Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min
Serves: 12

Everything you have ever heard about the soothing powers of a good homemade chicken soup is absolutely true. But the unmatched wholesome taste is justification enough to make it from scratch – versus opening a can. The secret flavor ingredient here – fresh parsnips. Yes, it’s worthwhile using them, ask any bubba.


1 whole chicken
3 lb (1.4 kg) bone-in, skin on chicken pieces
16 cups (4 L) water
2 onions, quartered
2 carrots peeled and cut into large pieces
2 parsnip, peeled and cut into large pieces
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp (15 mL) salt
2 tsp (10 mL) thyme, dried
4 bay leaves
3 oz (90 g) fettuccine
3 oz (90 g) egg noodles
fresh herbs for garnish such as parsley, coriander or fresh thyme (optional)


1 At least a day before serving, pour water into a large saucepan or pasta pot and set over high heat. If using a whole chicken, cut into pieces, leaving the skin on as it adds tons of flavor. First turn chicken on its back and cut out the back bone. Cut off wings. Slice each leg into drumsticks and thighs. Slice each breast into 2 halves. Drop all but breasts into the boiling water. Cover and when it returns to the boil, reduce heat and boil gently.
2 Prepare vegetables and add to water as soon as each is cut. Stir in the whole garlic cloves, salt, thyme and bay leaves. Adjust heat so soup simmers and cook, uncovered for 30 minutes.
3 Then stir soup and submerge breasts in the broth. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove chicken to a bowl. Pour the remaining broth and vegetables into a large sieve or colander set in a large bowl. Remove the sieve from the bowl of broth, draining excess liquid back into the broth. Refrigerate broth until a pale fat layer congeals on the surface, preferably overnight.
4 Turn the contents of the sieve unto a large cutting board. Discard bay leaves. Chop vegetables as large as you like and place in a self sealing bag or bowl. Remove skin and bones from chicken and discard. Coarsely chop chicken and add to cut up vegetables. Seal or cover and refrigerate.
5 The next day, skim the fat layer from the broth and discard. Pour broth into a large pan set over high heat. Add chicken and vegetables. Stir often until gently boiling. Then taste and add more thyme and salt if needed. A generous sprinkling of dried thyme will freshen the taste. Reduce heat to medium.
6 If using fettuccine, break into 3 or 4 shorter pieces. They will now measure about 1 cup (250 mL). While stirring soup, gradually sprinkle in noodles. Then boil gently, stirring often to keep them separated, until done as you like. This will take 15 to 18 minutes. Serve piping hot with a sprinkle of chopped parsley or fresh thyme. Refrigerated, this soup keeps well for 3 days or if frozen, at least 2 months. If making ahead, however, for perfectly cooked noodles it’s best to hold off adding and cooking noodles until reheating the soup.