A hot, fresh bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup is comforting and restorative to both body and soul. If you need a good, basic recipe for chicken soup from scratch, this is my mother's recipe.
Total carbs 10g, net carbs 8g
Preparing soup from scratch is a neglected art. But it's worth it. There are so many benefits to making soup from scratch. For starters, it is easy on the budget. You can make a giant batch of soup to be shared with friends and family, and still have leftovers to freeze for another day. Another reason is that you can use high-quality, organic ingredients and avoid artificial ingredients. Making soup from scratch results in a collagen-rich bone broth that aids digestion and is good for gut health. Fresh, homemade soup is loaded with nutrients presented in an easily digestible form. Homemade chicken broth is extremely nutritious containing the vitamins and minerals of bone, cartilage, herbs and vegetables as electrolytes.
Chicken noodle soup from scratch ingredients:
You need 1 whole chicken to make chicken soup from scratch. It doesn't matter how big the chicken is. You will be removing the cooked meat from the carcass and adding 4 cups of meat back to the broth at the end. It is likely that you will have meat to spare. Just set that aside for later. You can add it back for a bowl of keto soup or you can use it to make all kinds of recipes like chicken salad, pot pie or enchiladas.
Use 2 quarts of water to make 8 servings of soup. You can add more water for more soup, but the broth will become diluted. At times I use a 12 quart stock pot to make soup enough for the 50 people we feed at a homeless food distribution that I serve. I use this same recipe in the same amounts, except that I add enough water to fill the pot. I adjust the amount of salt, meat, carrots and noodles to make sure that the soup is tasty.
Add a small amount of ground turmeric to the soup to give the broth a beautiful golden color. Be careful not to add too much turmeric or it will change the flavor of the soup. An ⅛-1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric is good. If you want a deeper golden color, taste the soup as you add more turmeric to decide when to stop.
Since the broth will be strained there is no need to chop the onion, just cut it in half with the skin on. The onion skin will give the broth a beautiful golden color.
This recipe calls for 3 carrots, 2 of which are used for flavor and color, but will be strained from the broth.
This recipe uses celery for flavor. If you like slices of celery in your soup set some aside and add a few at the end of cooking to add interest.
This recipe calls for 3 cloves of garlic. However, feel free to add as much garlic as you like. They won't add any significant difference to the final carb count.
Parsley adds mineral ions to the broth. And, green leafy vegetables like parsley add loads of Vitamin K to any recipe. A cup of parsley adds 163% RDA of Vitamin K to a single serving of this recipe. Vitamin K has many health benefits including regulating blood clotting, improving skin condition and immune function.
A single bay leaf adds great flavor. Bay leaves also have anti-microbial properties. Adding a bay leaf to soup helps the soup to keep much longer. Bay leaves contain enzymes that help breakdown proteins during digestion. Bay leaves are also a rich source of Vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium. They have also been proven to be useful in treating migraines. Fun fact: adding a bay leaf to a bag of flour prevents meal bugs from infesting your flour.
Are full of anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory and help with blood sugar control.
Egg noodles (optional)
Egg noodles are pasta and all pasta are a significant source of carbohydrates. In moderate amounts, as they are in this recipe, they can be a part of a low-carb diet.
Add to taste at the end. Kosher salt or sea salt have the best flavor.
You can make an Asian-style chicken soup by using chicken, water, garlic, fresh ginger slices and scallions instead.
Equipment you'll need
Soup pot and a ladle
You’ll need at least a 6 quart pot.
How to make (good old-fashioned) chicken noodle soup from scratch
Believe it or not, chicken noodle soup from scratch is pretty straight-forward to make. It does take time to cook a good base broth for the soup, but much of that time is hands-off. For a detailed description of each step, scroll down below to read the recipe card.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe calls for egg noodles. If you are on the keto diet, then you can leave out the noodles to make it keto-friendly, but then it's just chicken soup. The total carb count will then be under 5 grams per serving. You can enjoy the soup as is or substitute noodles with low-carb noodles. You can add extra chicken meat and non-starchy vegetables like seaweed, mushrooms, cabbage, bean sprouts, peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, or leafy greens like spinach and kale.
