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It doesn’t get more cozy than soup in colder months, and it doesn’t get more comforting than this healthy and easy Chicken Noodle Soup. What’s unique about my chicken noodle soup is I make my own homemade chicken broth and I use vermicelli noodles instead of traditional egg noodles. It’s the way my mom’s been making it since I was a kid!
I love it when soup season rolls around, it’s so easy to make a big pot of soul warming food that’s healthy and nutritious for the whole family. This healthy chicken soup is no exception – everything you need in a bowl and more! While you are here, be sure to check out my other easy, healthy and tasty soup recipes.
What is in this easy chicken noodle soup recipe?
There are no surprise ingredients in this soup, and the whole process is just basically throwing everything in a pot. It’s made with onions, carrots, celery, garlic, chicken and vermicelli noodles, with some oregano and parsley. What sets it apart is that it’s made with a homemade chicken broth that adds richness and a wonderful depth of flavor.
The only surprise is the type of noodles I use. I grew up with my mom making this easy chicken noodle soup with vermicelli. And there’s just something very nostalgic and cozy about continuing to use vermicelli. If you don’t have vermicelli, you can break up angel hair pasta really small or use any other pasta of your choice, like egg noodles.
How to make homemade chicken broth
The best thing about my chicken noodle soup? The homemade broth! I think it’s what makes this recipe so rich, nutritious and delicious. There are two ways to make the broth:
- Make chicken broth first and add it to the pot. This is what I photographed below. I make the chicken broth by cooking together chicken breast or thighs with the aromatics. Then I strain the broth and use it in the recipe.
- Make chicken broth while making the recipe. This is what the video shows below and it’s a faster way to make the broth by adding the chicken with the vegetables and water, and then removing the chicken to shred. It requires less steps and no straining.
Three essential vegetables that go into pretty much most of my soups and especially this easy chicken noodle soup are onions, carrots and celery. As you can see I keep the outer layers of the onions and carrots and the leaves of the celery. That’s what I use to make the broth.
Place the vegetable scraps at the bottom of a large pot. Add the chicken and bay leaf on top. Then cover it with boiling water and allow it to cook for 20 minutes. Then pull out the chicken using a fork and shred; strain the chicken broth; and discard the cooked vegetable scraps.
Next it’s time to make the soup! You can use the same pot and wipe it down if there is any residue from the chicken. Add the mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery) into the pot and cook until they soften slightly. Then it’s time to flavor it up with some garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
Now, add the shredded chicken into the pot along with the strained broth and simmer for 10 more minutes to continue softening the vegetables. And finally, you’ll add the pasta and cook until it’s al dente. Since I using vermicelli, the chicken noodle soup is pretty much ready within a couple minutes of adding the pasta.
The vermicelli noodles I use is very fine and blends into the soup. It means more noodles in every bite of soup. Note that the noodles do soften a bit though after 24 hours and they will thicken the soup as they soften.
Tips for making chicken noodle soup
- Make your own chicken broth for the best tasting soup. It makes the soup so rich and flavorful and it is totally worth a little more effort. Plus it’s healthier this way with way less preservatives.
- Use chicken thighs or drumsticks for best flavor. While it’s fine to use chicken breast like I did in the recipe video below, they don’t tenderize in the soup and instead stay pretty firm. The thighs, on the other hand, get more juicy and tender in the broth.
- Cook the pasta separately and add when serving. Like most pastas in soup recipes, the vermicelli doesn’t keep well in the soup and it will get mushy after a few hours. To avoid soggy pasta, keep the cooked pasta separate and add as needed when serving.
- Chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces. They should be hearty but still easy to eat. This will also help them to cook evenly.
Frequently asked questions
Is this chicken noodle soup healthy?
A generous bowl of this soup comes in at about 400 calories and is packed full of goodness. By making your own stock, you can control the amount of sodium in the soup, and it really doesn’t take long to do. The vegetables add vitamins and nutrients to the dish for an extra hit of goodness.
What can I add to chicken noodle soup for flavor?
Some homemade chicken soups can really be lacking on flavor, but that is not the case with this recipe. Thanks to the homemade stock, you are getting great flavor into the dish from the beginning, then those flavors are added to in the form of dried herbs and garlic. Finish the soup with fresh lemon juice and parsley for a hit of freshness at the end.
Can you freeze chicken noodle soup?
This chicken soup freezes really well, so it’s great to batch cook it. However, if you’re doing so, make sure not to freeze it with the vermicelli noodles or any pasta as they will get soggy when frozen. It will also keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
For more soup recipes, check out:
- Chicken Lemon Orzo Soup
- Chicken Lemon Rice Soup
- Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup
- Easy White Chicken Chili
- 5 Ingredient Tomato Soup
- Red Curry Noodle Soup
- Creamy Vegetable Soup
This soup will literally warm your soul, fill your tummy with happiness and give you a healthy dose of feelgood nutrition – promises made by yours truly!
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feelgood Easy Chicken Noodle Soup recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
I created this blog post first on December 7, 2017. I am updating it to include improved new step-by-step images and a video tutorial!
Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion chopped (keep outer layers)
- 3 large carrots sliced (keep outer peeled layers)
- 3 celery stalks chopped (keep stems and leaves)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 pound chicken thighs
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup vermicelli or other pasta of choice
- Parsley for serving
- Lemon juice for serving
- Place the scraps from the outer layers and ends of the onions, carrots and celery in a large stock pot. Add the chicken thighs on top along with a bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Add 8-10 cups of water, bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until chicken is fork-tender and cooked, about 20 minutes.
- Remove chicken and shred; set aside. Strain the chicken broth using a fine-mesh sieve and discard the vegetable scraps and bay leaf; set aside the broth.
- Heat the olive oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and oregano, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Return the shredded chicken and strained chicken broth to the pot. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 more minutes. Then add the vermicelli pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 5 more minutes.
- Stir in fresh parsley and lemon juice, if desired, and serve warm.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.