Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

Although the weather has been warming up around here, it’s hardly warm enough to move away from soups yet. This soup is very simple to make and so yummy too. There have been some nasty colds and coughs going around and this is a perfect soup to make when you are sick.

The other great thing about this comforting soup is that it’s a very frugal as well as nourishing meal. You should be able to make the whole large pot of soup for around ten dollars using high quality ingredients.

I generally make chicken noodle soup using broth and leftover roasted chicken, but I find that I run out of chicken broth frequently around here. There are very few brands of chicken broth I like to buy since most of them are very watered down with added flavorings (the organic brands even add sugar for flavor!). So I have been experimenting with making soups that don’t need a broth to start, but instead make their own broth as they cook.

I got a really bad sore throat the other week, and my husband, who doesn’t really enjoy cooking, gladly made this soup for us several times while I was recovering. I was so glad that this recipe is so fast to put together for his sake and for my sake when I make it too. πŸ™‚

Simple Chicken Noodle Soup Six to Eight Generous Servings

When I am not in a hurry, I saute the veggies in a little oil before I add the meat and water for extra flavor. Use this recipe as a outline, as we have done it with slight differences with no problem, my husband and I also cut the vegetables slightly differently and both ways work.

    1 1/2-2 pounds of drumsticks or chicken legs
    4 carrots, peeled, stemmed, cut in half lengthwise, and cut into 1 inch pieces
    4 celery sticks, washed, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and cut into 1 inch pieces
    1 onion, peeled and diced
    1-3 garlic cloves, peeled and put through the garlic press, optional
    1 bay leave, optional

Place all of the above ingredients in a large pot and cover well with water (we have just been eyeballing this, but about 8-12 cups, I would guess). Give a generous sprinkle of unrefined salt and bring to a boil, lower heat, and keep at a very low simmer for around 2 hours.

Near the end of the cooking time, in a separate pot, cook two cups of spiral shaped brown rice noodles (or noodles or your choice) according to package directions.

Take out the chicken drumsticks or legs, allow to cool, and then pull off the meat. I save the bones to use again in my next pot of chicken broth as there is still plenty of calcium left in them. Add the meat and noodles to the pot of soup, and salt and pepper to taste. Take out the bay leaf and serve with buttered toast and lots of love.

The following two tabs change content below.
I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. says

    I have to rate chicken soup as my all-time favorite meal. Any type will do! I’ve never made it this way, though, but it looks like a really easy meal to prepare- and especially helpful for those final-colds-of-the-season going around. As soon as I finish up the bags of turkey stock in my freezer I’m going to give this a whirl.

  2. Annie says

    Love the idea of making the broth right along w/ the soup – and wouldn’t have thought of saving the bones. How do you know they’re not “spent”? We’re definitely still in soup mode. Thanks for the recipe.

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Annie,

      The longer you simmer bones, the more minerals they give out. Since this is cooked a relatively short amount of time, there will still be plenty of minerals for them to release. πŸ™‚

  3. Kimberly in So Cal says

    Thanks so much for this! I often find that we run out of long-simmered stock and hadn’t thought of making chicken soup this way.

  4. Rachel J. says

    What a great way to make “quick” chicken soup. I just finished picking the leftover meat off a carcass and pressure cooking it for chicken soup tonight. I’m recovering from a stomach bug and it’s the only thing that sounds digestible to me, the taco salad last night was NOT a good idea πŸ™‚

  5. Tina~ says

    We do this- sometimes I’ll toss the bones in the freezer if I’m not going to get to them again soon. I read somewhere that if you put a little apple cider vinegar in with the broth it helps bring out the calcium from the bones.
    We’re on GAPS so no noodles right now, but I’ll either slice onions very thinly or grate some zucchini and add at the last minute to make noodles, or serve the soup over cooked spaghetti squash for noodles.

    • Kris Mays says


      I prefer wide mouthed canning jars for freezing my broth. The wide mouth makes it easy to pour my partially defrosted broth into my pot.

