Chicken Noodle Soup for Midlife Crises

It’s cold. You’re sad. Make this.

Adapted for a pressure cooker from Neal’s Deli’s recipe.  If you live close to Neal’s, go. Their shit is awesome.

This recipe makes 8 cups of soup, with 4 additional cups of broth left over (you can freeze it or cook with it or call it “bone broth” or whatever). It takes about an hour and a half to make.

First, make the stock:

  • 3-pound whole chicken, cut up however
  • 1.5 pounds chicken bones OR 1 pound chicken wings
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 entire head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  1. Cut up the chicken and the veggies. No need to be anal here, this is stock, nobody gives a shit.
  2. Put all of the ingredients into a pressure cooker. You’re going to need at least a 6-quart cooker and preferably an 8-quarter cooker. Otherwise you’re going to make a chicken bomb and the police aren’t going to be happy.
  3. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients. Too much water makes thin, weak soup.
  4. Put the lid on, lock it, and bring the cooker to pressure under high heat.
  5. Turn heat down and maintain pressure for an hour.
  6. After an hour, release pressure. You can wait for natural release or use the valve or rinse the cooker under cold water. There are varying levels of safety here, it’s kind of like pressure cooker Russian roulette. Up to you.
  7. Strain the broth over a colander into a large heatproof bowl.
  8. When the chicken’s cool enough to handle, pick off the white meat and shred.  Discard everything else.


Now, make the soup:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced thinly into half moons
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
  • shredded reserved chicken from above
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups stock from above
  • splash of olive oil for noodles
  • 1 teaspoon parsley, finely minced
  • 8 ounces dried egg noodles
  1. Boil water for noodles.  When boiling, add a pinch of salt and the noodles. Cook according to package directions. When done, drain noodles, toss with olive oil and parsley in a bowl.
  2. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to another pot on medium heat. When hot, add carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook a few minutes, then add onion, celery, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Stir, turn heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes or until veggies are soft but not brown. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Add chicken, some fresh black pepper, and 8 cups of stock. Bring to simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Put one serving of noodles into each bowl, then ladle soup on top.


Eat, while looking out the window at another depressing overcast winter day. Think about all the regrets you have from decades ago. Drown them all in another bowl of delicious soup.

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