simple weeknight chicken soup
Recipe type: soup
  • 2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 stalks celery, medium-diced
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, medium-diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, medium dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • optional - 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 10 cups (80 ounces) chicken stock, or more if needed – if you have homemade stock, great! I did not, so I used 2.5 32 oz boxes of organic chicken stock.
  • 1 cup small pasta such as Fregola Sarda, tubetini, stars, orzo or 2 cups wide-egg noodles – I used Fregola Sarda pasta as I wanted a chewier and firmer pasta, and I'm not a big fan of using egg noodles as they tend to get soggy.
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the chicken breasts for 35 to 45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. The breasts I get locally are always huge, so they usually take between 45-60 minutes. I always use my meat thermometer here and take the chicken out when it reaches an internal temperature of 165º.
  4. Note: For time efficiency, the chicken can be roasted and shredded up ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed.
  5. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, discard the skin, shred the chicken meat, and set aside. I usually do this step when my broth is simmering, see below.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, you can prep all of the ingredients. Wash and chop up the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, parsley and measure out your cup of pasta. Be casual when chopping up your veggies, I just did a medium dice. They don't have to be tiny or perfectly uniform in size. That's what I love about making soup, nothing has to be perfect, it's sort of like life, right?
  7. When the chicken has finished cooking, place a large soup pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, bay leaf and a hefty pinch of sea salt. Cook and stir for about 5-6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened, but not browned.
  8. Add in the 10 cups of chicken stock and bring the soup to a simmer. I turn up the heat to medium-high here. Just keep an eye on the soup and watch for bubbles start to break to the surface right before a full-boil.
  9. When the stock comes to simmer/boil, add in the 1-cup pasta and cook uncovered for 6 to 8 minutes for orzo or standard white pasta, and 10 minutes for the fregola pasta or egg noodles. I just set my timer for 10 minutes and the soup is perfect every time. You only want to cook the pasta till its tender, as the pasta will absorb the broth and continue to get tender as it sits in the soup.
  10. For time efficiency, I usually shred up my chicken while the pasta and vegetables are cooking away.
  11. Add the shredded chicken and parsley and heat through. This step only takes a minute or two if the chicken is still warm from the oven.
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Yep, that's all there is to it. I told you this was an easy soup to make. If you feel like you need to add a bit more stock because you had huge chicken breasts, or you just like more stock in your soup, then feel free to add more at this point.
  13. Feel free to add in some fresh spinach at the end along with the chicken and parsley. It helps boost up the nutritional value of the soup.
  14. This truly is an easy weeknight chicken soup that the whole family will love, and it's the perfect soup to deliver to a friend or loved one during the cold and flu season! I hope that this soup becomes a family favorite in your house!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: serves 6
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at