My dad was the only one that made homemade soup, and it always seemed like a long drawn out process. At least, he made it seem that way. In reality, chicken soup is incredibly easy to make at home. You can have a pot of it ready on the stove in about an hour and a half, give or take some chopping and shredding time. Everyone has their own recipe or tricks that makes their soup unique, so you're likely to find TONS of recipes in cookbooks and online. When I make mine, I cook the noodles in a separate pot so that the leftover broth/chicken/veggies is able to be pressure canned. .
Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Whole Chicken
1 onion, quartered
3 Carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 Stalks Celery, cut into chunks. Include tops
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
8-10 whole black peppercorns
1/2 a Lemon
Bunch of fresh thyme/rosemary/sage. Whatever you have available
1. Put chicken into a large pot with a lid. Add in the remaining ingredients
2. Cover everything with water. Put the lid on the pot and bring to a boil.
3. Drop the temp and let it simmer for about an hour.
4. Pull the chicken out of the pot and place in a bowl or cutting board. Pour the contents of the pot through a colander into a bowl. The carrots and celery can be cut up and put into the pot again.
5. Pour the broth through a strainer back into the pot, the strainer helps catch anything too small to be caught by the colander. Bring the broth back to a boil.
6. Now is the time to start cooking the noodles. Either cook them in the broth as it boils, or in a separate pot if you plan on canning the leftovers.
7. Take the meat off of the bones and add it back into the soup. Put the bones, skin, and any meat you didn't want in the soup into a bowl or bag to be saved for stock.
8. Let the soup boil until the noodles are done (out of or in the soup) before serving. Then, just ladle into bowls! If you cooked the noodles separate, put them into the bottom of the bowl and then pour the soup over them.
It's incredibly easy. I use the leftover carrot tops and celery tops in my soup broth, so the carrots I have leftover are usually not the ones I want to serve in the soup. Those carrots are generally mashed up for the dogs as a treat (they love them!). The carrots I use are the ones I have canned, and I generally pour the liquid into the soup as well. I think the carrot liquid adds some extra flavor to the soup.