I am obsessed with chicken noodle soup, but IMO no one makes it better than my mom. Her trick, being a Jewish mother, is to use matzo ball soup mix instead of chicken stock or broth because it's so much more flavorful.
She also uses a whole chicken and big chunks of vegetables along with either matzo balls, egg noodles, or my favorite: cheese tortellini. My mom has made chicken soup for me well over 100 times, and it's the most comforting recipe I know. So when the weather drops below 20 degrees in NYC, I find myself craving it. It takes about 40 minutes to make from start to finish, but the best part about this recipe is that it makes a HUGE pot of soup, so you can freeze the leftovers in individual portions and defrost it on lazy nights. —Hannah Loewentheil
Here's the recipe:
1 package matzo ball soup mix
1 whole chicken (you can also use chicken parts, like bone-in breasts or thighs)
1 bunch celery stalks (sliced into big pieces)
1 bunch large carrots (sliced into large chunks)
1 bunch turnips (sliced into large chunks)
1 large onion (chopped)
2 bay leaves
1 package cheese tortellini
Salt and pepper to taste
Put 10 quarts of water in a large pot and stir in matzo ball soup mix. Add the chicken, vegetables, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.
In a separate pot, cook the tortellini. Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender, falling off the bone.
Separate the chicken from the pot to remove the skin and bones, then add the meat back to the simmering soup. Add the cooked tortellini and serve.