Chicken Noodle Soup for the Sick One

Chicken Noodle Soup_pot

I had every intention of being a very busy cook last weekend. I had picked out recipes, planned menus and was on the whole very excited about trying new things. But R got sick with a very bad case of the flu and my cooking plans switched from gourmet to comfort foods. I’ve mentioned before that R comes from a family who cooks a great deal and always has some sort of homemade soup in the fridge (along with homemade potato blintzes and blini… mmm!). So as you can imagine, the pressure was on to cook this boy some homemade remedies and first on my list was chicken noodle soup.

I didn’t have time (read: spent too long watching the ANTM marathon…) to make the chicken stock from scratch, so my version wasn’t quite “authentic.” But I’ve found that authenticity can be highly overrated, especially when you’re not an expert cook yet and your chicken stock is quite likely not to turn out as planned. So in the interest of time and taste I took some shortcuts.

The biggest mistake I made was following the recipe. No offense to Tyler Florence, but I should have known better than to cook the noodles in the soup. How many times had my mom told me that if you cook the noodles in the soup, they will absorb all the liquid? Many times. And in the time it took for me to eat one bowl of soup, mom’s theory was proven right as all of the noodle had grown to three times their original size and a shallow pool of liquid was all that remained of the stock. (Good thing I hadn’t made the stock from scratch! Then I would really have been mad!)

Nevertheless, it was a tasty soup and managed to feed R through the rest of the week while I was at work. It certainly wasn’t my bubbe’s chicken soup, but I’m pretty confident she’d understand my need for convenience every once in a while. If you’re not up for whole chicken-stock-from-scratch thing, try my shortcut recipe!

Chicken Noodle Soup_bowl

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Adapted from Tyler Florence’s Chicken Noodle Soup


2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 qt. chicken stock
8 oz. dried wide egg noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Meanwhile, boil water in a separate pot and cook noodles according to package instructions. When slightly less than al dente, drain and set aside. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Fold in the noodles and chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

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  • Joy

    Yumm! My roommate used to make a big pot of soup and put over half of that in the freezer for future eats. I’ve always wanted a recipe for something like it. Thanks!

    Btw, what cooked chicken do you use? Do you cook your own or do you just pick it up from the supermarket?

  • evil chef mom

    That looks soooo good.

  • Amelia

    That’s so sweet of you. The gourmet food can surely wait a while longer. :) In Singapore, its perhaps more common to cook a sick loved one porridge, with chicken and some softened peanuts. I wouldn’t mind eating that even if I was not sick! :)

  • kate

    this is my husbands soul food. When ever he cant think of anything he’ll say make chicken noodle soup! But i’ve never added any veggies to it. This is a lovely variation with parsley to. Just to zing it up. I’ve tried corriander and lemon … it goes really well. Had it for dinner just yesterday !

  • Maxine

    Joy – I cheated a bit and used a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. :)

    evil chef mom – thanks!

    Amelia – It’s so interesting to hear how “comfort foods” differ around the world. Porridge and chicken wouldn’t be my first guess!

    Kate – Coriander and lemon sound like a delicious combo. I’ll have to try next time – thanks!

  • tigerfish

    I can eat this even when I’m well. :P

  • Marilyn

    You’re right – too fancy for bubbe, but no less delicious. Throw a few matzo balls in there and we’ve got a deal!

  • Ashtray

    One thing I definitely miss from living in my parents house was my moms homemade soups during the winter. Bookmarked this for the first chilly Fall weekend!

  • lockerz invite

    I am sure this is better than the classic Lipton chicken soup! I am sick and at home right now, Ill have to try it! Thanks!

  • Weber Go Anywhere Grill

    Your recipe sounds very good!

    I’ve never deviated from my mother’s recipe of tossing a whole chicken in the pot filled with water, season to taste and simmer till done (the chicken fat and broth is the medicine that heals the body and the soul). Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pot and cut the meat in small pieces, add cut up veggies that include garlic cloves, celery, onions, carrots, fresh string beans, bell pepper, kale – place them in the chicken broth along with the cut up chicken (no need to cook the veggies, because the heat from the broth will do the work) Serve with rice or noodles and some TLC and you are HEALED of whatever ails you!

    Thanks for letting me express myself…

  • Edeth

    Great looking soup!

    Love the comment, “The biggest mistake I made was following the recipe”. Sometimes the best meals (and the most creative fun) come from throwing the recipe out the window!

  • Jeff

    I am sure this is better than the classic Lipton chicken soup! I am sick and at home right now

  • buy tea online

    Theres something about a good chicken soup that hits home with me. The addition of noodles might give it that extra kick.

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