I love making this soup. It's delicious, simple, and extremely comforting on a cold day, or when you're feeling a bit under the weather. My method takes a bit of time, but it's not extremely labor intensive, and you can take shortcuts at any point to make it even easier. Due to the nature of this recipe, there are no exact proportions. You can make a large batch, as I usually do, or simply use less and make enough for a single meal. The amounts I do list will be for a rather large batch intended to have extra for freezing. Adjust as needed, and enjoy!
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken breasts (or thighs) 3-4 for a large batch (or leftover cooked chicken, if you've got it, with the bones if possible)
celery, with tops
carrots (save peelings!)
onion (save root and peeling!)
half recipe of homemade noodles (Recipe here) or egg noodles
chicken broth, about 8-12 cups for a large batch (or water, if you're using bones)
oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, bay leaves, or any herbs you like and have on hand. Fresh works best, dried will work too.
I will note extra steps in italics. Please note, extra step=extra flavor, but it is not necessary.
If you are using leftover cooked chicken, skip this step. Chop chicken into small, bite-size pieces. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté two whole cloves of garlic in butter until brown. Discard (or eat the cloves, they're delicious). Pan-fry chicken till cooked through. Set aside.
In a large stock-pot, (or sauce pan if you're making a smaller batch,) pour 8-12 cups chicken broth or water, and add carrot peelings (not the carrots themselves) onion peelings and root, (not the actual onion), celery tops (not the stalks), chicken bones, and any herbs you care to use. I particularly like rosemary, bay, and parsley, but whatever sounds good to you will most likely work. Let the pot simmer for at least an hour, covered. Strain the broth when you are ready to add your final ingredients. Return to pot. Alternately, you can simply skip this step and add your final ingredients to the plain chicken broth. I highly recommend the former instructions, though, as they'll take this above and beyond delicious. :)
While the broth is simmering, chop your carrots, celery and onion to bite size pieces, or minced, if you like. Also prepare a half batch of your noodles now. Add your chicken, carrots, celery and onion to the broth, and simmer until vegetables are tender. Add noodles slowly, especially if using homemade noodles, so they don't stick to each other. Let simmer until noodles are cooked through (they'll swell a bit) and then remove from heat. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!