The Best, Easiest, Quickest Chicken Noodle Soup Ever

There are few things I love as much in the cold heart of winter as a bowl of chicken noodle soup.  I’m most definitely not talking about the one in the can.  I’m talking about soup in a rich, flavorful broth with chunks of roasted chicken, freshly chopped tender pieces of carrot and celery, bow-tie noodles soaking up the chicken taste and fresh parsley and thyme floating throughout the whole thing.

Sounds long and involved and exhausting, right?  Well, usually that is right.  What usually happens is that you start out with all great intentions and energy and a nice whole chicken.  You toss it in the soup pot with some water and a prayer or two, and hours and days and weeks later you have a cooked chicken and some “broth.”  But the chicken is a little rubbery from having boiled away for ages and I’m sorry, all the onion and carrots in the world have not been able to produce a nice rich broth  — for me, anyway.  It ends up watery and sad and you have to skim the top of it, and on and on and on.

It was time for something to be done.  It’s our right to have a fantastic chicken soup that doesn’t require a nap and a degree from the Culinary Institute of America.  So here’s what needs to happen.  First of all, the foundation is the broth, and while pre-made chicken broth used to be a sad state of affairs, things have gotten a whole lot better lately.  There are two brands that are actually EXCELLENT, and they both come in boxes that are stacked in the supermarket right next to those nasty cans of chicken broth.  My fave is this one:
Although this one is pretty good as well:

don’tbe tempted by the canned broth – go for one of these guys.

Next, you need a bone-in split chicken breast.  Put in in a baking pan, brush that baby with a little olive oil, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and roast it for about 50 minutes.  Meantime, chop up some carrots, some celery, an onion and some fresh parsley and thyme.  If I have a leek on hand I’ll chop that up too.  Once your chicken is roasted and cooled a little, the chicken soup is about 20 minutes away.  Bring the broth to a nice simmer and drop in the veggies and some bow-tie pasta and simmer it covered until the veggies are tender and the pasta is cooked.  While this is going on, take a fork (or your fingers, if you are me) and pull the roasted chicken off the bone into bite-sized pieces.  Now toss the chicken pieces and the herbs into the soup and simmer for another few minutes until everything is all warm and perfect.  Taste to see if you need to add in any salt or pepper…and that’s it, folks.  You have now made the perfect chicken noodle soup.  It will keep for several days and get better and better.  If it gets too thick, pour in a little more broth and it will be just fine.

Doesn’t everything seem right with the world now?

The Best, Easiest, Quickest Chicken Noodle Soup Ever
  • 1 split bone-in chicken breast
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Two 32 ounce boxes of chicken broth
  • Two large carrots, sliced
  • Two stalks celery, sliced
  • One leek, sliced or one onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bow tie pasta
  • ½ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 37 Place chicken skin side up on baking sheet lined with foil. Rub olive oil onto chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 50 minutes and then cool until chicken is cool enough to shred with your fingers. Discard bones and skin.
  2. Heat broth until simmering. Add carrots, celery, leek or onion and pasta and cook until pasta is done, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in parsley, thyme and chicken and season to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.



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  1. PoetessWug says

    Yep! I've been using these boxed broths like mad!!…In everything! Love them…and love chicken soup too. I'm gonna have some today as a matter of fact! :-)

  2. Joanne says

    I spent most of my childhood eating Campbell's based chicken soup so it's no surprise that I'm never super excited when I see a recipe for it. That being said, I've seen SO MANY of them in the past few days that I figure there must be something redeeming about it. And actually. T his sounds awesome.

  3. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean says

    i totally agree that the Imagine chicken broth is the best out there. About as low in sodium as you can find without making your own! i always stock up when it goes on sale!

  4. AppleyEverAfter says

    Whole Foods has really good chicken broth. I never feel guilty for buying and using it. Oh, and I love adding some lemon juice to my chicken noodle soup. So good.

  5. Fun and Fearless in Beantown says

    What a great way to make a quick chicken noodle soup! I use the second brand of chicken broth and love it!

  6. Natalie says

    Definitely going to try this! I attempted to make chicken noodle soup from scratch and it was awful but I'm determined to learn how to make a great one.
    Also, love the Bunnykins bowl – takes me back to my childhood :)

  7. a Broad says

    OK, I can do this .
    It is raining and cooling off , might even be in the 70s later. Maybe I can stand to have soup for dinner.
    besos ! C


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