Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

January 11, 2015
Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup - On a cold winter day, this hearty soup is a meal unto itself

What are you up to this weekend?

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Photo Credit: Tumblr.com

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The highlight for us was an invitation to friend's house to help break in their new pool table.  It'd been such a long time since I'd played, and it was so, much fun(!)

I was also reminded this weekend, that January really is a month of fresh starts, clean slates, and an interesting set of emotions that waver between  “We made it through the holidays!” to “Just one more Christmas cookie, please?”

Earlier in the day, the official kick-off to our next Goals in Motion 9-week Challenge.  I couldn't help but think, as I got to meet everyone, and the program was outlined, even though I share their excitement and am ready to embrace the new, there's a part of me too that wants to hit pause and savor the old, for just a little while longer.

For it's the old that tells our story, coats our hearts, and forms a new skin entirely.  A skin that thinks with years, but thickens with time.

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Haruki Murakami once said

“We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past, like ancient stars that have burned out, are no longer in orbit around our minds.  There are just too many things we have to think about every day, too many new things we have to learn.  New styles, new information, new technology, new terminology.  But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.  They remain with us forever, like a touchstone”

So in the spirit of touchstones, and a celebration of the old, the familiar, the tried and true, I couldn't help but think of Chicken Noodle Soup.

This week the Iowa weather was down-right frigid, and it seemed everywhere I went people were telling stories of cold and flu. Sometimes the only thing that will do is a good, old-fashioned chicken noodle soup, no fancy ingredients, just great flavor.  A classic comfort food if there ever was one

This hearty soup is practically a meal unto itself.  Traditional homestyle flavor with a nice twist.

Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup - On a cold winter day, this hearty soup is a meal unto itself

                                                                            Photo Credit:  Food Network

So, as I look ahead, the story of a new year just waiting to be written, here's to old friends .. old denim .. old photographs .. old lessons, and a new perspective for each.

May 2015 be filled with as much joy and happiness as 2014.



~ Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup


  • Broth
  • 2 medium-large yellow onions, unpeeled, halved (or 1 large onion plus 1 large leek, cleaned and cut lengthwise)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed a little
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large parsnip, optional
  • 1 celery rib
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 4 lbs chicken bones from about two carcasses leftover from a roast or rotisserie or a combination of fresh chicken wings (my first choice), backs, necks or feet
  • 1 Tbsp fine-grain sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried thyme (or 2 Tbsp chopped fresh)
  • 2 tsp dried parsley (or 2 Tbsp chopped fresh)
  • tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves

  • To Finish
  • 3 bone-in skin-on chicken breast halves
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced or 1 large carrot and 1 large parsnip, diced
  • 1 large leek, trimmed and sliced into ½" segments
  • 1 - 2 celery ribs, chopped or diced
  • 9 oz thin egg noodles (or soup noodles)
  • 2 Tbsp finely-chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • Make the broth
  • [On the stove-top]
  • Combine all ingredients for the broth in a large (6 to 8 quart) stockpot over medium-low heat. Raise the temp of the burner gradually as you bring the soup to just under a boil
  • Reduce to a gentle simmer, skim any unpleasant looking foam, and cover with a lid.
  • Simmer for 2 ½ hours.

  • [In a slow-cooker]
  • Combine all of the broth ingredients in a large (6 quart or larger) slow-cooker.
  • Cook on LOW for 10 hours or HIGH for 5.
  • Strain into a large pot (5.5 quarts or more) and let rest in the fridge until needed, or, if you’re finishing the soup right away, bring to a simmer on the stove

  • Cook the chicken
  • Add the whole chicken breasts to simmering broth.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, until they’re cooked through, then strain broth [for stovetop method] or simply remove cooked chicken breasts [from the slow-cooker method] and set them aside.
  • Taste the broth, and adjust the seasonings, if needed

  • Finish the soup
  • Add the diced vegetables to simmering broth on stove and cook for 5 minutes, until firm-tender. Add soup noodles and cook according to package instructions, usually 6 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, once chicken breasts are cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and shred or chop into small chunks.
  • Return chicken to soup and simmer for 2 minutes, until heated through. Finish with parsley and serve
  • (To de-fat the broth: Once the broth portion is complete and the soup has settled a little, you can skim any fat that’s accumulated at the surface with a soup skimmer or spoon, to taste. If you’re going to chill the broth before finishing the soup another day, it’s easiest to take the fat off right before you use it; it will have solidified at the surface)
Serves: 12
Nutrition + Show
Calories 208
Total Fat 6.31g
Carbohydrates 24.98g
Sugars 4.65g
Protein 12.99g
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  • Reply Bonnie March 27, 2016 at 12:06 am

    5 stars
    Hi. Whenever I make chicken soup it always is cloudy. I never get a clear tasty broth. I do skim the soup often but still not good. Please advise. Thanks Bonnie

    • Reply sexyveggie March 30, 2016 at 12:22 am

      Hi Bonnie

      Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to leave a comment.

      My grandmother gave me some advice years ago when it comes to making stock. She swears it should always be started with cold water and then cooked, uncovered, at a simmer, without ever letting it come to a full boil. Once it boils, some of the fat can emulsify into the liquid .. which will make it cloudy.

      If it does cloud up, the best thing to do is strain it. A fine-mesh strainer is good, but lining it with a cheesecloth will catch even more of the food particles and little bits of fat.

      (I’ve update the recipe to include these tips)

      Have a great rest of your week .. Ali

  • Reply Nicole January 7, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    I’m so glad you use real bone broth! That’s one of my favorite ways to make a chicken stretch to another meal. It’s so healthy for you as well. This looks delicious. I have never thought to add pepper flakes. I’ll have to give that a try!

  • Reply candy January 7, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Love a good homemade chicken and noodle soup. We love dishes like this in the winter. Add some crusty bread and we are set.

  • Reply Evi January 7, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Yum! This looks so comforting!!

  • Reply Michelle Catallo January 7, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    5 stars
    I get a $5 rotisserie chicken from the grocery store every couple weeks, make a few meals out of it for my kids and I and throw the carcass in the freezer for future chicken soup. My kids request homemade chicken soup at least once a month; they call it sopa 🙂 We are big into homemade soups ~ yum! Never thought about adding parsnip though ~ will have to try it out! Thanks!

    • Reply sexyveggie January 8, 2017 at 1:35 am

      Sopa .. I love it! Thanks so much Michelle 🙂

  • Reply hal bloss January 8, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I love a nice warm & comforting recipe like this one this time of year!

  • Reply Rachel January 8, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    I love chicken noodle soup and this one looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Kimberly January 8, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    My husband and son both prefer homemade chicken noodle soup to store bought. There’s something so comforting about making it at home; plus, it doesn’t have that “fresh from the can” taste. Yours looks fantastic, and I’m sure it would be a hit at my house.

  • Reply Tiffany January 9, 2017 at 12:28 am

    I love a good chicken soup. Thanks for the tips on making broth! I’ve made the mistake of letting it boil in the past.

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