The Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe That Gets Me Through Winter

It was perfect for my first foray into the world of chicken soup.

Can I make a confession? Until recently, I'd never made chicken noodle soup. My childhood memories crowd with the smell and flavor of a certain tasty and salty canned version that never seemed to have enough noodles and always way too many chicken bits. Furthermore, this was the fare strictly reserved for when you were sick. There didn't seem to be much reason to eat it, otherwise.

In adulthood, chicken noodle soup stayed very much on the back burner—literally. There is no chicken noodle without the chicken. So unlike a few good chili recipes with great all-veggie adaptations, this was something my (mostly) vegetarian self never thought to make. There is one commandment, and only one, that exists in my kitchen: Thou shall not touch raw meat (hence the self-imposed vegetarianism). And every good chicken noodle soup recipe seemed to require me boiling a whole raw bird and making my own broth. Nope. No thanks.

Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup
Photography and Styling: Caitlin Bensel

However, a few weeks ago, I had chicken noodle on the brain as the temperatures dropped from boiling 90s to more tolerable 70s and 80s. That, it seems, is enough justification for an onslaught of all things cozy. Thus, I found myself casually scrolling through chicken noodle recipes, dreaming about a cozy bowl but not ready to take up the challenge. But, then I happened upon the Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, and suddenly, a whole new world was open to me.

As soon as I read "rotisserie," I ran to the store to stock up on ingredients. I'm hooked, because the recipe is easy and flexible. For a flippant, instructions-and-ingredients-are-suggestions type of cook, a foolproof recipe that is great pretty much any which way is always a standout.

My first substitution? Trader Joe's plain, pre-cooked chicken. Then, I swapped the egg noodles for ZENB's gluten-free yellow pea pasta, which had the same taste and consistency of regular noodles. I nearly axed the Italian seasoning, but after rummaging in the depths of the spice cabinet, I ended up finding a bottle.

After adding way more than the suggested quarter teaspoon of pepper, I ended up with a (slightly spicy) chicken noodle soup that smelled exactly like childhood and tasted pretty darn close to it, too. No raw-meat preparation required and with pasta I could actually eat.

This, my friends, is the chicken noodle soup that will be getting me through the winter.

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