Maximalist Chicken Noodle Soup

SERVES: 24 cups

This soup is all about the contrast of crisp crunchy fresh toppings and hot soul nourishing broth. If you want to make the soup in advance, you can prep the toppings ahead of time too, just be sure to keep them nice and chilled until serving.

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 2 hr 30 mins

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Produce

  • 4 white onions
  • 2 heads garlic
  • 5 celery stalks, plus their leaves
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 5” hand of ginger
  • 1 large bunch dill
  • 2 lemons

Pantry

  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces fresh ramen noodles or fresh spaghetti

Dairy

  • 3 ounce wedge parm

Protein

  • 1 4-4.5 pound whole chicken

1. Build the broth:

  • Quarter 3 white onions (you can leave the skins on). Cut two heads garlic in half crosswise (paper skins and all). Coarsely chop 3 celery stalks and 2 carrots. Thinly slice 5” hand of ginger crosswise (leaving the skin on is totally fine).
  • In a large pot, place 1 whole chicken, breast side down. Add the chopped vegetables, 4 quarts of water, 3 tablespoons kosher salt (if not using Diamond Crystal, reduce the quantity by a tablespoon), a big handful of dill sprigs, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. As it comes to a simmer, you’ll see some scudgy foam and particles rise to the surface of the pot. You can skim this off with a large shallow spoon and discard it for a clearer broth.
  • Once the broth comes to a simmer, set a timer for 20 minutes, at which point you can begin checking the internal temperature of the chicken’s breast at its thickest part. It should register 150. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t sweat it, just let it simmer gently for 25 minutes and call it a day.
  • Using tongs, and inserting them in the cavity of the bird, transfer it to a cutting board to cool for 10 minutes, leaving the broth simmering on the stove.

2. Carve and shred:

  • After 10 minutes or so, once the bird is cool enough to handle, carve the breasts off the carcass and set aside, discarding the flabby skin attached.
  • Return the carcass (legs and wings are now still attached) to the pot. Continue to simmer the chicken carcass and vegetables until the broth is very flavorful, 1 to 2 hours, or as long as you have. (Take a taste–you decide when the broth is flavorful and ready!)

3. Prep the toppings:

  • While the soup simmers, prep the garnishes. Very thinly slice 2 celery stalks on a slight bias. They should be paper thin! Do your best––they’re not actually going to get cooked in the broth stovetop, so the thinner they are the more they will melt into the hot soup as garnishes. If there are any celery leaves, pick them and set aside as well.
  • Same for the remaining white onion. Peel one white onion, and very, very thinly slice it into paper-thin half moons.
  • Shave 2 ounces parm using a veg peeler into big shards.
  • Cut 1 lemon into wedges for squeezing.
  • Pick the remaining dill from its stems. Set all the garnishes out in a large bowl.

4. Finish:

  • Once it’s been simmering for at least an hour and you deem the broth flavorful, carefully lift the carcass from the pot, and transfer to a cutting board to cool until you can handle it. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer, discard the veggies (they’ve given all they’ve got at this point) and return the broth to the pot.
  • Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the flabby skin, shred the remaining meat from the carcass, and discard the bones. Add the shredded meat back to the broth.
  • Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon and finely grate about 1 ounce (a small chunk) of parm into the broth. Taste and adjust seasoning, cover to keep warm, off heat.
  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 12 ounces fresh ramen or spaghetti according to package directions. Drain well.
  • Divide the noodles among serving bowls. Ladle the chicken soup over the noodles, being sure to get lots of shredded chicken in each one. Season the soup with black pepper.
  • Pass the bowl of garnishes around, making sure everyone piles them up very high! ENJOY.