Shaker Chicken and Noodle Soup with Biscuits: a warming trend

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Chicken noodle soup.

If those words immediately paint a mental picture of Mom opening a red and white can, and settling in at the lunch table after a morning spent building a snow fort in the backyard with the neighborhood gang, then you’re a Campbell’s Kid.

When we were growing up, soup came out of cans – period. And almost always, those cans were plain red and white, script on top, gold label in the middle, block letters down below.

Never mind the fancy pictures, callouts to Facebook, or offers of recipes or coupons inside the label. Campbell’s told you all you needed to know: there’s chicken noodle soup in this can.

Like this. Heat and eat.

But notice the can also says “condensed” – woe betide the eager youngster who dumped the soup into a pot on the stove (no microwave back then), heated it, and took a big mouthful, WITHOUT first adding water.

EWWWWW….

I’ve pretty much grown beyond Campbell’s soup these days. Nothing wrong with it; my husband, who will ALWAYS choose store-bought over homemade, still loves it.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to love homemade soup. I appreciate the absence of that faint eau de tin can offered by supermarket soups; and I like being able to adjust flavor and consistency to taste.

Still, chicken noodle soup holds a special place in my heart, wrapped up as it is in memories of snowball fights, sodden woollen mittens, and black galoshes that did absolutely nothing to keep your feet warm.

Clomping onto the porch, using numb fingers to unfasten the icy metal clips on your boots, shrugging out of a wet jacket, and seeing a kitchen table set with buttered bread and steaming bowls of soup – just writing these words, I can still feel the pure comfort of hot food, a warm kitchen, and a simple agenda of school, play, family meals, bedtime stories, and 8 hours of peaceful sleep.

You can’t go home again; and really, who wants to? But you can certainly re-create one of childhood’s favorite soups: chicken noodle. This version is a rich, creamy/brothy soup with big wide noodles and fat chunks of chicken. Add oven-hot biscuits, and you’re talking comfort food at its best.

Are you a Campbell’s Kid?

Come along with me.

The first thing we’re going to do is make a flavorful base for the soup.

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup chicken stock with 2 tablespoons dry vermouth and 2 tablespoons butter. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 1/4 cup.

The mixture will be syrupy.

Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream, and set the mixture aside.

Prefer not to use vermouth? Alcohol is a flavor carrier, so you’ll definitely lose a bit of flavor; but substitute extra broth or water for the vermouth, if desired.

In a larger saucepan, bring 6 cups (48 ounces) chicken stock to a boil.

Add 2 cups egg noodles, and cook until the noodles are tender, 7 to 8 minutes (or whatever the noodle package says).

While the soup is simmering, start preheating your oven to 425°F; you’re going to be baking biscuits shortly.

Whisk together 1/3 cup (1 3/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and 2/3 cup water, and stir into the noodle/broth mixture.

Allow the soup to boil for 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in the cream mixture, and 1 cup (or more) diced cooked chicken.

Season to taste with salt; I lean towards saltier soups, and since I’d used a lower-sodium canned broth, I added 1 teaspoon salt. But start with less than you think you’ll need; clearly, it’s easier to add more salt than to add less.

Add black pepper if you like, too; though I usually enjoy black pepper, I don’t like the speckled appearance it gives this soup, so I’m leaving it out.

Cover the soup, turn off the burner, and let it sit at the back of the stove while you bake the biscuits.

Which is a ridiculously easy proposition, if you have self-rising flour.

Mix 1 cup (4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour with 1/2 cup heavy cream.

Stir to combine. Break off pieces of dough, and gently pat into flattened rounds. Place in a lightly greased pan.

Bake the biscuits in a preheated 425°F oven for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown. While the biscuits are baking, check the soup; if it doesn’t seem warm enough, set it over a low burner while the biscuits bake.

Are we ready to sit down at the table?

Hot soup.

Hot biscuits.

Ladle into bowls.

Enjoy!

OK, let’s talk a bit more about those biscuits – because I know you have questions.

“What if I don’t have self-rising flour?”

No problem; follow our recipe for David Lee’s Biscuits, which uses unbleached all-purpose flour.

“Can I make the biscuits ahead?”

Sure. Make anytime, and reheat for about 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven just before serving.

Or make the dough, shape into biscuits, and freeze. Just before serving, bake frozen biscuits for 12 to 16 minutes in a preheated 425°F oven, or until they’re golden.

