I’m intentionally sharing chicken noodle soup as my first post of the year because more than any other dish, this soup represents hope and healing. And I’m hopeful this year will be a healing one.
After the year we’ve had, I’m convinced that we could all use a bowl of soup right about now. And not just any soup, but a substantial soup made with chicken, noodles, vegetables, and broth. A restorative soup that’s soul-soothing, heart-warming, and nostalgia-inducing.
This recipe has all the ingredients you’d expect to find in a classic chicken noodle soup, plus a few additions that really should belong in every recipe, like garlic, ginger, turmeric, and a bit of cayenne too.
This winter, I’ve been making chicken noodle soup more frequently than in years past. This soup has been in our regular dinner rotation. It makes quite a bit, so I pack extra soup to send to work with my husband (a healthcare worker who thankfully recently got his vaccine). I also keep some in the freezer – just in case.
Everyone who has tried this chicken soup really likes it – my young kids, my (picky) husband, our friends, and neighbors. For this reason, I feel pretty good about stating that this might just be one of the best chicken noodle soup recipes out there.
And while that statement might be debatable (I’m not bold enough to challenge anyone’s grandma’s chicken noodle soup or anything), one thing I can say with absolute confidence, something that is indisputable, is that my method for making this soup is the easiest and fastest out there. This chicken noodle soup is an almost pour and cook instant pot recipe, with perfect results every time.
Why use an Instant Pot?
To make this soup, you saute onions, celery, ginger, and garlic, then pour nearly all the ingredients (except carrots and noodles) into an instant pot and cook for 5 minutes, with a quick release.
Why do I add the carrots and noodles at the end? Because we are pressure cooking soup, which calls for a considerable amount of liquid, and as a result, the pot will take a while to preheat and build pressure. If we were to add the carrots and noodles to the pot at the start, they would turn to mush in the time the pot takes to build pressure.
Instead, we boil them at the end, just before serving, which results in tender carrots and perfectly cooked pasta.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes! I suggest freezing it before adding the noodles. That way, you can pull it out and add freshly cooked noodles. It’s fine if you want to freeze it with the noodles; it’ll still be good.
I suggest keeping a batch of this soup in the freezer – that way, if you are in need of some healthy comfort food, you can pull it out, add noodles, and have a nourishing meal ready to eat.
A note about noodles + gluten-free noodles:
You can use any noodles you’d like in this soup. You’re adding them at the end and cooking until tender, so use what you like and follow the cooking time listed on the package.
My husband and kids love egg noodles in their soup. Gluten-free noodles work just as well – I like the gluten-free fettuccine available in the refrigerated section at some grocery stores (trader joe’s, whole foods, and giant eagle).
You don’t need to serve a side with this soup – the noodles make this hearty enough. Though some saltine crackers or a small loaf of bread won’t hurt.
Stay healthy and safe this season! I hope you enjoy the flavor and ease of making this comforting bowl of soup.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion diced (approx 2 to 3 cups diced)
- 1 ½ cups celery slices 3 sticks of celery
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, quartered
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne to taste
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups carrots coins approx 4 carrots peeled and chopped
- 8 ounces wide egg noodles or noodles of your choice gluten-free works too
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves plus extra for garnish
- Press sauté and adjust heat to the highest setting. Add butter and once it melts, add the onion, celery, garlic, ginger, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until onion softens and becomes translucent.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and mix well.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
- Quick-release pressure.
- Press the sauté button (the heat should still be on the highest setting - if not, adjust it), and add the carrots.
- Now wait for the pot to come to a full boil (this takes about 8 minutes), then add the noodles to the pot and mix well. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes uncovered, or until the noodles are tender.
- Add parsley, stir, taste for seasoning, and adjust if necessary.
- Pour into a bowl and garnish with additional parsley leaves and serve.
- Egg noodles absorb broth as they sit, you may need to add more broth when reheating leftovers.
- If using a different type of noodle, follow the cook time listed on the package