Recipe: Donal’s Skehan’s comforting chicken noodle soup

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Chef Donal Skehan shares a recipe for classic chicken noodle soup that’s perfect for cold winter evenings

EVERYDAY COOK by Donal Skehan. Hodder & Stoughton Publishers 2021.

This chicken noodle soup recipe by celebrity chef Donal Skehan is based on the classic Jewish chicken soup, a wonderful cure-all that nourishes the soul. Parsley root has a delicious fragrant flavour and is well worth hunting down if you can, but parsnip works well as an alternative.


  • 1 free-range chicken (about 1.8kg/4lb)
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • Small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 white onions, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 2 parsley roots (or 1 parsnip), peeled and sliced
  • Small bunch of dill
  • 300g (10oz) small pasta
  • or crushed spaghetti
  • Sea salt


  1. Put the chicken in a large stockpot or casserole. Add the peppercorns and garlic cloves and the stalks of the parsley. Add a generous amount of flaky sea salt and then cover with 1.2 litres (5 cups) of cold water (or enough to just cover the chicken) and bring to the boil. Skim off any scum that floats to the surface then reduce to a simmer and gently bubble, covered, for 45 minutes.
  2. Add the vegetables and dill and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and veggies from the pan with a slotted spoon. Bring the soup up to the boil and bubble, uncovered, for 15 minutes to intensify the flavour. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Shred the meat from the bones of the chicken and return to the soup with the veggies.
  4. Add the pasta to the soup and simmer gently until al dente then serve in large bowls.

How to freeze

Allow to cool, then transfer to a ziplock bag or freezer-proof container and freeze for up to 3 months. Warm slowly in a pan to defrost.