Janet's Notebook
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Feeds Heart & Soul

Homemade Chicken Soup

The only things going around faster than the sniffles this time of year, are steaming bowls of homemade chicken soup! As Chief Soup Ladeler for my family, it pays to have a few go-to recipes on hand at all times. And with pickiness at a peak when the family's not feeling well, variety truly is the key to this cook's success!

Many of my own favorite recipes can be called classic. A terrific example of classic done right is home cook Shannon Smith's take on Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul. This has been a longtime favorite in the Test Kitchen and has soothed many an ailing soul.

"This classic comfort food always hits the spot when the weather starts to get cold," smiles Shannon, who encourages experimentation with the base recipe. "Whatever you have on hand will work!"

In fact, we really like this recipe for that very reason: its versatility. Shannon's recipe calls for all the basics - veggies, chicken base, water, hearty noodles - and it frees each of us up to toss in our patients' favorite flavors. (We have a kale fan in our house!) For such a terrifically simple soup, it is unexpectedly flavorful and a great way to fill a gray day with something warm and soothing.

Bringing more of a kick than a hug is Karen Hambrick's recipe for Poblano Chicken Chowder! This is a yummy chicken soup that will open minds (and sinuses!) to the joy of spice.

"Poblanos are my new favorite pepper!!" smiles Karen, who prefers them over their cousins, the jalapeno. "The pepper itself is not very spicy at all, but the ribs and seeds carry some heat."

Not a fan of hot and spicy? No problem. While we prefer to leave in a fair amount of heat, you can easily adjust the spice level of this kicky soup to suit your liking. Carefully remove all traces of those seeds and ribs, and the heat will be kept to a minimum while leaving the flavor intact. Karen's mom is a fan of this technique.

"My mom - who does not like things spicy - loves this chowder and did not sense any heat!"

Another of our sniffle-soothing go-tos comes from Kentucky's Jan Mullikin. Jan won the very first Just A Pinch Recipe contest with her Cream of Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Soup, and it has remained a big favorite of us here in the Test Kitchen.

Part of the appeal of this wonderful soup is its lush creaminess; it truly is comfort in a bowl. With delightfully strong flavor from the fire-roasted peppers, the soup serves up a unique earthiness that warms you through and through.

"The flavor is rich and slightly smoky," explains Jan. "And there's no heat in this dish, so don't shy away from it just because of its name."

Jan recommends using leftover rotisserie chicken for her recipe, a tip that we've used time and again in many a dish. After all, easy preparation is priceless in a pinch!

Each of these terrific soups can be made and served up quickly, or stored for those moments when you just need a little extra comfort in your day. Laughter may be the best medicine... but chicken soup is a darn close second.

More Stories... Subscribe to RSS

Megan Todd - Mar 19, 2013
Mama's "Feel Better" Chicken Soup

Speaking of illnesses this time of year.... they're flying through my house. It never fails when they get sick, they request Mama's "Feel Better" Chicken Soup! & beings as they are my babies, they get what they want! Especially when they're sick.

Since my daughter doesn't eat meat, I will take out some of the soup and transfer to another bowl before I add thecthechicken, (I add it last), she'll have the broth. But not the meat, so I can satisfy my vegetarian and she gets a njce dose of mama's love too! I almost always make my Blue Moon Roasted Crock Pot Chicken prior to making this soup, it gives the soup a wonderful flavor... plus the homemade broth! Can't lose with this one :) everyone had some last night, & they're feeling much better today!
Brenda Watts - Mar 5, 2013
OMGoosh...Love This...Brings Back some Wonderful Memories of My Sweet Grandma..My grandma would make this "Slap Yo Mama"AWESOME Chicken Noodle Soup she would make it all from scratch..she made the Noodles with eggs and flour and the rest from leftovers of Sundays Roasted Chicken and Vegies and the broth even from leftover chicken stock..She would make enough for an Army..and you could Smell the Fantastic Flavors Cooking From Miles Away..YUM...Thank you for this Great Post..Awesome and Very Helpful Reading :-)