Rev up this traditional favorite with ginger, garlic, and jalapeño
We’re trudging through cold-and-flu season in our part of the world. Time for chicken noodle soup (a/k/a liquid penicillin).
You could buy canned soup, of course (and the leading brand’s logo is museum quality when painted by Andy Warhol). But homemade is so much better, especially when you add an Asian angle.
This soup is so good you may look forward to getting sick. And creating your own work of art.
Recipe: Asian-Spiced Chicken Noodle Soup
Exact quantities aren’t critical in this recipe. And it’s easy to substitute ingredients to fit your taste (or the contents of your pantry).
We use cooked chicken for this dish. If you have only raw chicken on hand, no worries. Just cut it into bite-size pieces and add it to the cooking pot when the instructions call for adding cooked chicken; increase the cooking time by 10 minutes.
Prep time for this recipe is 10 to 15 minutes. Cooking time adds about 20 minutes.
This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings. Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container. Or freeze them for up to two months.
- ~8 ounces by weight cooked chicken (or to taste; may substitute turkey)
- 1 onion
- 2 to 3 carrots (or to taste)
- 1 to 2 ribs celery
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1-inch piece of ginger
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or substitute a squirt or two of sriracha)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- ~6 ounces by weight dried noodles (see Notes)
- ~1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- a squirt or two of sriracha to add more heat if needed (optional; to taste)
- jalapeño slices for garnish (optional)
- Cut the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
- Peel the onion and cut it into dice of ½ inch (or a bit smaller). Set aside.
- Wash and dry the carrots. Peel them, then cut off their tips. Cut the carrots into dice of about ¼ inch. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the celery, then remove the strings. Cut the celery into diagonal slices of about ¼ inch (or cut into ¼-inch dice, if you prefer). Set aside.
- Peel the garlic and chop it roughly. Add it to the bowl of a mini food processor. Peel the ginger, chop it roughly, and add it to the mini food processor. Whirl the food processor until the garlic and ginger are finely chopped. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the jalapeño pepper(s), then cut off their stem ends. Cut a few slices of pepper and set them aside for garnish, if desired. Slice the remaining peppers in half lengthwise. With a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds and ribs. Cut the peppers into fine dice (careful, the jalapeño oil is hot, so keep fingers away from your eyes). Set aside. Now wash your hands with soap and water to remove the spicy oil.
- Place a 4-quart sauce pan or soup pot over medium stovetop heat. When the cooking pot is hot, add the oil. When the oil is heated (it’ll shimmer; about 15 seconds), add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Season to taste with salt (see Notes). Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Now add the ginger/garlic mixture and the chopped jalapeño. Sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the pepper flakes and sauté for another 15 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock and the chicken pieces. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to blend the flavors. Then add the noodles and cook until done (typically about another 10 minutes).
- When the noodles are tender, add the peas, soy sauce, and sriracha (if using). Stir to combine, then cook for 2 minutes. Taste the soup, adding additional soy sauce and/or sriracha if necessary.
- Ladle the soup into serving bowls, adding slices of jalapeño for garnish if you wish.
- Don’t want to garnish with jalapeño? Substitute some chopped scallion greens or minced parsley or cilantro. You could also add a teaspoon or so of sesame oil to each serving.
- We like to use “broad” noodles in this dish. You can use egg noodles or eggless, whichever you prefer. Or try linguine or spaghetti if you want a thinner noodle (we suggest breaking the pasta into shorter lengths if you go that route). Or you could use Chinese noodles, of course.
- Ginger and garlic are a common pairing in many Asian dishes. In fact, you can buy ginger/garlic paste at most Asian groceries. If you have some on hand, feel free to use it instead of making your own ginger/garlic mixture.
- Jalapeño is less common in Asian dishes, but we like the ping it provides. It looks nice, too.
- We generally use kosher salt for cooking, which is less salty by volume than regular table salt (its flakes are larger, so it doesn’t pack as tightly when you measure it). You can substitute regular table salt if you prefer (start with about half as much as we suggest). But always season to your taste, not ours.
- Speaking of salt, soy sauce tends to be quite salty. So be careful how much you add.
- We sometimes add a bit of lime juice or rice vinegar to this soup for extra brightness. If you want to try this, add it to the dish right before serving.
