Thursday, March 12, 2015

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

Most days you can find me hand-embroidering and cooking. I enjoy quiet, domestic activities that are blissfully non-competitive, solitary and stress-free. I also work part-time in a crisis center, which provides a nice balance. Soup is one of my favorite things to cook. I like knowing it's simmering on my stove. A big brothy bowl, along with a piece of crusty bread, is simple and delicious. There are usually tasty leftovers too.

Everyone loves Grandma's chicken soup, right? My grandmother was a wonderful cook. She could mend a sock or make a Christening dress without much effort too. I adored spending time with her. She used to make the best chicken soup. She finished it with a pinch of cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon. The addition of cinnamon wasn't overpowering. Instead, the soup tasted even more warm and inviting.

This heartwarming chicken noodle soup can be yours to savor if you make this recipe. When my husband found out I was serving it for dinner tonight, he said he couldn't wait to come home. It's old-fashioned soul food. The light, fresh-tasting, slurp-worthy broth is spiked with dill and lemon. There's tons of chicken and veggies in this soup. It's restorative in cold and flu season and equally delicious in springtime. You can even skip the noodles if that's what you prefer. The soup is ready in about 45 minutes. Even if you're a beginner cook, you can do this. You'll be so happy you did.

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

Serves 6

Some Notes:

I keep the cooked noodles separate from the broth so they don't get mushy. Rice is also great with this soup. My grandmother happened to love it with rice.

You can leave the skin on the chicken for a richer tasting stock.

If you know me, you know how much I like using Rapunzel No Salt Vegan Vegetable Bouillon cubes. They're my go-to veggie bouillon when I don't have the time, will or energy to make my own stock. They give all my soups a slow-simmered and fresh flavor. I love this product for its clean taste. I'm not a fan of off-tasting broths and stocks found in cans and boxers. I learned about Rapunzel from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. It has made all the difference in my soup recipes. I find it at Whole Foods or buy it by the case online at Amazon. But you can swap it and the water for 10 cups of your favorite broth or stock.

I like the fresh green color and pop of  peas in the soup, especially in springtime. I enjoy dill in it too. A tiny pinch of cinnamon is a nod to my grandmother and a necessary step for me. You won't detect it as cinnamon. The soup will just taste warmer and cozier, which is a very good thing.


  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts, 2 bone-in chicken thighs, 2 bone-in chicken legs (total weight around four pounds of chicken parts).
  • A 12-ounce package of egg noodles. I use wide egg noodles.  
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 leek, the white and light green parts rinsed well and chopped
  • 1 lemon 
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas (optional)
  • A handful of fresh dill or parsley, chopped 
  • 6-8 vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes. I use one package of Rapunzel No Salt Vegan Vegetable Bouillon. 
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 cups of water 
  • To Serve: saltines, crusty bread  


Cook the egg noodles according to the package directions. You can toss them with a little butter or oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.

Remove the skin from all the chicken parts and put them in a large soup pot with 10 cups of water and the bouillon cubes. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Using a spoon, skim the surface of white foam. Partially cover the pot and simmer the soup for 20 minutes. Take the chicken out of the soup and set aside. Stir in the carrots, leeks and celery. Cover the pot and simmer again until the vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile, remove the slightly cooled chicken from the bone and chop into small pieces. Stir the chicken into simmering soup, along with a pinch of cinnamon. Simmer for about 5 more minutes. Take the soup off the heat and add the frozen peas (if using), fresh dill and a squeeze of lemon. Put the reserved egg noodles in bowls for serving and ladle the hot soup over them. 

Bon Appetit!

xx~ Jilly



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