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How to Make Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

a delicious bowl of homemade chicken soup in a white bowl
Marian Weyo/Shutterstock

We’re looking for comfort food without complications. There’s no need for gaudy goulash or sumptuous stew. All we need is simple chicken noodle soup.

You know, the kind your mom used to make. Or, the kind she used to pour out of a can. It doesn’t matter how it got to your bowl; the point is that the soup is precisely what you expected. It’s chicken and noodles in a supremely comforting broth. No more and no less.

What Do I Need to Make Chicken Noodle Soup?

Soup is only as good as its broth, and chicken noodle soup is no exception. If you have homemade broth in your freezer, by all means, use that. If not, go with the highest quality store-bought broth you can find. You’ll need about 32 oz.

To ensure the broth is extra flavorful, you’ll want to use a classic combination of vegetables known as a mirepoix. That sounds fancy, but it’s just onion, carrots, and celery in a 2:1:1 ratio. The vegetables need to be chopped small and close to the same size for even cooking. We recommend a 1/2 cup of chopped onion, and a 1/4 cup each of chopped carrots and celery for 32 oz of broth.

When it comes to the first half of our soup’s namesake, leftover shredded rotisserie chicken works well. However, any leftover chicken will do. For 32 oz of broth, you’ll need about a1/2 lb of cooked chicken.

Finally, we come to the noodles. Traditionally, chicken noodle soup calls for egg noodles. However, any pasta you have on hand will work. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of dried noodles, grab a pinch of dried basil and oregano, and let’s make soup!

How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup

woman ladling some chicken noodle soup into a bowl
Josep Suria/Shutterstock

To make the soup, we begin with melting butter in a large saucepan or stockpot. To the melted butter, add the chopped carrots, onion and celery (the mirepoix). Saute them over medium-high heat until they’re tender and fragrant, about five minutes.

Then, add the chicken, the broth, and the noodles. Bring everything up to a simmer, and let it cook for 20 minutes. Taste the resulting mixture and season with salt, pepper, dried basil, and dried oregano as desired. Serve it with your favorite accompaniments. A classic grilled cheese will never be wrong.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

When it comes to storing the leftovers, you have a few options. The soup will retain its quality refrigerated for up to four days. If you would like to save it longer than that, it’s best to freeze it.

To freeze the soup, use a freezer-safe plastic bag. It’s easiest to do this by standing the bag up in a box-shaped storage container. Roll the top of the bag down so that it covers the container’s edges and then, safely, pour in the soup.

If the soup is still warm, it will need to cool down completely before you seal the bag. Be sure to leave at least a 1″ margin between the soup and the top of the bag, as the liquid will expand when it freezes. Then, carefully seal the bag, being sure to press out any excess air, and lay it down flat in the freezer for compact storage. Soup freezes well for up to six months.

To reheat soup from frozen, transfer it to the fridge overnight and then gently heat in a saucepan. If you’re in a hurry, pour the frozen soup into a microwave-safe container. Cover it with a paper towel or clean cloth, and heat for one to two minutes at a time, stopping to stir in between until the soup is steaming.

Broth-based soups freeze well, but noodles don’t always come out the same. So, if you know you’re making the soup to be frozen, we suggest leaving the noodles out initially. When you defrost and reheat the soup, bring it up to a simmer, add the noodles in at that point, and cook until they’re al dente.

And that’s it! That’s basic chicken noodle soup just like mom used to make. Now it’s time to grab some saltines, put on an old movie, and enjoy that giant bowl of chicken comfort.

Lauren Sakiyama Lauren Sakiyama
Lauren Sakiyama is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. She has managed restaurants, country clubs, and large-scale event operations, but her passion has always been about the food. Read Full Bio »

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