We chose to use chicken leg quarters rather than a whole chicken to make this well-loved soup. It shortens the cooking time without sacrificing any flavor, and the dark meat adds extra depth. Carrots, celery and onion are called for twice in the recipe—first they’re simmered whole along with the chicken and aromatics to create a rich and flavorful broth. After straining them out, sliced vegetables are added to the soup to finish it. Nothing is as simple, comforting and satisfying.
Add 3 of the carrots, 3 stalks of the celery, half the onion, the chicken, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf to a large stock pot. Separate the parsley leaves from the stems and reserve the leaves. Add the stems to the pot. Cover with 3 quarts water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the broth is golden and the chicken is cooked through, 40 to 50 minutes.
Use tongs to remove the chicken from the pot and put in a large bowl to cool. Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl or other container. Discard the solids. Wipe out the stockpot and pour the strained broth back into the pot.
Cut the remaining 2 carrots diagonally into 1/4-slices. Cut the remaining 2 celery stalks into 1/2-inch slices. Dice the remaining half of the onion. Add the cut vegetables to the stock and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the noodles until al dente, about 5 minutes, then drain and reserve.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and tear the meat into bite-size pieces. Discard the bones and skin. Add the meat back to the pot along with the cooked noodles. Chop the reserved parsley leaves and add to the pot. Season with 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt and some pepper and bring to a simmer to reheat.
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