James Beard’s Chicken and Noodle Soup with Vegetables

James Beard

Author and Educator

“This deliciously filling soup is ideal for a Sunday supper, accompanied by buttered toast or hot rolls, perhaps followed by a salad or some excellent cheese and a bottle of red wine.”—James Beard


  • One 5 to 6 pound fowl or 2 pounds chicken backs, 1 pound gizzards, and 1 pound legs and thighs
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 onion stuck with 2 cloves
  • 1 leek
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely cut green beans
  • 4 ounces egg noodles
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


Place the whole chicken or the back and gizzards in a heavy 6-quart kettle with the water, onion stuck with cloves, leek, carrots, 1 tablespoon salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and skim off any scum that forms on top. 

Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Correct the seasoning. If you are using chicken parts, add the legs and thighs, and cook until they are tender, 45 minutes to an hour. 

Remove the chicken, skim excess fat from the broth, and remove the vegetables. (If you are not serving the soup until the next day, it will be easier to remove the fat if the broth is cooled and then chilled.) Pour the broth into a container, wash out the kettle, and then return the broth to it. 

Cut the meat from the chicken into a small dice and thinly slice the gizzards. Add the cut vegetables, the chicken meat, and the gizzards. Bring to a boil again and cook until the vegetables begin to tenderize and are pleasantly firm. 

Add the noodles (increase the amount if you like a very thick soup) and peas, and boil for 5 to 9 minutes or until they are cooked. 

Serve in heated soup plates or bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.


6 servings