This soup is born from an indelible memory of my ‘Food-recipes’ grandma’s homemade chicken noodle soup—complete with husky rounds of carrot, thick-cut noodles, monstrous chunks of chicken, and a well-seasoned broth
Food-Recipes Tip: For a rather more creamy version, you’ll add a 1/2 cup of cream within the previous couple of minutes before serving.
My Food-Recipes GRANDMA’S CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Cozy, comforting chicken noodle soup with husky rounds of carrot, chunks of chicken, thick-cut noodles, and savory seasonings.
1.5-2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut breasts into thirds or quarters of roughly equal size (see TIP A below)
3.5-4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
5 large or 8 small garlic cloves, minced or grated
4 c. water
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth (homemade or high-quality store-bought)
6 oz. fresh, flat lasagna noodles, cut into 1/2-inch strips (see TIP B below)
One: Salt the Chicken:
Cut the chicken breasts into thirds or quarters as indicated above so that they are roughly equal size and similar in size to the chicken thighs. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon salt over all of the meat directly on your cutting board and let it hang out for a few minutes as you start the soup.
Two: Sauté the Onion:
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to low/medium-low and let the onion pieces slowly soften and caramelize over the course of 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Three: Add the Remaining Vegetables, Chicken, Liquid & Dry Seasonings:
Once the onion pieces are soft and caramelized, add the carrots, celery, and garlic and let cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Then add the salted chicken pieces, water, and broth. Raise the temperature beneath the pot to high and bring to a boil. As waiting to boil, stir in 2.5 teaspoons salt (reserve remaining 3/4 teaspoon) and all of the dry seasonings (thyme, cumin, sweet curry powder, and black pepper). Once boiling, immediately reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken pieces are cooked through.
Four: Remove the Chicken and Add the Sage & Noodles:
After 20-25 minutes, remove the chicken pieces from the pot and set on a cutting board. Add the cut lasagna noodles and fresh sage to the pot (make sure that the noodles are nicely separated and not stuck together as you add them to the pot). Let the noodles and sage soften in the simmering soup for 8-10 minutes.
Five: Finish the Soup & Serve:
Meanwhile, cut the chicken pieces into hearty chunks or cubes. When done, return the cubed chicken to the soup and taste for seasoning. Add the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt if needed. Heat through and serve.
To Make-Ahead & Freeze:
For make-ahead preparation and freezing, I recommend waiting to add the fresh sage and noodles until you are ready to serve. Simply prepare this soup through Step 3, remove the cooked chicken from the pot, cube it, and add it back to the broth before freezing. Then, when you are ready to serve, bring the soup back up to a rumbling simmer over medium-low heat and add the noodles and sage when hot. The broth portion should keep in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
TIP A: I like to use a combination of cut chicken breasts and chicken thighs for this recipe because the added fat of the thighs helps to season the broth and the breasts provide the thickest chunks of meat. Typically 2 large chicken breasts and 3 medium chicken thighs are the perfect combination.
TIP B: Fresh lasagna noodles (purchased in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores) are the perfect stand-in for the homemade thick-cut noodles that make ordinary chicken noodle soup Grandma's chicken noodle soup. Simply cut them cross-wise into 1/2-inch strips (or whatever width your prefer) and they cook in a flash in the hot soup. Don't worry about precision. Irregular strips make for a more homemade feel.