Happiness Is: Betsy’s Cure-All Chicken Noodle Soup

Good for what ails you…home-styled comfort for a rough day or a cold night.

Around here the leaves have turned and fallen, the wind is cold and blustery outside, the fat bird has sung its Thanksgiving song and all that remains are the memories…and few extra pounds, perhaps!

It’s a fun time of year, but a stressful one. The weather keeps changing, the baking and gift giving frenzy is upon us, and with all of that can come an unwelcome cold or case of the flu, or maybe just a touch of the holiday blues.

Fear not, dear ones, I have just the thing for you!

My Cure-All Chicken Noodle Soup is simple and simply comforting. It’s the thing to have after all the stuffing and overstuffing of the Thanksgiving holiday, and to recover with before the next round of partying and eating. Over the years I’ve found that is has the power to not only ward-off oncoming illness, but to surely make anyone with the sniffles or blues feel warm and loved. Even the steam off the bowl is good for clearing your sinuses! Additionally, this bowl of goodness will take the edge off of your hectic day and remind you of cozy comforters and a warm fire in the fireplace. Granted, in some cases it may not replace antibiotics in terms of a cure-all, but it sure can’t hurt!

This soup is wonderful accompanied by a slice of cheese toast. And if you feel so inclined to gild the lily, you can add a few drops of fresh lemon juice and a small bit of sour cream to your bowl to mix in for a little extra comfort and joy. Mmmm, mmm, good!

Betsy’s Cure-All Chicken Noodle Soup
Makes 8 servings

To Start:

3 bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin
1 trimmed and peeled carrot cut into 3-inch pieces
1 1/2 stalks of celery with leaves cut into 3-inch pieces
2 quarters of a peeled onion
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 springs of fresh thyme
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
10 cups of water

Bring the above ingredients to a boil in a large stock pot, reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the chicken breasts are just done through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts from the stock and set aside to cool, reserving the stock. Strain the stock to remove the vegetables and herbs, then place it back into the pot. While the stock is cooling and when the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and the meat from the bones, and chop the meat into bite sized pieces. Reserve the meat. Skim fat off the top of the stock and discard the fat. Bring the stock back to a boil and add:

3 1/2 cups dried curly or flat, sturdy egg noodles
2 leeks trimmed and sliced, white and light green parts only
2 large carrots peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 1/2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced

Cook the noodles in the stock with the leeks, carrots and celery according to the time on the noodle package directions. When the noodles are done and just tender, add:

3/4 cup dry full-bodied white wine, such as chardonnay
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh button mushrooms
the reserved chicken meat
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Allow the soup to simmer until the mushrooms are done, about 5-8 minutes. Serve in bowls and enjoy!


55 thoughts on “Happiness Is: Betsy’s Cure-All Chicken Noodle Soup

    • Hi Barb, and I’m so sorry to hear you have a cold! I made this to take to my mom’s at Thanksgiving…she had a cold and I like to think this soup helped! šŸ™‚ Wish I could send some your way… sure hope you feel better soon.


  1. I just made one on Sunday, because yes indeed, I came down with a doozy! I never put the skin in my soup because I usually don’t have time to let it cool to skim off the fat, even though I know it adds flavour. I usually throw in a 1/4 of a fresh lemon. One thing for sure with either version, you can bet there is NEVER enough!


    • Oh no, Eva! Are you and Barb trading the same cold? I’m so sorry to hear you’re sick, but glad you have some soup on hand. Sometimes I use the skin and sometimes not. It does add so much flavor, but yes, the cooling to skim is extra time. As I mentioned, sometimes when I’m sick I like to add the lemon to the bowl, and a little sour cream to make it smoother and more comforting. I’ve never made the soup with the lemon cooked in it…but sounds delicious! Hope you feel better very soon. šŸ™‚


  2. When I was still working and felt a cold coming on, I’d stop at a grocery on the way home and start a pot of soup. As the cold ran its course, I sipped on broth, at times, and ate chicken noodle soup, at others. There’s nothing like a warm bowl of chicken noodle on a chilly day, Betsy. All that’s missing in your opening photo is the aroma. It looks delicious!


    • I do wish we had an aroma feature on WP, wouldn’t that be great…or interesting at least! šŸ™‚ Thanks for your lovely comment, John. Chicken soup always makes me feel good, or better if I wasn’t feeling well already. And it’s one of those great soups for which everyone has their own version.


    • Oh Karista, I really wish I could send you some. I actually took some of this soup to my mom in AL over the holiday…she had a cold and it helped! She was well by the time we left…I’d like to think the soup helped a teensy bit! šŸ˜‰ Hugs to you, too, and get well very soon, you hear?


  3. Your soup is very special and I think it would just about cure anything that ailed you. I like your addition of wine and mushrooms and of course cheese toast on the side. It is rainy, nasty and damp even in Hong Kong Today and this sounds like the perfect solution for keeping everyones spirits high. Take care, BAM


    • Thank you, Bam, I’m so glad you like this. A rainy, nasty day would be the perfect time to make this soup! It is so comforting on so many levels…the ingredients, the warmth of a bowl of soup, and the fact that we all grew up hearing and associating chicken soup with making you feel better. I don’t know how much of it is the soup and how much of it is mental…but it works for me! šŸ™‚


  4. I saw this post the other day using my phone, and wanted to pop in and say thank you as it was a lovely prompt for me to make some chicken soup – I still have a huge pan left over, it’s only me that eats it šŸ™‚ more for me I say šŸ™‚


    • Hi Claire! Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know that my post prompted you to make this soup…so nice of you to do that! šŸ™‚ I actually froze some of ours, which I haven’t done before and we haven’t thawed it yet, so I can’t tell you if that works well or not. But I can’t imagine it would hurt it…the noodles may get a little mushy, though. Hope you have a great weekend!


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