    • Anne Marie says

      I freeze my broth (and tomatoes and sauces) in canning mason jars (I picked up at my local Walmart or hardware store) and label the lids with masking tape to include the date and item. I use pint jars (equivalent to a can of store bought stuff) for stock and quart for tomatoes and sauces (spaghetti) and soups (that amount feed my family of 4 with small children perfectly). I’ve also tried freezer bags but had too many explosions. -ad :0)

    • says

      i use the plastic freezer jam/jelly containers that are square pint size. They work well freezing chicken broth. When I’m ready to use one or two, I run them under hot water which releases them from container. You can put n glass bowl and microwave to melt it or just put in pan over medium heat to melt.

  6. says

    We loooooove chicken noodle soup and I make it a lot, too. Like you, Kimi, I usually get at least a couple “runs” from my bones so I end up with some to store in the freezer. After it’s done cooking, I strain it and cool overnight in the fridge, then spoon it into labeled baggies which store nicely in the freezer. I never use plastic for hot or even warm foods, but for cold foods I’ll still use baggies once in a while for convenience. Someone also gave me the idea to pour part of the stock into ice cube trays to freeze, so you have small amounts to drop in a vegetable sautΓ© or whatever.


  7. Sharon says

    I have a similar recipe, but it has 1/2 teaspoon each of sage and poultry seasoning. I find my family likes it better that way. The soup is also good with barley instead of noodles if you tolerate barley.

  8. Susan says

    This sounds wonderful!! My children and I are suffering from either allergies or a cold that won’t go away. There’s nothing more comforting than homemade chicken soup when you’re not feeling well. πŸ˜›

  9. says

    I always run out of homemade chicken stock, as I am yet to find a commercial brand that doesn’t have MSG or Yeast Extract hidden away in there (even Organic ones)! This is a great idea and seeing as Chicken Noodle soup is one of the few soups my 4 kids enjoy, I can now make it more often. I usually add rice vermicelli noodles and sometimes whisk in a beaten egg right at the end to give it a little thickness.

  10. says

    I have NO CLUE how I ended up on your site. Completely random. I just want to say that I am glad that I did. While I’m not nearly a 100% traditional foodist, (My goal is to make 90% of my food real) if I wanted to committed to one food philosophy this would be it. I am going to subscribe to your blog and hopefully I learn some tricks that make traditional food prep easier and less expensive for me.

    • KimiHarris says

      Welcome to my site! Very few of us are 100 percent traditionalist, so you are in good company. πŸ™‚

  11. says

    I almost didn’t click on this post because I have a wonderful chicken soup recipe that I love. But I’m so glad that I did! You are right, it’s hard to have enough broth around sometimes. This looks like a great way to make the soup with out the expense of a whole chicken. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Katie says

    Americas test kitchen recommends freezing your broth in muffin tins and then transferring them to a larger container once they are frozen. They recommend a ziplock plastic bag. I guess it would be ok, after it is frozen, but I hate to use plastic.
    The recipe looks awesome!

  13. jessie says

    For those who never seem to have enough stock, I suggest seeing if you can buy necks & backs from a farmer (and feet if you can get them). I can make probably 14-16 quarts of broth from a $5-$7 investment in bones.

    • KimiHarris says

      I find that if you use the backs especially it makes a flavorful broth. Unfortunately for me, it costs way too much to buy enough to make broth. I used to do this when I had a cheaper source, but as it wasn’t organic and it’s price raised, I have gone to other means. πŸ™‚

  14. says

    I make my soup similar to yours but my secret weapon is a sweet potato. It lends a subtle “sweet” flavor that is really not sweet. I am sure that is perfectly clear. The bottom line is that it improves the soup.

    Other favorite vegetables are parsnips and turnips.

    I am putting a pot up soon so thanks for the motivation.

  15. says

    where do you find organic/pastured bone in skin on chicken legs? I can find organic boneless cuts (that are too pricey, I rarely buy them) and whole pastured chickens, or whole organic ones at a big box store. so it’s always roast the chicken, toss the carcass in the stock pot for me.