Birds of a Feather
“Dazzling soup,” said Mrs Kitchen Riffs. “The chicken would cross the road for this.”
“Yup, I’m doing the chicken dance,” I said. “Bok, bok.”
“Glad to see such hen-thusiam,” said Mrs K R.
“This soup rules,” I said. “Makes me want to strut like a rooster.”
“Careful,” said Mrs K R. “You’re no spring chicken anymore.”
You may also enjoy reading about:
Chicken and Celery Stir-Fry
Hot and Sour Soup
Moroccan Carrot Soup
Fennel Soup with Shrimp and Beans
Hungarian-Style Cold Cherry Soup
Or check out the index for more
What a great looking soup, full of fresh and bright flavours! It would be perfect on a dreary day like today, we have had 4 days of rain, rain, rain and more rain. Yes, it is a bit warmer but it's grey and rainy.
Hi Eva, we have freezing rain and snow today, so this is just what the doctor ordered. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This looks delicious, John. I'm really into soups right now and I'm adding this to my list! Thanks for sharing :)
Hi Pat, we're loving soup at the moment! Can't get enough on chilly, rainy days like today. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'm actually going out today for the first time in over a week after a long bout with the flu. What a miserable illness - yuck! I could have used this soup last week and unfortunately had to resort to canned chicken noodle soup which was awful. I am spoiled with homemade all the way. Love the asian spin on this one- the peppers and ginger are a terrific addition!
This sounds so good, lovely colours and I could just go a bowl now!
Hi Tricia, glad you're starting to feel better! The flu has really hit a lot of people hard this year. :-( Ginger is wonderful in chicken noodle soup! You gotta try it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Caroline, this is wonderful! And we do like colorful food -- just as long as it tastes good, which this totally does. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Your liquid penicillin looks seriously fresh and packed with flavours! I love the extra kick from jalapeño slices.
Hi Angie, we love jalapeño, so are always using it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love chicken noodle soup even when I'm not sick and this recipe looks like my new favorite. I'm definitely going to garnish with the jalapeños :)
Hi Kelsie, it's good soup, isn't it? One of our favorites! Thanks for the comment.
liquid penicillin!!!! Love that! Incredible soup for sure and yes so much better homemade. Also ginger, garlic and a hot pepper are all natural remedies too for cold and flu season.
Hi Evelyne, homemade chicken noodle soup rocks! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Now this is my kind of soup!
Hi Pam, our kind of soup, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love the extra kick to this chicken soup!
Hi Amy, a little extra kick is a good thing, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love a new, delicous take on an old classic!
We are all seeking soups at this harsh weather. It has been freezing here for the last couple of days. Great soup, filling ad warming.
Hi Chris, we do too! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amira, can't h ave too many soups this year! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Chicken Soup will always hold a place in my heart because the two times I had HORRIFIC food poisoning when I was a kid, my mom made me chicken soup (no noodles) and I swear it CURED ME!!!
Hi GiGi, this will definitely cure you! With or without the noodles. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I would follow the chicken across the road for this delicious broth John. Laced with healthy spices and topped with sriracha and jalapeno - you simply won't get sick eating this dish 8)
Hi Merry, yup, a bowl of this is instant health. :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a perfect soup for flu season! It looks great.
Hi Dahn, real comfort food. :-) Thanks for the comment.
That's an interesting chicken soup! I love to make chicken soup, and I commonly look around for different twists on it. I don't think I've seen one along these lines, though. Very interesting. I think I'd love the jalapeno-lime combo.
I love it when I learn something new like chopping the ginger and garlic in a mini food processor. Your soup looks fantastic.
Wow, this does sound delicious and should be equal to any flu.
I am always in for ginger and garlic -- what a great idea to give chicken noodle soup a new twist! Especially when there is a prolonged illness and you neeeeeeeed some new flavors. I like this a lot, John, and I have some friends who will appreciate it as they recover too. :)
It really kind of looks good, John and I know Bill would love it if I made it, but I can't stand the soup and would never eat it. I buy him the canned soup and leave the kitchen. I'm probably the only person who doesn't like chicken noodle soup! I just made a large pot of vegetable beef soup... Take care
Hi Jeff, lime adds a nice twist -- definitely worth trying. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Gerlinde, I'll bet I use my min food processor 10 times for every one time I use the big one. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amalia, let's hope this can vanquish any flu! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Judy, I like regular chicken noodle soup, but it's fun to experiment. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pam, just show Bill this recipe, and point him to the kitchen. :D Thanks for the comment.
