Classic Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul

The last few days have been a bit, well, what’s the word…bad?  No, that will not do.  Terrible.  Dreadful.  Upsetting.  Frustrating.  Disheartening.  Disappointing.  Oh, and tear inducing.  Those will work.

Here is my story.  I was scheduled to leave Amarillo Friday morning at 6:55 to help prepare everything for my sisters baby shower that is today at 3.  I took the day off of work a few weeks ago, and days off are a precious commodity.  As you may or may not know Amarillo received a good foot of snow on Thursday resulting in both Ben and I getting the day off!  So exciting!  Or so I thought.

The Panhandle weather also caused business closures, highway closures, and flight cancellations.  As of this moment my flights have been cancelled and rescheduled a total of 3 times.  If all goes well, I will be in Austin tonight.  I will miss the baby shower and the 3 dozen bird cookies that I made will not be enjoyed.  The cookies I spent all day Thursday rolling and baking.  Argh.  They are cute, no?

I know that I should not complain.  Some people have been affected by the weather in far worse ways than I.  I am in a warm house and I am safe, so I am thankful for that.  I am sad about not being able to see my family.  After Southwest called me this afternoon to cancel my morning flight for tomorrow I decided that I needed to make something for dinner that would bring some sort of comfort to my weary soul!  Nothing says comfort like chicken noodle soup.

There were some very exotic chicken noodle soups out there when I started searching for a recipe.  One was particularly interesting to me.  It had all the regular ingredients but also had saffron and corn.  I almost decided to make that soup, but wanted to do a simple and basic chicken noodle soup.  So, here it is.  Basic chicken noodle soup.  Pure comfort.

This soup is incredibly easy.  Not including chicken boiling time, this came together in 20 minutes.  Since I am only making soup for 2, I thought I would use a bit less chicken and broth.    I increased the carrot, celery and mushrooms because I like a soup that is more full of stuff and not so full of broth.

I used canned chicken broth, but I think you could easily use the water that you use to boil your chicken.  All you’d have to do is add some salt, peppercorns and bay leaf.  I used 4 good sized skinless bone-in chicken breasts and I ended up with leftover chicken that will be made into a tasty chicken salad.

Dinner is served…

Ben said “This tastes so fresh and so clean, clean.”  Get it?  I have a sweet husband.  Anyway, the vegetables give so much to the broth.  It does taste fresh because it IS fresh!  The mushrooms are great, and I would use more of them next time.  Another thing I would increase is the broth.  I ended up adding an extra can for a total of 10 cups.  I did not give the broth its due credit.  Use the broth it calls for.  I was a bit silly in thinking I had better sense than recipe writers.  I guess 16 cups just sounded like a lot to me.  There is a reason I teach math and do not write recipes for magazines.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Bon Appetit, 1998

  • 12-16 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  1. Combine chicken broth and chicken in heavy large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover partially and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large bowl. Cool chicken and broth slightly. Discard skin and bones from chicken. Cut chicken meat into bite-size pieces and reserve. Spoon fat off top of chicken broth.
  2. Return broth to simmer. Add onion, carrots and celery. Simmer until vegetables soften, about 8 minutes.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Add mushrooms to broth; stir in noodles, parsley and reserved chicken. Simmer until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.