But here’s the thing, I don’t always have time to make a slow cooked, old fashioned pot of soup. And if I’m sick and making it for myself, I generally don’t really feel like cooking.
If you’re like me, then this Quick and Flavorful Chicken Noodle Soup is the perfect answer.
Now most “quick” soups lack the deep, rich flavor that I want in soup. If I want soup, I want SOUP… not some watery broth. So this recipe relies on some shortcut ingredients that add great flavor without the work and long cook time. Some of these might seem a little strange, but trust me… This makes a mean pot of soup!
Let’s talk about a few of these building blocks…
Unsalted Chicken Stock – Back in my Turkey Gravy recipe I talked about the difference between stock and broth. And while there’s still some gray area, I opt for stock in this recipe. *Typically* bones are added when making stock. The bones add gelatin which gives the stock a rich mouth feel and some healing goodness. It also adds tons more flavor. So I go for stock here instead of broth. And since we’re going to add a few other ingredients that will increase the sodium content, I recommend starting with unsalted stock. You can always add more salt if you need it.
Worcestershire Sauce – I know what you’re saying right now… “Stacey, what are you thinking? Worcestershire sauce?” Here’s what I’m thinking… “Dang this soup needs more flavor!” And by adding a little Worcestershire, we add some depth and flavor. But trust me, it doesn’t taste like Worcestershire sauce. And yes, I still have trouble spelling Worcestershire.
Better Than Bouillon – This is another trick I use a lot to add flavor without a lot of work. The #1 ingredient in this stuff is roasted chicken, so it’s a great shortcut to add a lot of chicken-y flavor.
Lemon – And while this one isn’t that weird of an ingredient in chicken soup, I think it’s important enough to the overall flavor that it needed to be mentioned separately as well. Don’t skip it. Please.
Quick and Flavorful Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 3 ribs celery, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 (32-ounce) cartons unsalted chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 (12-ounce) package egg noodles
- juice of half a lemon
- chopped parsley, for garnish
- Trim the chicken breast of fat and gristle and then cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Add salt and pepper and mix to combine.
- In a large stock pot or enamel coated dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring only a few times, to brown the chicken. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken to another bowl. Set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Add additional oil if necessary. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions starts to turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Add the chicken stock, Worcestershire, chicken base, and bay leaf. Stir well. Cook until boiling. Once boiling, add the noodles and return the chicken (and any juice that may have accumulated in the bowl). Stir well, and reduce the heat to a low boil.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is done. Exact times will vary, so check the pasta package for times. Right before serving, remove the bay leaf, add the lemon juice, and stir well. Garnish with parsley, if desired.