Spring is on its way in our neck of the woods, but we still get a few chilly days here and there. These days are perfect days to celebrate the few things I love about winter before welcoming the warmth of spring: the warmth of the wood stove, enjoying hot cocoa and good books with my kiddos, cozy sweaters and delicious warm soups. Chicken noodle soup is one of our favorites! I originally got this recipe from a magazine, but have changed it a bit through the years to fit our family. I love how nourishing it is and we all love how delicious it is!
Bone broth helps to make this soup incredibly nourishing. Bone broth is full of nutrients that can support the body in multiple ways. It specifically can help support immune health and is easy to digest which makes it especially wonderful while sick since your digestion partially shuts down while that energy goes towards fighting off sickness.
This soup only has a few simple ingredients and although it takes a little time to make, it is so worth it! The great thing that simplifies this soup is that you make the bone broth right along with the soup rather than making them separately which makes it much simpler! I sometimes love to make my own noodles for this soup too, but if I am in a hurry I just use a bag of wide egg noodles which makes it even quicker. I also occasionally add extra things such as celery, garlic or extra seasonings such as oregano or turmeric, but I usually just stick with this basic recipe that I will put below and it is always a hit! Warm, filling, nourishing, simple and delicious!
Nourishing Chicken Soup
1 whole fryer chicken
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced
6 carrots, sliced
10 cups water plus more later
2 teaspoons salt, plus a little more
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus a little more
1-16 ounce bag wide egg noodles or homemade noodles if preferred.
- Place oil in your soup pot. I use a cast iron dutch oven, but you can just use a nice large stock pot too. Place this over medium high heat to start warming.
- Cut your whole fryer bird in half and make sure to remove organs if they were included in the package. Place the two halves in the hot oil and watch for splattering! Sprinkle the chicken with a small amount of salt and pepper.
- Cook the chicken about 5 minutes or until the skin is seared or browned. Then flip each piece over and cook the other side the same way.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a plate. Put aside.
- Now place the carrots and onions into the hot oil in the pan. Cook until the onions are getting transparent and tender, about 10 minutes.
- Now put the chicken back in the pot with the carrots and onions. Add 10 cups of water, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place lid on pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. You want the carrots to be tender, the chicken cooked all the way through and to extract all that goodness from the bones. You can check the chicken by cutting it open and making sure the meat is cooked through. Even the largest chickens I have used are usually finished by 40 minutes.
- Now turn the pot off or down to low and remove the chicken from the pan, placing it on a cutting board or plate. Allow the chicken to cool about 10 minutes or until you can handle it without burning yourself. You can even cut it up a little to allow it to cool faster.
- This is actually the most time consuming part. You want to remove all the chicken from the bone and skin. Make sure you get all the meat and no bones!
- Chop the chicken up a little and add it back into the pot.
- Bring the pot back to a boil and add in your noodles. This is when you may want to add more water as well. A lot of the water may have boiled away and you want there to be plenty of liquid. I typically add about 4 cups more. You can taste it to see if you prefer more salt or pepper as well and then cook for 10 minutes or until the noodles are limp and tender.
- Serve and enjoy!Notes: -This also freezes great! Just stop before adding the noodles and allow it to cool completely. Then place it into Ziploc bags or containers and freeze. When you are ready to use just thaw it out, bring to a boil, add the noodles and cook until they are tender.-It cans well too! Having jars of homemade chicken soup on the pantry shelf is the best! Again, stop before adding noodles. I ladle into quart jars, add my lids and rings and can in a pressure canner for 1 hour 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. To use I just pop open the jars and pour into a pot. Bring to a boil, add my noodles and cook until the noodles are limp and tender!