We all have our own version of this classic soup. Some of us even have a recipe that’s been handed down by our parents or grandparents! Since you know I love to cook with what’s in season, my spin on the classic chicken noodle soup has corn and saffron. As we approach the very end of corn season, there’s no better time to make this satisfying soup.
When it comes to chicken noodle soup, I have one non-negotiable: homemade chicken stock. There’s no way around it! Homemade stock adds a depth of flavor that boxed stock will never measure up to. Of course, if you don’t have time to make stock, store-bought will be just fine. I like to plan for a soup night right after a roast chicken night. I’ll put the chicken carcass in my Instant Pot and I’ll have homemade stock on my hands in under an hour!
There are three main components to any chicken noodle soup: the protein, the vegetables, and the noodles. I use a combination of both dark and white meat chicken. I also like to go with a classic mirepoix (carrot, celery, onion) when it comes to the vegetables.
Pro tip: If you ever want to feel like a French chef, saute a mirepoix in butter. I can guarantee your kitchen will smell incredible!
As for the noodles, I love classic egg noodles, but you can play around here! For a gluten-free version, try a box of chickpea pasta, brown rice pasta or any of your favorite gluten-free pastas on the market.
- 8 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 pounds assorted chicken parts, including both halves of a split breast, a thigh, a wing, the neck and giblets (except the liver)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 1 1/2 cups finely diced carrots
- 3/4 cup finely diced celery
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
- 4 ounces dried wide egg noodles
- 1/4 teaspoon roughly crumbled saffron threads
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups canned or thawed corn kernels, drained
- 2 tablespoons minced celery leaves
- In a large pot, combine the stock and chicken pieces. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally and skimming as necessary, until the chicken is just cooked through while remaining juicy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Strain and degrease the broth and reserve it. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin, bones and cartilage; dice the meat into ½-inch cubes.
- In the same pot, over low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the vegetables are almost tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add the noodles, saffron and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and corn and simmer until heated through and the noodles are very tender, another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and celery leaves. Adjust the seasoning. Serve hot.
- (The soup can be prepared completely up to 3 days in advance. After the noodles have simmered for 3 minutes, remove the soup from the heat and cool to room temperature. Add the chicken and corn, cover and refrigerate. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally; do not overcook.)
- Note: Soup can also be prepared with other types of noodles, like gluten-free or chickpea pasta.
With fall in full swing, it’s always a good idea to have a chicken noodle soup recipe up your sleeve. I hope you’ll try this take on the classic and let me know what you think in the comments section below.