Prepare and measure the onion, carrots, and celery and mince the garlic.

Measure poultry stock and weigh the noodles. Measure out seasonings and cornstarch.

Prepare lemon juice, if using.

Heat cooking oil in large, heavy-bottomed, stockpot over medium heat. Season both sides of chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces, skin side down, for about 3-4 minutes, just until skin is a golden-brown color. Flip the chicken pieces over and repeat on the bone side. Remove and transfer chicken to a heat-proof cutting board.

Over medium heat, deglaze, with a couple of tablespoons of the poultry stock, the large stockpot in which the chicken pieces were seared. Scrape up any brown bits remaining from the chicken. Add the remaining poultry stock, bay leaf, seasonings, and chicken pieces. Bring mixture just to the boiling point then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered for approximately 15-20 minutes (see Note below re cooking time).

When the chicken has been cooking for about 10 minutes, prepare the aromatic vegetables as follows. Add olive oil to a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When heated, add the butter and, once melted, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt as the vegetables sauté. Add the minced garlic cloves and stir continuously for about 30-45 seconds until garlic is fragrant, being careful not to scorch the garlic. Remove from heat.

When the chicken has been cooking about 15 minutes, remove one of the chicken pieces from the stock and insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of a chicken piece to test for doneness (see NOTE below regarding cooking time). When chicken tests done (165°F internal temperature), remove the chicken pieces from the stockpot and transfer to a heat-proof cutting board. Allow chicken to cool slightly then, when it is just cooled enough to handle, use forks or fingers to remove and discard skin and bones and shred, or chop, chicken into bite-sized portions.

While chicken is cooling and being shredded or chopped, reduce heat under stockpot containing the poultry stock to medium-low, skim off any visible fat that may have surfaced, and add the sautéed vegetables. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes then add the noodles and frozen vegetables. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat slightly. Whisk cornstarch with a small amount of water to make a paste. Temper with a bit of the hot soup liquid and stir cornstarch mixture into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer soup for a few minutes longer, just until noodles and vegetables are al dente. Stir chicken back into stock pot to heat (3-4 minutes). Do not boil. Remove and discard bay leaf.

If desired, add a spritz or a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice just at time of serving to brighten up and balance out the soup’s flavor. Don’t over-do it on the addition of lemon juice as it is easy to turn this into a sour soup.

Serve soup with crackers, biscuits, or bread of choice.

Soup freezes well.

Yield: Apx. 10 cups

NOTE: The cooking time for the chicken that I have suggested in the recipe is to be used as a gauge only as cooktops vary in their heat generation and chicken pieces cook at different lengths of time according to their size and cut. The cooking times suggested in this recipe are based on chicken breast cuts. Other cuts and sizes of chicken pieces may require different cooking times. Use an instant read thermometer for accuracy to ensure that the chicken is properly and safely cooked.

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Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

This hearty made-from-scratch Chicken Noodle Soup is flavorful, nourishing, and the perfect comfort soup made with poultry stock and loads of chicken meat.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword Chicken, chicken noodle soup, chicken soup, soup,
Servings 8
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 - 2½ lbs chicken pieces (e.g., breasts/thighs, bone-in and skin on)
  • 7 cups poultry stock
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp dried Basil
  • ½ tsp dried summer savory
  • ½ tsp dried turmeric
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp dried dill
  • 1/8 tsp ground dried fennel
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup carrots, diced or sliced thin
  • 1 cup celery, diced or sliced thin
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with water to form a paste
  • 4 oz uncooked noodles of choice (e.g., egg noodles, broken spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, or other pasta shapes)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables of choice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 – 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

Instructions

Pre-Prep:

  1. Remove chicken pieces from refrigerator at least 20-30 minutes before searing.
  2. Prepare and measure the onion, carrots, and celery and mince the garlic.
  3. Measure poultry stock and weigh the noodles. Measure out seasonings and cornstarch.
  4. Prepare lemon juice, if using.
  5. Heat cooking oil in large, heavy-bottomed, stockpot over medium heat. Season both sides of chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken pieces, skin side down, for about 3-4 minutes, just until skin is a golden-brown color. Flip the chicken pieces over and repeat on the bone side. Remove and transfer chicken to a heat-proof cutting board.
  6. Over medium heat, deglaze, with a couple of tablespoons of the poultry stock, the large stockpot in which the chicken pieces were seared. Scrape up any brown bits remaining from the chicken. Add the remaining poultry stock, bay leaf, seasonings, and chicken pieces. Bring mixture just to the boiling point then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered for approximately 15-20 minutes (see Note below re cooking time).
  7. When the chicken has been cooking for about 10 minutes, prepare the aromatic vegetables as follows. Add olive oil to a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When heated, add the butter and, once melted, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt as the vegetables sauté. Add the minced garlic cloves and stir continuously for about 30-45 seconds until garlic is fragrant, being careful not to scorch the garlic. Remove from heat.
  8. When the chicken has been cooking about 15 minutes, remove one of the chicken pieces from the stock and insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of a chicken piece to test for doneness (see NOTE below regarding cooking time). When chicken tests done (165°F internal temperature), remove the chicken pieces from the stockpot and transfer to a heat-proof cutting board. Allow chicken to cool slightly then, when it is just cooled enough to handle, use forks or fingers to remove and discard skin and bones and shred, or chop, chicken into bite-sized portions.
  9. While chicken is cooling and being shredded or chopped, reduce heat under stockpot containing the poultry stock to medium-low, skim off any visible fat that may have surfaced, and add the sautéed vegetables. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes then add the noodles and frozen vegetables. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.
  10. Reduce heat slightly. Whisk cornstarch with a small amount of water to make a paste. Temper with a bit of the hot soup liquid and stir cornstarch mixture into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer soup for a few minutes longer, just until noodles and vegetables are al dente. Stir chicken back into stock pot to heat (3-4 minutes). Do not boil. Remove and discard bay leaf.

  11. If desired, add a spritz or a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice just at time of serving to brighten up and balance out the soup’s flavor. Don’t over-do it on the addition of lemon juice as it is easy to turn this into a sour soup.
  12. Serve soup with crackers, biscuits, or bread of choice.
  13. Soup freezes well.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Apx. 10 cups

NOTE: The cooking time for the chicken that I have suggested in the recipe is to be used as a gauge only as cooktops vary in their heat generation and chicken pieces cook at different lengths of time according to their size and cut. The cooking times suggested in this recipe are based on chicken breast cuts. Other cuts and sizes of chicken pieces may require different cooking times. Use an instant read thermometer for accuracy to ensure that the chicken is properly and safely cooked.

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Bowl of homemade chicken soup

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