Nothing beats a delicious bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. Unfortunately, it can be a bit time-consuming to prepare from scratch with a chicken carcass. This no-muss, no-fuss version is faster and easier, yet still incredibly tasty thanks to the addition of cost-conscious chicken thighs and the subtle infusion of flavor from a fresh ‘bouquet garni.’
The ‘bouquet garni’ originated in France and traditionally includes a blend of parsley, thyme, and bay leaves. However, any combination of fresh or dried herbs can be used to create one. The version shown here includes rosemary in addition to the classic trio.
If using dried herbs, a section of cheesecloth is used to create a sachet that is then dropped into soups or stews while cooking. Fresh herbs are bound by a length of kitchen twine, as shown, to make it easier to pick out the woody stems and bay leaves before serving.
Tip: A squeeze of fresh lime juice right before serving is a welcome addition to most broth-based soups.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Active cook time: 20 minutes (+ time to come to pressure)*
Natural release: 5 minutes
Yields: 10-12 cups of soup
*Total cook time – see instructions below for timing for each step
Bouquet Garni Ingredients:
6-8 fresh parsley stems
10-12 fresh thyme sprigs
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
2 whole bay leaves
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ large white onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, sliced
4 medium stalks celery, sliced
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
8 c. chicken broth**
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ 12-oz. bag homestyle egg noodles
Optional: 1 large lime cut into thin wedges
**Can use a combination of chicken broth and water, if desired. For best results, use at least 50% chicken broth.
- Prepare the ‘bouquet garni’ by assembling the parsley, thyme, and rosemary sprigs on a clean work surface and securing with kitchen twine, as shown. Securely tuck the bay leaves inside the twine to hold. Set aside.
- Press the “Sauté” button on the Instant Pot® and adjust to the highest setting. Add the olive oil to the pot, along with the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and develop a bit of color, approximately 4-5 minutes. Turn the unit off.
- Add the chicken broth to the pot, along with the chicken thighs and breasts. Push the chicken pieces down into the liquid with a wooden spoon or spatula until fully submerged.
- Add the ‘bouquet garni’ on top and gently push into the liquid, as well. Add the lid and lock into place. Set the pressure release valve to “Sealing” and select the “Manual” button on the high setting. Adjust cook time to 10 minutes.
- When the cook time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes before doing a quick release of any remaining steam. Turn the unit off.
- Carefully remove the lid and transfer the chicken pieces to a large, rimmed plate. Shred the meat using two forks and set aside.
- Select the “Sauté” function on the highest setting and bring the liquid inside to a boil. Add the egg noodles and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Tip: Do not overcook the noodles or they will become mushy. They will continue to soften some in the hot liquid.
- Turn the unit off and carefully remove the pot from the unit. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and stir to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired.
To serve, transfer the soup to individual soup bowls and offer fresh lime wedges on the side for squeezing, if desired. Enjoy!