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Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup
From The City Tavern: Recipes from the Birthplace of American Cuisine, ©2009 by Walter Staib

In colonial times, chickens were raised mainly for their eggs, which were prized for baking. Older chickens that no longer produced eggs were then used in stews and soups like this one. These chickens normally were fattier than younger hens, and colonial housewives used this to their advantage by rendering the fat to use as a flavorful alternative to butter or lard in other dishes. Adding egg noodles, a traditional German preparation, lent texture to the soup and served as a means of transforming the soup into a more hearty meal that could feed an entire family.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 quarts Chicken Stock
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 pound boneless chicken (white or dark meat), cooked and chopped
  • 8 ounces Egg Noodles , cooked and drained
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat, until softened and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the celery and carrots, and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes more, until softened.

Stir in the stock and thyme, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the stock is reduced by one-third.

Lift out the thyme and add the chicken and egg noodles. Simmer until heated and season with salt and pepper.

Serve the soup in a tureen or in individual bowls garnished with parsley.

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12 Responses to Chicken Noodle Soup

  1. James DiLeo

    I’m about ready to eat my second pot of this soup. It is easily the best chicken noodle soup that I have ever had. So simple to make, just requires a little time. Please do yourself a favor and give it a try.

    • We’re so glad you’re enjoying it. Nothing beats from scratch comfort food, especially the homemade dishes from our founding fathers. Isn’t amazing they soothed aches and colds and warded off cold with the same soup recipe we enjoy today?

  2. alan dougherty

    i watched your show great chicken soup great wanted youe osters i think rockafello, want your book

  3. isaw show chicken soup great want your osters,i would your book

  4. Joyce Dunn

    Oh, I just love all this! About 16 years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Colonial Williamsburg and ate at the Kings Tavern. I had “East Indies Trading Company Fried Chicken” and have searched for that recipe diligently to no avail. I do remember cinnamon and nutmeg were two of the spices in the batter but nothing else. It was lovely and light and made you want to lick your lips to try figuring out the elusive flavors in the batter. Have you done that and is the recipe available? I could not find it on the Williamsburg site.

    Thank you,



  6. Ligia Sequeira

    I would like to get your recipe from today’s show.
    Beef tripe stew/soup as I couldn’t find it in your program.



  7. I thoroughly enjoy Chef Staib…….I love Colonial cooking and I love the East Coast and all the places that I went to visit as a child and I wish I could come back hop a train and travel up and down stopping everywhere especially Williamsburg!


  8. Debbie Prothero

    My family has been making chicken noodle soup for many generations. I come from a German heritage in Northwest Iowa. We make our own noodles use a very large pot because everyone has at least two helpings. I like to add fresh rosemary and basil along with the thyme. Everyone looks forward to my visits home because they know Mom will be making this wonderful soup. If there are any leftovers, we drain the broth and fry the noodles the next morning to serve with eggs for breakfast. You have to let them get a nice brown color on them. Yum

    • Thanks for writing! There is nothing better than simple, homemade chicken noodle soup. We haven’t tried browning the noodles the next day, but you’ve inspired us and now we will!

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