The Best Old Thyme Chicken Noodle Soup with Winter Vegetables

Best AllThis soup is a vintage recipe that was passed down to me by my mother and her mother… Its timeless qualities deserve an encore post, so, here it is for those of you who didn’t happen upon it last year.

For the past several months, Once Upon a Spice has been spreading the love, warmth and talents of blogs that we admire. In the interim, we’ve been stock piling original recipes and photos which we plan to share in the coming months. Many of our new recipes go back, way back-into the archives of recipes (receipts) from the beginning of time. They all tell a comprehensive story; chock full of deep flavors and rich history. To be continued…

Few things are as warm and satisfying as a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup on a cold winter’s day; Campbell built a legacy of it all on its own. This soup is different in that it’s somewhat of a double process; using stock instead of water for tremendous depths of flavors. You can purchase a good store bought stock if you are in a time crunch, but the recipe as stated is simple and pure heaven. Serve with crusty bread slathered with pure, organic, creamy butter and a side salad of choice.

Soup Ingredients

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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 rutabaga or parsnip, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 2-3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts chicken stock, recipe follows (good quality store bought may be substituted, but the recipe below is SO worth the effort)
  • 8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Chicken Stock:

  • 1 whole free-range chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), rinsed, giblets discarded
  • 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
  • 2 large white onions, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 1 large yam or sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 turnip, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped rough
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns



Place chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in just enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts); too much will make the broth taste weak. Toss in thyme, parsley, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 ½-2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.

Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When it’s cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container.

Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve (or through cheesecloth) into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Use the stock immediately or if you plan to store it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze.


Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add vegetables, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving. Makes approximately 2 quarts

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