Chicken noodle soup is such a winter comfort! Making an Asian spiced version adds a new dimension of flavor, a fabulous way to warm up a freezing cold day.
What a great way to season a chicken soup. When I am sick with a cold I either want chicken noodle soup or hot and sour soup. This combines the best of both worlds. Thank you for another good idea!
Hi Deb, it's cold here again, so we need more. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Rocquie, we crave soup like this when we're sick too! Or when we're healthy. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Of course I've had had chicken soup before, but this Asian version made me look look twice! GREG
Chicken noodle soup is such a great classic but even classic can use an upgrade like this.
Hi Greg, it's fun to play with traditional recipes, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Laura, we like the classic version, too, but in many ways this is better. Way better. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is delicious!!
Please visit: http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com
This soup just looks amazing!
Hi krishna, it is! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Peachy, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.
If this doesn't knock that flu right out of you, then nothing will. I'd have to give it an extra shot of sriracha. :) Hope you both are doing o.k. and not suffering too much from a cold or flu.
Hi MJ, we've been lucky, and haven't had any colds or flu. KNOCK ON WOOD! :-) Probably eating this as preventive medicine has helped. :-) Thanks for the comment.
The perfect fix for cold weather! Well...any weather. Our weather has been so crazy this year and right now it is freezing! Which makes it perfect for slurping noodles in an Asian broth! Yum!
Hi Abbe, although this is great for cold weather, you're right about slurping noodles in any weather. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Canned soup is never as good! I eat chicken noodle soup even when I'm not sick - it's just so comforting.
This has been my Season of Soups, John, and I sure would have loved to have included this recipe in the mx. Well, living here, I'll still have plenty of opportunities to give it a try -- and I cannot wait! Thanks fo sharing!
Hi Ashley, this is comfort food, isn't it? So good! Thanks for the comment.
Hi John, I'd say living in Chicago you'll have days up until about Memorial Day when soup will be appropriate. :-) Thanks for the comment.
My favourite. Clean, fresh and delicious! (Apologies if I don't stop by as often... we are moving house). xx
Hi Liz, no worries about stopping by. And exciting news about the move! I'm sure you'll be telling us all about it on your blog. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Chicken soup is always the best medicine when you are sick, I love the Asian flair that you added to your soup. I would love to have a bowl of this.
Hi Dawn, being sick is never fun, except you always get a bowl of chicken soup! :-) Thanks for the comment.
You know me -- I am down for anything loaded with my favorite ginger. I bet that, plus the splash of soy sauce really give new life to classic chicken noodle soup.
Hi Carolyn, the ginger and the soy sauce really makes chicken noodle soup into a new dish. A really good one. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Beautiful. You know, I honestly don't think I knew about canned soup until college, and then I had tomato soup occasionally. I could easily afford it, eggs, and beef liver, so that's what I lived on. But why people continue to buy it is beyond me.
Hi Mimi, the tomato soup has a kind of iconic flavor. Not that good, but not easily reproduced. Probably a good thing! :D Thanks for the comment.
Honestly I would really love this for breakfast, nice way to start a day with a nice bang
Hi Raymund, this is good any time of the day! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Refreshing and Zippy, this soup! And I like your 'new' blue table background. Does this mean your brown table has now been put on the 'back burner'?
Hi Fran, that background is just a sometimes thing -- you'll be seeing more of the brown one. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Very little beats a comforting bowl of homemade soup, perfect for fighting all this cold weather.
Hi Emma, homemade soup is the best, isn't it? Love this one! Thanks for the comment.
The cold and flu season is in full force so need to make lots of this nourishing soup to build up our immunity. Lots of garlic and ginger always helps. Don't know if it is the ingredients on your health but may be that if you eat enough garlic people try to keep their distance... LOL stay well dear friend.
Hi Bobbi, I like your garlic theory! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Wow, just love these flavors, John. And your photographs are beautiful! I will be trying this very soon. Love soup year round but such a comforting food this time of year!
Hi Robyn, you'll LOVE the flavors in this. :-) Thanks for the comment.
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