Simple Chicken Soup with Noodles or Rice

I keep noodles and rice separate from my soup unless I am serving the whole pot at a single meal, to avoid the noodle or rice from bloating and becoming overcooked and mushy in texture. Chicken-vegetable soup? Skip both and simply add diced tomatoes and chopped zucchini or drained cannellini/white beans and spinach to your vegetable preparation.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 tablespoons olive oil

2 carrots, peeled

2 ribs celery with leafy tops

1 large or 2 small onions, peeled

1 leek, cleaned

Salt and pepper

2 large cloves garlic, chopped, optional

4 cups cooked chicken (bite-sized pieces or pulled meat)

3 quarts chicken stock 

8 ounces egg noodles, medium, wide or thin, OR 1 cup white or brown rice

Neutral oil, for drizzling

1 small lemon

Fresh herbs, such as:

1/2 cup dill and parsley, finely chopped

Chiffonade (very thinly sliced) of tarragon or basil

Combined finely chopped parsley and mint


  1. Heat a soup pot over medium to medium-high heat, add olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add carrots, celery, onion, leeks–chop these items, then drop into the soup pot as you work, chopping as close as possible to the pot itself. (Use a bench scraper to move and scoop the vegetables form the cutting board to pot.) Add salt and pepper and partially cover the pot, reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes to soften, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Add garlic, stir, then add chicken and stock and heat to low boil. Simmer until ready to serve or while you prepare noodles or rice.
  2. Prepare either noodles or rice to package directions and cook separately from the soup. Add a drizzle of neutral oil to noodles once cooked to keep them from sticking if stored.  
  3. Finish soup with juice of 1 small lemon, halved and squeezed cut-side up to keep seeds with lemon. Stir in dill and parsley or herbs of choice.   
  4. Place about 1/2 cup rice or 3/4 cup noodles in a bowl and top with ladles of soup.
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