Cheaters’ Chicken Noodle Soup (for the Under-the-Weather Soul)

I’d like to say that I am not the under-the-weather person who inspired this post, but, alas, I am. Sniffles, coughing, headache and sore throat are the symptoms that I felt as I kicked off the weekend by heading to bed at 8:45 on Friday night.

Wanting nothing more than some steamy soup to comfort me, I fondly remembered how my Grandma Sloan used to always make a batch of chicken noodle soup whenever I wasn’t feeling well, and deliver it to my house at what seemed like a moment’s notice. I’ve asked Grandma for her recipe many times over the years, but she never had one to give. She simply put it together based on what seemed like the right amounts. I never understood it at the time, but now as a chef, I can completely understand.

I call this “Cheater’s Chicken Noodle Soup”, because, lets face it, when you’re not feeling well, the last thing you want to be doing is making stock, poaching chicken, and chopping it up. I use a rotisserie chicken for this soup and some boxed, low-sodium chicken broth so that I can put it together quickly and without too much fuss. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can simmer the broth with the chicken bones to fortify it for about 15 minutes, then drain the broth and discard the bones. This will give  a richer flavor to the broth.

Serve with a side of Kleenex. Enjoy!

Cheater’s Chicken Noodle Soup


1 1/2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and cut into medium chunks
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into medium chunks
1 cup egg noodles
1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, and shredded off the bone
*reserve carcass if you want to fortify the boxed broth
1/4 cup freshly chopped dill
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
As needed, Kosher Salt and pepper


Heat a medium sized stock pot over high heat. Using a small amount of oil, saute the onions until they are slightly browned. Pour some of the chicken broth into the stock pot,  and use a wooden spoon to scratch off the nicely caramelized fond off the bottom of the pot. Add the rest of the stock. If you are going to use the chicken carcass, add the carcass to the broth and simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Remove the carcass and strain the broth. 

Return the broth to the stock pot and add the parsnips and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the noodles. Cook until they are tender, and add the dill, parsley and chicken. Simmer all together for about 15 minutes or until the soup is heated through. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to your liking.

What’s your favorite food when you’re feeling under-the-weather?

Photo credit: Ryan Guill

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