“Can I make biscuits with whole wheat flour?”

Absolutely. Make our Whole Wheat-Walnut Biscuits, leaving out the walnuts, if desired; and substituting whole wheat flour OR all-purpose flour for the grape seed flour (unless you happen to have some grape seed flour kicking around).

Any other questions? Call our baker’s hotline, 802-649-3717. We’re always happy to chat.

Read, make, and review (please) our recipe for Shaker Chicken and Noodle Soup.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Brenda

    We put our parents’ heavy wool ski socks over our shoes, then a bread bag, THEN our boots. Still not toasty warm, but it didi help a lot.The more layers the better! Elisabeth

    Reply
  2. Brenda

    …and don’t forget that that wet jacket (and snow pants) smelled like wet wool…it was hot chocolate we got when we came in from the cold. In our family, chicken noodle soup was more likely an ingredient in Mom’s meat loaf, or occasionally for lunch with sandwiches since soups were pretty much homemade.
    Yep, and how about canned cream of mushroom soup? How many places did that show up in recipes? Rarely was it used as “soup.” Elisabeth

    Reply
  3. KAF_Keri

    Chicken noodle soup sounds wonderful after all the snow we’ve gotten! But what I really want to know is… please tell me they really make that My Little Pony/Scootaloo labelled Campbell’s can?!
    I am not sure about that! Elisabeth

    Reply
  4. nelll

    My Mom never built snow forts in the backyard with the neighborhood gang. She never did anything with the neighborhood gang. I don’t think she even HAD a neighborhood gang, unless she had a secret life I don’t know about.

    Of course, we were from California – so nobody was building snow forts anywhere – and there were no families on our block named Campbell. But whoever they were, those Campbells had an interesting mom.

    On the other hand, my mom regularly made great soup – from scratch. :) She had been a Depression-era kid and could make Sunday’s roast-whatever stretch for at least two more meals, sometimes three, with soup and San Francisco sourdough French Bread (and apple pie for dessert) always one of them.

    So I guess I don’t mind not having snow or a mom who ran with a gang.

    If you ever change your mind, we have a lot of snow to trade for a delicious meal like you described!-Jon

    Reply
  5. AJQ

    Well, Mexican meatball soup WAS next in line for the soup pot THEN Chicken Noodle. However, I think Chicken Noodle just jumped to the front of the line! No snow here but it’s coooold!

    Nothing quite like a good bowl of chicken noodle soup to warm you through on a cold day. I think I will be making some in the near future!-Jon

    Reply
  6. marbarre

    Why no fat, ie, butter or shortening in the biscuits? Is the fat in the cream enough? Wouldn’t there be a higher flakier biscuit with fat?
    I am addicted to the recipe on the Bakewell Cream container and use KAF AP,…never fails!
    By the way, soups sounds wonderful, and going to try it.

    This type of biscuit is more tender than it is flaky, so the use of cream without additional fat is correct. However, you could certainly make a flaky biscuit with this soup!-Jon

    Reply
  7. cartvl219

    Don’t like black pepper speckles in the soup? Use white pepper. It’s available whole or ground from Penzey’s Spices. It also works well in mashed potatoes or anything else where you don’t want the black speckles.
    Carolyn

    Absolutely true! Just be careful as white pepper is a little more potent in comparison to the black variety.-Jon

    Reply
  8. Debbie

    Can sour cream be subbed for the heavy cream in both these recipes?

    The sour cream could work as a replacement in the soup. However, the heavy cream provides the only fat in these biscuits. As such, they will not be as tender if you use a low fat ingredient such as sour cream.-Jon

    Debbie, full-fat sour cream should yield an acceptable result in the biscuits. However, I believe it would curdle if you reduced it down with the vermouth to use as the soup base; it would also potentially give the soup a rather weird tangy flavor, I suspect, so I don’t recommend it. PJH

    Reply
  9. clh2873

    This is by far our FAVORITE soup! We call it Aeryn Noodle Soup because the first time we made it, Aeryn (one of my daughters, she was 3 then) was my helper. Everyone in the house gets a happy, dreamy look in their eyes when the answer to the “what’s for dinner?” question is “Aeryn Noodle Soup!” In fact, it’s supposed to snow here today so maybe we’ll have soup for dinner :)

    Sounds like the perfect dish to beat the chilly weather! Love the story behind this as well. Thank you for sharing! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  10. TuzaHu

    I use white pepper when making cream soups, have a mill just for white and one for black. I’m surprised you used store bought packaged noodles, with KAF you can simply make the world’s best noodles.