  16. says

    Organic chicken has been too pricey for us, so we’ve been buying chicken from a local source supplied by an Amish farmer. I know Amish chicken is not the same as organic, but I feel good about it being local, and hope that it’s a better choice than commercial chicken… Have any of you had experience with Amish meats? Any thoughts? I’d love to hear your input.

  17. Shannon says

    Perfect timing to see this as my DH is getting sick from allergies. This will be the perfect lunch:) Have a great day.

  18. Cathy says

    I made chicken broth with the carcass of the left over roasted organic chicken that we rasied ourselves. If at all possible, raise your own chickens, that way you know exactly what you are getting. I read somewhere about adding vinegar to help extract the calcium from the chicken, how much vinegar? I added it, a little to muchI think, it had a tang to it but we ate it anyway.

  19. Karen says

    My family loves chicken soup. I roast a chicken almost every week and make broth, I also freeze it in canning jars, qts and pts. Try adding fresh ginger, chopped garlic and a little whey or vinegar (just a bit) and chopped parsley. This soup always makes my family feel better when they are sick but they love it even when they are not.

  20. Kylie Thomas says

    Well this was absolutely excellent. I am sick with a cold, so what a perfect recipe to try! I adapted it to use in a crock pot. I first browned the chicken in olive oil, then placed it along with all the other ingredients into the crockpot set on low for 8 hours. I also added a good amount of finely grated ginger, and 1 kumera, as I didn’t have any celery. I also added about 1/2 cups worth of coarsely diced bacon ends. As a garnish, I topped with plenty of parsley. Delicious, and very nourishing! Thanks for the recipe inspiration Kimi : )

  21. Kristen says

    I made this soup for the first time today and it was SO GOOD!!! Everyone loved it, including my 4 children. I will definitely be making it again.

  22. Amy M says

    I’m new around here, so please forgive me if this is a basic question. Do you make this soup with the skin on the drumsticks, or take the skin off? Thanks!

  23. Joli says

    I love this! My kids love this! It’s so nice to have an actual recipe to start from for this staple panacea. Colds-be-banished!!! Hurray for chicken noodle soup with real ingredients!

  24. says

    Oh how I LOVE chicken soup, or stew, as often was the case when my mom filled the pot with celery, carrots, onions, and skin-on potato chunks!
    Thanks for this simple step-by-step recipe, I’ve been very interested lately in learning more about how to make one’s own stock as I never have, and don’t know much about it, and my mom just always used bouillon cubes. Sounds so great, and I’m sure much healthier!
    Also, forgive my naΓ―vetΓ©- is there a difference between drumsticks and chicken legs, I always thought they were the same thing, or did you just type ‘or’ to include its alternate label?

  25. Nicole says

    This looks great! I’m actually looking for a way to do this while cooking a whole chicken in my crockpot…. ? It should be pretty easy I think? I lived in Romania for a while and LOVED their soups, they made them like this with the bones in them, but I haven’t ever been able to replicate it – yet. Hopefully this recipe will do the trick. Thanks!

  26. Judi says

    This recipe looks so simple and yummy… coming from a Mennonite background, the basic addition to this would be that we add 1 or 2 star-aniseed… interesting that I have been craving chicken noodle soup and now I come across this one… must try it out πŸ™‚

  27. says

    Wow this recipe really hit the spot!! I cooked the vegetables in a few table spoons of butter first, then added the chicken, salted and peppered all of it like this. THEN added 12 cups of water. Cooked for 2 hours and it actually needed more water. So I might even say 15 cups if you like your broth πŸ™‚ Also added a pinch of Cayenne Pepper. SO TASTY!

    I give this a 5 out of 5!! So goooooodddd!


  1. […] Simple Chicken Noodle Soup is so easy to throw together. My husband made it for him and Elena numerous times when I was sick with morning sickness (Note: He does not enjoy cooking, but found it easy enough that he didn’t mind throwing it together). It does have a long cooking time, but you don’t have to have premade homemade chicken stock for it as it makes it’s own stock as it cooks. I think it could be adapted well to a slow cooker too. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *