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In Iowa, when January hits, winter really sinks in. The wind often howls, and the snow I was dreaming of at Christmas starts to fall. When I say I hibernate during the winter, I mean that I stay in and crave to cook food that warms my soul. These urges to cook are often what inspire comfort food: those foods that bring warmth, but also somehow relax as well.
Often, comfort foods are heavy on starch and literally leave us wanting a nap from the intensity. But comfort comes in a variety of ways: with memories and even nourishment.
Chicken noodle is my go-to soup. I say go-to but I often inadvertently overlook it and forget how good it really can be. The ingredients are simple enough that I always have them on hand… and I bet you do too! Growing up, Mom would often make chicken noodle soup for a quick supper and my dad, sister, and I all loved it.
Homemade is the only way to make it as the flavor is full and the soup is hearty. The stand out flavor needs to be chicken, though. Purchased chicken stocks can be good, but most times they have too much salt.
So rather than using purchased chicken stock, just as easy is cooking a whole chicken in the soup to create and retain all the necessary flavor. A small fryer is reasonable and is full of flavor with plenty of meat, some that can even be kept as a leftover for another dish.
Chicken soup does not have many ingredients so each one needs to be extraordinary. I find presliced baby carrots are often the easy default, but they lack real carrot flavor. This soup calls for the use of organically-grown carrots and celery. The flavor and nutrients of the vegetables will be at the forefront and will complement the chicken.
To add even more vegetal presence, this recipe uses one bulb of fennel. Raw, fennel can be strong, but when added to the soup, it becomes a quiet undertone that lifts up all the other flavors.
At the end of cooking, I add some egg noodles, just like Mom always did. They soak up some of the stock but also give the hearty comfort that soup needs. All of these components make this soup a comfort that satisfies and nourishes.
Watch how to make this chicken noodle soup recipe
More soup recipes
Beef and Barley Soup
Roasted Carrot Soup
Easy Taco Soup
Ham & Potato Chowder
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cups chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 ½ cups chopped fennel (one bulb)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup egg noodles
- 3-4 lb whole chicken
- Heat a 6- or 8-quart Dutch oven over medium heat with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 3 minutes.1 cup diced onion, 1 tbsp salt, 1 ½ tsp black pepper
- Add the carrot, celery, fennel, chicken, and thyme. Cover with 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the chicken registers 165°F.2 cups chopped carrot, 1 cup chopped celery, 1 ½ cups chopped fennel (one bulb), 3-4 lb whole chicken, 2 sprigs thyme
- Remove the chicken from the soup and add the egg noodles. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Separate the meat from the bones and shred. Add back to the soup to warm through and serve. Depending on the size of the chicken, add some or all of the meat and store the rest in the refrigerator for up to one week.1 cup egg noodles
Kaleb, your soup looks delicious! I love your idea of putting fennel in your chicken soup and using fennel fronds and celery leaves as a garnish. Ironically I bought prepackaged chicken soup at Whole Foods today (before I saw your video). Yours looks much fresher and better, ha! I will be making your recipe in the near future. Thanks for sharing. BTW, I love all your videos and recipes – I am totally hooked!
Making this today!!! Sending a lil package down the street to a favorite neighbor who is in quarantine—porch drop!
You’ve become part of my daily routine! You don’t know it yet- but we’re going to be great friends! Warm regards from NC!
Annnnd it was yummy! Thanks for inspiring me to use the fennel- I was a lil scared of it!
Kaleb! I am raised on chicken soup in Holland. Jewish dad so life without chicken soup not possible.
But your recipe is the BEST ever! Absolutely fabulous.
Perfect for snowy Minnesota!
Happy New Year!🎆
I’ve never made homemade chicken noodle soup, but when I saw you make it, I knew this was the time to start! Perfect timing too, since I was able to take it to a family member with COVID. It was absolutely delicious! I probably should have added more salt during the cooking process, but being my first time making this, I was timid. This was so easy to make and will be my forever go to for homemade chicken noodle soup. Thank you, Kaleb, for sharing yourself and your well loved recipes with us! You are an inspiration to me! Xoxo
Great recipe! I substituted 1 tsp dried thyme as I did not have fresh. Thsnk you!
Making your chicken soup today. I had to substitute thyme sprigs with dry thyme. Hope that doesnt make a big difference. Love watching your videos.
So glad you’re making the soup! Dried thyme will be delicious!
Absolutely Delicious and quick !! Thank you !!
In your video you put three bay leaves but looking at the recipe bay leaves are not there.
I made the bean and ham soup it was so delicious
Made this soup it was amazing. The only thing I did different was I made my own noodles
Hi I’m making the chicken noodle soup today. Is one tablespoon of salt correct?
Hi Kaleb happy New year! I make this soup but never used fennel always used ginger root! Thank you!
You are fabulous, I love ❤️ watching what you bring to the table & garden. Please keep it up. Aloha Debbie 👏🌈🤩
Love your recipes and really enjoy your videos! And I love, love, love your house!!
Love this recipe. It is 5:30 am and I am counting down the hours till lunch time so I can eat the leftovers 💕
Loved your pot roast, tomato soup and today I’m making your chicken noodle soup! I know it will be just as wonderful as your other recipes! Lots of rain due here tomorrow in South Carolina and the soup will hit the spot!
I grew up with my Jewish mother always having chicken soup around. And then my Hugarian mother-in-law. But not like this! I make it every weekend to have for lunch all week. It is amazing, and the fennel addition is nothing short of genius!
Kaleb, love this soup!!!! I had always failed at adding noodles to my chicken soup because they soaked up all my broth….ended up always using rice instead. The egg noodles are the perfect addition without soaking up all the yummie broth!!!!
I’m newly retired and want to eat healthier so this is a great start. Thank you!
Looks so good I’m going to have to try this .
How could you turn this into chicken and dumplings or do you have recipe for that? Thanks!
Best chicken soup I’ve ever made and so easy too. The chicken was moist, veggies not mushy. We loved it.
Another delicious recipe. I have never cooked the chicken at the beginning with the most of the rest of the ingredients. Flavors are wonderful. Thank you for another great recipe!
Made this last week. Excellent. Best soup I’ve ever made. Making again this week but will use all the salt and pepper called for in the recipe and will use cold water not boiling. It didn’t say. I guessed wrong. Thanks Kaleb. You taught this old dog a new trick. Also, adding a bit of lemon or vinegar at the end is perfect.