Creamy Smoked Paprika Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe takes a comfort food classic – chicken noodle soup – and adds creamy, smoky flavors that transform it into a meal.

Please do try to use the bacon fat – it makes a difference. And if you needed an excuse to make bacon, now you have one!

The broth is best sopped up with some crusty bread (Udi’s gluten free rolls are divine).

I keep it gluten free with gluten free pasta and cornstarch, but regular pasta will work just fine!

Potatoes instead of noodles would also work. Add veggies to your heart’s desire, if you like.

Top with bacon bits…sour cream…shredded cheddar cheese…scallions…yum.

Creamy Smoked Paprika Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3-4 pound whole fryer chicken, skin removed
  • 8 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon salt (to taste)
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups milk (I use 1%)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 whole zucchinis, cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 bag/box (16 ounce) gluten free pasta (brown rice pasta works well, or use regular egg noodles)
  • sour cream, shredded cheese and/or scallions, for garnish (optional)

In a large, heavy stockpot, heat butter and bacon fat over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, and simmer until soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the paprika, oregano, cumin, celery seed, and bay leaves, and add the water. Submerge the chicken, breast side down; it will be mostly (but not completely) covered. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. After 30 minutes, flip chicken over. Continue to cook another 30 minutes or until chicken begins to fall apart; remove to a plate.

In a small container, whisk cornstarch with a small amount of the cooking liquid; add to pot along with the milk. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer vigorously, uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes; shred the chicken meat and discard bones while the liquid simmers.

Stir in the cream cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the noodles and chicken, and simmer uncovered until the pasta is tender. Enjoy!

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