    Home made noodles do not have to dry before cooking them. That would have upped this recipe to a 10.

    Homemade noodles would indeed make this recipe even more delicious. Brilliant idea! http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/homemade-pasta-with-sage-butter-recipe Kim@KAF

    Reply
  11. jtee4short

    PJ, this recipe sounded so easy I just had to try it. I’ve been struggling to recreate my family’s homemade noodles, which are not like pasta at all and served in broth with chicken or pot roast. My mom passed away over 20 yrs ago without my having asked her for more tutelage. Her sister gave me some hands on experience, explaining that the dough had to be soft, like a baby’s bottom. My cousin and I tried to make the dough. She was treating it like pasta; the dough was not tender but I didn’t know what we should do to get it tender. Then I discovered KAF and this site. Today, with this soup and a little more info my cousin had gotten from her mom before she passed away not too long ago,I decided to try making the noodles again. I got my dough soft like a baby’s bottom! And I might add, Mom and Aunt Mary’s dough was never this beautiful golden color. Boy did this turn out great! Thank you.

    Ah, the baby’s bottom… that’s what we’ve always told people dough should feel like – springy, yet soft. I’m so glad you were finally able to re-create your mom’s noodles; carrying on these culinary traditions from generation to generation is what it’s all about, and I’m happy we could help. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  12. takefive34

    Ahhh, chicken noodle soup!!! Chicken-rice soup is also good, except I substitute orzo for the rice as the orzo keeps its shape during the reheating process unlike rice. But my very favorite soup from KAF (my husband’s also!) is your Creamy Tomato Soup – nothing Campbell’s ever made can hold a candle to it!!! I’ve made it for family and friends, and it always receives rave reviews!!

    Yes, that Creamy Tomato Soup is really good, isn’t it? Actually, I’d forgotten about it – since it’s going to snow tomorrow, I think I’d better simmer up a pot! Thanks for the reminder – PJH

    Reply
  13. CookingMyLife

    This was wonderful. The only change I made, don’t we all like to ‘mess with the recipe’, was to add about 2tsp of pureed Hatch chiles. Yes, that was spicy, and yes, that’s how my husband likes his food!

    Sounds like a great addition to me! I love a spicy kick to my chicken soups, too! ~Kim@KAF

    Reply
  14. emdh

    I made this soup last night, and it is FABULOUS!! I added carrots and celery, and also a few shakes of a fine herb blend. We ate it tonight (with a yummy baguette from the Artisan Bread in 5 master recipe), and it was by far the best chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had! I only wish I’d made a double batch. Thanks for another great recipe!!

    Reply
  15. calacci

    I cannot WAIT to make a gluten free version of this!! At dinner tonight my son requested chicken soup for dinner tomorrow night. It may not happen tomorrow (first day back to work and school, I may just need to collapse!) but this recipe is sooo happening soon. Is the all-purpose flour just for thickening? Could I sub cornstarch or should I go for a gluten-free flour blend instead?
    Sure, go right ahead and use a gluten free flour to thicken your soup! ~Amy

    Reply
  16. nancylaroche

    I made this soup for my neighbors who were under the weather — what a great recipe! I’m not generally a fan of cream soups but this will go into our regular rotation now!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I had to smile at this one. My father was that way also about soup served for dinner. Needless to say, my mom was not amused. Elisabeth@KAF

  17. A Wirkala

    The reference to black pepper giving the soup a “speckled appearance” is the reason to use ground white pepper in any cream dish.

    Reply
  18. Bernita

    Will definitely give this a try, but substitute the left over white meat turkey I’ll have in a couple of days for the chicken. In addition, I may substitute home made noodles and home made turkey broth made from the turkey frame and then add carrots, celery and onion. In other words, I’m making my traditional leftover turkey noodle soup, but using your cream base. :-) Sounds yummy!!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Probably not, Tacy – but it sure takes the flavor of this soup to another level! PJH

    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Jen, if you like the flavor of Marsala (and apparently you do), sure, go for it. Enjoy – PJH

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