Properly prepared homemade chicken soup is good medicine. It is the first thing I think of making when I or my loved ones are under the weather. Research has shown that chicken soup does help to fight colds and the flu. Various compounds in chicken soup boosts immune function, clears congestion and lowers inflammation. The water, salt and gelatin in the broth also help to keep the body hydrated. This soup recipe calls for parsley in the broth thereby raising the Vitamin K level to 163% per serving. Vitamin K also helps boost immune function.
You can simply season a hot bowl of chicken soup with salt and pepper at the table. A squeeze of lemon juice is also delicious, if you have it. Try adding snips of fresh dill when available. I snip dill fronds over the soup bowl with a pair of scissors. For a spicy shot of probiotics, eat soup with kimchi. Or sprinkle sliced chives or scallions on top.
What can I serve with chicken noodle soup?
Try the classic soup and salad or soup and half-sandwich combo. Crispy crackers offer textural contrast. If you are on the keto diet, then add more chicken meat. If you are on a low-carb diet, you can add egg-noodles or other pasta for a cozy bowl of comfort. Rice is nice too. If you use uncooked rice, then cook the rice in the broth for 20 minutes. The rice will soak up the flavor of the broth. If you have leftover cooked rice, you can just add that to hot soup. You can also try it with other whole grains like kasha, wild rice or farro. If you include bread in your diet, you can serve a small piece of bread on the side.Print
Homemade chicken soup from scratch is scientifically proven to be good medicine. This is my mother's good, basic recipe for delicious soup that is nourishing and restorative for both body and soul. The soup is made with a base of collagen-rich homemade bone broth that is loaded with vitamins and minerals from simmering carrots, celery, parsley, onion, garlic, bay leaf, black peppercorns and chicken bones. Then chicken meat, carrots, noodles and a bit of fresh dill are added to the soup at the end.
1 whole chicken
2 quarts water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
A pinch (less than ⅛ teaspoon) ground turmeric
1 bunch parsley, rinsed
1 medium onion, cut in half, skin on
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 cup egg noodles (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 sprig fresh dill ( you can also use parsley, thyme or chives)
- Rinse chicken under cold running water until the water runs clear.
- Place chicken, 2 quarts cold water, bay leaf, peppercorns, turmeric, parsley, onion, garlic, carrots and celery in a a stock pot big enough to hold a whole chicken plus 2 quarts of water.
- Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. While the soup is boiling, skim the scum that rises to the surface. You need to do this a few times. When there is less scum, turn down the heat to a low simmer, cover with a lid and let it cook for about 30 minutes.
- For the best flavor don't over cook the chicken meat. If you prefer your chicken meat to taste like chicken meat and not soggy shreds, add it back at the end. Use long tongs to remove the chicken from the soup as soon as the meat is cooked through and no longer raw, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large platter to cool. Let the chicken cool for about 20-30 minutes. Keep the soup simmering while the chicken cools. When chicken has cooled, remove meat from the carcass. You can use your fingers, two forks or tongs for this. Set aside meat, cover and refrigerate. Then put the carcass back into the soup and simmer for 1-2 hours to extract the gelatin, flavor and nutrients from the bones and cartilage. Chop or shred meat into bite-sized pieces, cover and set aside in the refrigerator.
- Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer set over large bowl or pot. Use the back of a ladle to press down on vegetables to squeeze out as much stock as you can. Discard solids. Return broth to clean dry pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat.
- Keep the fat in the soup! Sometimes called schmaltz, schmaltz is the chicken fat rendered while cooking chicken. I don't know who came up with the lame idea to strain chicken fat out of broth just to throw it away (probably the same people who want you to throw away egg yolks), but that's where all the delicious flavor is. Unless you are straining the fat to use in other recipes, don't be wasteful. Leave the fat and flavor in the soup.
- Add chicken meat, sliced carrot, and egg noodles to the stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve by garnishing with freshly snipped herbs.
Tip: After ladling hot soup into bowl for serving, use scissors to snip dill fronds over soup for a decorative, aromatic garnish.
Note: If you omit egg noodles, then a serving of soup is 5 grams total carbs.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Boil
- Cuisine: American