If you’re looking for a meal that tastes as warm and nourishing as a giant hug, this chicken soup from scratch is what you need. It’s the ultimate feel-better meal!

Hello, March. Why is it that every year I have such high hopes for you? I envision you in sunglasses and a little cute dress, but instead you arrive grumpy and gray, dressed in a tattered old coat with a trash bag full of germs and allergies. Pmphffff. This year things are going to be different. This restorative, nourishing chicken soup comes together in under an hour but tastes like it simmered all day. It’s rich yet light and is the ultimate feel-better meal. (Video below!)

Quick chicken soup from scratch (to beat the blues)

I’m a spring baby, and nothing gets me more excited than longer days and the sounds of birds chirping. While March promises good things to come, she can be a real bit$%. My body doesn’t quite know how to handle the change in seasons, and inevitably I come down with sniffles and aches. This year, I’m going to arm myself with nutritional powerhouses to shield us from the season’s snotty sneezes, like these superfood smoothies and this chicken soup.

Close up of a ladle spooning out chicken noodle soup.

I was hit with the flu in early January, and James whipped up a batch of this chicken soup while I was curled up on the couch watching Parent Trap with Ella (the original version—I’m happy to report that Ella loved it just as much as I do). It was the best thing I had tasted in my ENTIRE LIFE!

Overhead shot of a bowl of chicken soup from scratch.

Chicken soup for the soul (did I really just say that?)

Ok, I might be known to exaggerate now and then, but seriously, nothing could have been more satisfying than that golden elixir after having been sick for two days. Forget the cliché, there’s something so sincerely nourishing about a rich bowl of chicken noodle soup. This version comes together in under an hour, but I swear to you that it tastes like grandma or nonna or babushka spent hours tending to it at the stove.

Homemade chicken soup recipe from scratch

The secret is to make an enriched stock by using bone-in chicken thighs as well as low-sodium chicken broth (we use store-bought, but if you happen to have homemade stock, then all the better). The thighs get simmered with carrots, celery, garlic and herbs until tender. The meat then gets shredded and added back into the soup along with noodles. The soup is finished with a generous dose of fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten things up.

Close up of a bowl of chicken noodle soup with a spoon.

Can you make this chicken soup in the slow cooker?

Yes! To make this soup in a slow cooker, sauté the onion, carrots, celery and garlic as directed in the recipe. Scrape them into a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker, and add the remaining ingredients, excluding the noodles, lemon juice and parsley. Cook until the chicken is fork tender and pulls easily off the bone, about 6-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. In the meantime, cook the pasta in a pot on the stove according to the package directions. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred the meat, discarding the bones. Scrape the meat back into the slow cooker, along with the cooked noodles, lemon juice and parsley. Season to taste and serve!

Hugs for dinner

We’ve since made the soup several times, and the girls literally fall into silence when it hits the table, slurping their way through two- to-three bowls without stopping. It’s a meal that feels like a giant hug, and I’d argue it’s as good for the figurative heart as it is for the physical body.

Especially if you can get somebody else to make it for you. 😊

Tips for making homemade chicken noodle soup:

  • This soup can be cooked in a large pot, dutch oven or even slow cooker (see above for slow cooking instructions)!
  • Be sure to sauté the onions, carrots and celery until they’re soft and tender before adding the rest of the ingredients. This will draw out the most flavor.
  • Bone-in chicken thighs create a rich, cooked-all-day flavor. Be sure to remove the skin before adding the thighs, otherwise the soup will be greasy. (You could use bone-in chicken breasts if you prefer, but the meat will be drier.)
  • Finishing the soup with fresh lemon juice and parsley brightens up all the flavors.
  • Season the soup well with salt and pepper, which are critical for flavor.
  • Feel free to add in other flavors or spices! You could add a Parmigiano Reggiano rind to enrich the broth; swap out the thyme for ginger and curry powder; and/or throw in a few handfuls of spinach at the end!

Other soups to try:

Watch the video!

Get the recipe!

Chicken Soup from Scratch (in Under an Hour!)

This restorative, nourishing chicken noodle soup comes together in under an hour but tastes like it simmered all day. It’s rich yet light and is the ultimate feel-better meal. If you make the soup ahead, the noodles will thicken it quite a bit. I don’t mind how they soak everything up (I just thin it out with a bit more broth), but if you prefer a less thick soup, cook the noodles separately, and then add them right before serving. We love to serve this soup with grated Parmesan cheese on top and plenty of buttered baguette on the side.

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken noodle soup from scratch, chicken soup from scratch, quick chicken noodle soup recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 -6 people
Author Nicki Sizemore

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 4 medium stalks celery, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 ¼ pounds), skin removed and discarded
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 ounces noodles (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Scrape in the garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken thighs, broth, water and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Let simmer, for 15-20 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and tender.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Coarsely shred the meat. Transfer the meat back into the pot, and bring the soup back to a simmer. Add the noodles. Simmer until the noodles are tender (the cooking time will vary according to the type of noodles you use).
  4. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, and season well with salt and pepper.

Recipe Notes

Do Ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. If needed, thin with chicken broth or water.

Tips:

  • This soup can be cooked in a large pot, dutch oven or even slow cooker (see above for slow cooking instructions)!
  • Be sure to sauté the onions, carrots and celery until they’re soft and tender before adding the rest of the ingredients. This will draw out the most flavor.
  • Bone-in chicken thighs create a rich, cooked-all-day flavor. Be sure to remove the skin before adding the thighs, otherwise the soup will be greasy. (You could use bone-in chicken breasts if you prefer, but the meat will be drier.)
  • Finishing the soup with fresh lemon juice and parsley brightens up all the flavors.
  • Season the soup well with salt and pepper, which are critical for flavor.
  • Feel free to add in other flavors or spices! You could add a Parmigiano Reggiano rind to enrich the broth; swap out the thyme for ginger and curry powder; and/or throw in a few handfuls of spinach at the end!

Stay Connected!

I’d love to hear what you’re cooking, and I’m happy to answer any questions! Be sure to tag any photos so that I can share! @FromScratchFast

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