Yi Hong’s Chicken Noodle Soup

A simple yet delicious one-pot-meal, great as comfort food or for nursing someone back to health. I make it with organic ingredients for maximum flavor and healthfulness.


For broth:
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1 large carrot, cut into large sections
1 bone-in whole chicken leg with skin
1 bone-in chicken breast with skin

For soup:
1 medium onion, sliced thin then diced
3 to 4 medium carrots, cut into short oblong slivers (about 1/8×1/8X1/2 inch)
1 large bunch lacinato kale
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dry rubbed sage
pure olive oil
black pepper
chicken meat and skin, reserved from broth
1/2 lb dry whole wheat spaghetti, broken into 1-inch sections

How to make

  1. To make the broth, place the bay leaves, onion quarters, and carrot in a deep stock pot. Place the chicken breast and chicken leg on top. Pour water into the pot until it covers the chicken by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the chicken pieces (tongs help), but allow the broth to keep simmering. Cool the chicken on a plate in the refrigerator until you can briefly handle it with your bare hands, about 15 minutes. Remove the bones as quickly as you can (don’t worry about shredding the meat right now) and put them back in the simmering broth. Keep simmering the broth until it has reached a total cooking time of 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Turn the heat off, remove broth ingredients by draining through a collander, and set aside.
  2. Separate the skin from the meat of the reserved chicken. Shred the meat with your fingers. Chop the skin into small pieces, similar to a fine dice.
  3. To make the soup, heat some olive oil in a deep soup pot over medium heat. Add a moderate amount of salt to the oil as it heats up. When the oil is warm, add the onion and carrot and stir to coat with oil. Saute until the onion is translucent, then add sage and thyme and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for another minute. Add the kale and reserved broth, adding extra water if necessary. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Add salt to taste, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add reserved chicken meat and skin, add more water if necessary, adjust seasonings (add more salt, thyme, and/or sage if you need to), and keep simmering for another 10 to 20 minutes. Soup is ready when carrot is fully tender and kale has turned a dark, slightly yellowed green.
  4. While the soup is simmering, cook the broken spaghetti in a separate pot of water until al dente. Drain, coat with olive oil, and set aside.
  5. To serve, place some spaghetti at the bottom of each bowl, then ladle the soup over. Serve with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Serves 6 to 10.

Note: If saving for leftovers, keep the spaghetti separate from the soup until ready to heat up again, so that the noodles do not become mushy from absorbing too much broth.

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