Chicken Noodle Soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

From Scratch: 10 Meals, 175 Recipes, and Dozens of Techniques You Will Use Over and Over

From Scratch

By Michael Ruhlman

Published 2019

  • About

I would lay odds that homemade chicken noodle soup really does heal. I made it last for my wife, Ann, who was feeling a cold coming on. She woke the next day symptom free, certain that it had been the magic of the soup. When you make it with your own chicken stock, there is no denying that chicken noodle soup is dense with nutrition, somehow a perfect combination of vegetables, starch, and protein that leaves you completely sated but never overly full.

The secret to an excellent chicken soup is cooking the vegetables until they are just done. They should have a firm bite and a bright flavor. If they cook too long, not only do they become mushy, but they give up their flavor to the broth, having none of their own. Each component of an excellent chicken noodle soup should be distinctive, not least of all the stock itself. So, it’s especially fine with Easy Overnight Chicken Stock, because the abundant vegetables and herbs will enhance.

I like the customary mirepoix, but you can add any vegetables you wish—other root vegetables or even green vegetables if it’s springtime (peas or asparagus), and it’s a terrific place to use ramps if they’re in season where you live. Ramps are often called wild leeks, but regular leeks, the white and pale parts, thinly sliced, are excellent and really up the nutritional content. If you use leeks, save the dark green parts to add to your next batch of overnight stock.

I prefer cooking the noodles separately. Pasta cooked in the soup soaks up too much stock and thus tastes of stock rather than of clean pasta. (If you use fresh pasta, though, you can cook that in the soup.) This soup is delicious as is, but I like to finish it with some fresh parsley and lemon zest to make it even more dynamic.


  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 8 ounces/225 grams egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced obliquely or diced
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into ¼-inch/6-millimeter slices
  • 5 cups/1.2 liters Easy Overnight Chicken Stock or store-bought chicken broth
  • 4 to 6 thyme sprigs (tied together with kitchen string if you have it to make them easier to remove)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 cup/180 grams shredded or diced cooked chicken
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Grated zest of ½ lemon


Bring a medium saucepan of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, then shock them in ice water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and cook it for 30 seconds. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and a four-finger pinch of salt (if you’re using store-bought broth, hold off on the salt until after you’ve added the broth). Cook the vegetables for a minute or two (this will enhance their flavor more than if you were to add the vegetables and stock all at once).

Add the stock, along with the thyme and fish sauce (if using). Bring it to a gentle simmer and cook for a few minutes. When the carrots are al dente (taste one to see), add the chicken and noodles. Bring the soup back to a simmer. Serve immediately, garnishing each serving with fresh parsley and lemon zest.