How To Make Perfect Chicken Noodle Soup

I know, it really sounds like I am boasting… sorry! But you too can make a chicken noodle soup that is more delicious than you can imagine. There are a few old time secrets that can turn a good soup into one that makes the angels sing. And I can’t wait to share them with you. An astrick (*) notes tips to a better soup.

4-5 lbs. chicken backs, wings, necks and thighs with skin (any combo) A turkey or a couple of chicken carcasses can be used. When using chicken carcass, add additional chicken pieces such as backs or wings.
4-6 quarts water- or enough water to cover chicken, plus 2-3 inches
mirepoix: combo of onions, carrots and celery
   2 onions, skins on and quartered
   3 carrots, peeled, cut into 3-4 pieces
   3 celery ribs, cut into 3-4 pieces
2 TBS salt
6 peppercorns or more
bouquet garni- bunch of parsley and thyme tied together + 2 bay leaves
1 onion, peeled and chopped into small pieces
6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
4 celery ribs, cut  horizontally if thick and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 medium potatoes, peeled, and cut into bite size pieces
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
4 TBS chicken bullion
2-4 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
2 bags very thin egg noodles
Put chicken and water in a very large pot over medium heat.  Add mirepoix, salt and peppercorns.  Bring pot to a simmer, DO NOT BOIL. Skim scum off the top of soup as it develops. *This is a very important step- it will give you a clearer soup. Simmer for 2  hours uncovered.

In a separate large pot, bring water to boil, add salt. Cook thin egg noodles  according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Using a “spider”, or large slotted spoon scoop out all chicken and vegetables into a large bowl and then discard. Make sure you get it all.  * Do not use these veggies and chicken when serving soup, they have given all of their flavor to the broth.
Taste broth. *If needed add bullion. Be bold! You should have a very full bodied, chicken broth.
Bring soup back to a simmer and add chopped onion, carrots and celery. *Using new veggies gives a second layer of fresh veggie flavor, and taste delicious to eat in your soup.

You can also add boneless chicken and cook in broth at this time. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove chicken when fully cooked and set aside to cool.
Add potatoes, and cook until tender 15-20 minutes.  While potatoes are cooking cube chicken. When potatoes are tender add chicken and 3 TBS minced parsley and simmer for 5 minutes. *Using fresh parsley at the very end of cooking enhances the fresh flavor.
To Serve:
Add noodles (as much as you like in your soup) to a wide soup bowl. Ladle hot soup over noodles.
Serve. Yummy!

*Always keep the noodles and soup separate. If combined the noodles get soggy. This makes a huge difference in the taste of the soup. When refrigerating, keep soup and noodles in separate containers.
When ready to serve, reheat soup until piping hot and add to cold noodles.

My grandmother taught me how to make this soup. I don’t have a recipe, but learned by wathching and doing. This is not rocket science, so relax and enjoy the process. A little less of this or more of that will change the flavor, but it should still be delicious!
Note: I also make this broth for Matzo Ball Soup, Italian Wedding Soup and as stock to freeze and keep on hand.


  1. says

    I have never done it with the noodles separate. I’ll have to try it that way. This is a bit more involved than my old-fashioned chicken soup…but, it sounds and looks delicious and well worth the extra step or 2. Yummy…the photos are perfect!

    • says

      I always add pasta, barley, et al to the bottom of the bowl , ladle the soup on top and then store separately. Otherwise the soup will absorb the stock and you’ll end up with a big pot of mush. This is a great recipe and turorial on great stock. Thanks.

  2. says

    Yvonne-I don’t think there is any other smell that says “home” to me like a chicken stewing in a pot. The best recipes aren’t usually recipes at all but handed down like this one. Your photos are beautiful. Enjoy your soup :)

  3. says

    Your photos are just fabulous! I’m having a few problems with my Olympus and I was just drooling over the clarity of these shots. May I ask what type of camera you are using??? Nancy
    PS: It’s almost 12:30AM here and I have a terrible craving for homemade chicken soup!

  4. says

    I think this will be PERFECT when my husband comes home from the hospital next week. I have tried to make chicken soup several times and it always comes out with minimal flavor, I see the extra steps you have here should take care of that issue.

  5. says

    This looks delicious, my mom has a fabulous chicken soup, there is just something about it that is comforting in every way.

    Oh I wanted to ask you: Can we be best friends? Seriously your post below I just wanted to come over eat and visit so badly. Those cherries and the muffin were calling my name!

  6. says

    Next time I get a cold I am hauling my big sniffly buttocks over to your house, jumping into your scrumptious bed and gobbling chicken noodle soup. I think I may have to pretend I am sick and just make this. I do want you to know that I have named my 5 extra pounds I seem to have collected Yvonne!

  7. says

    Someone has FINALLY taught me how to make excellent chicken noodle soup…YOU!!! Wow! That took a little time & work, but it was the BEST! We all had two bowls. THANK YOU!

  8. says

    Yvonne, I made this soup for my husband when he came home from the hospital last week. It was excellent, I will certainly make this one again. This week I’m trying your taco soup as our weather is cold and snowy.

  9. says

    This is a great chicken soup recipe, Yvonne, and a very good tip to keep the noodles and hot soup separate! I adore chicken soup, and I make a Greek version called Avgolemno that my mom made when I was growing up–when I feel like I’m coming down with a cold, it’s my go-to soup! I want to try out your recipe now–it looks delish!

  10. Anonymous says

    This is virtually the way I’ve always made chicken soup, according to my Hungarian mother’s recipe. Never used potatoes and probably never will. Always keep the noodles and soup separate, otherwise the noodles expand and soak up all the delicious soup.

  11. says

    this looks really good! i’ve been trying to find a good recipe, although the potatoes will be left out and i’ll still use wide noodles. a good hearty soup needs good hearty noodles. i have a couple questions though. how tender do the carrots get? i’m not a fan of them and can only tolerate them if they are soft. and can this be modified for a slow cooker? i hate cooking foods that take alot of time and i’m trying to make the most out of my cooker. thanks

  12. says

    I haven’t tried this yet, but my significant other, 81 years old and a wonderful cook, says if you put a little oil in your pot when you boil meat for soup you won’t get any scum. Can’t wait to try your recipe.

  13. Kay says

    Love your website. Just wanted to ask if anyone else has had a problem with the pale color of the printing when copies are made off your site (of recipes, etc.) ? It’s almost impossible to read them. Any way to solve this?

  14. Mary-Louise says

    Yvonne, I believe your chicken soup reciepe is the closest I’ve read to my mothers. She was a great cook and truly made a unique soup! I’m going to make this soon! My mother kept her noodles separate and it truly makes a difference. I’m not sure about adding potatoes though, she always added a turip and parsnip, to the pot, would you suggest these be added in the beginning and removed?

    Thank you for your wonderful site, you help make my days!

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