Easy Chicken and Noodle Soup... and the Circle of Life for a Rotisserie Chicken

I continue my soup extravaganza. This one came from my attempt to replicate the chicken-noodle soup at JB’s Deli, which happens to be the best Jewish deli in Chicago, and is conveniently located across the street from us.

When my youngest Finn was in pre-K, we would stop at JB’s Deli after school and get a bowl of chicken-noodle soup. One of the employees, Omar, always took care of Finn and made him a big bowl of soup and tossed in a (free) bag of potato chips. So, we now refer to their chicken-noodle soup as “Omar’s Soup.”

I’ve found a quick and easy version of “Omar’s Soup” that is hitting the spot for everyone right now, especially with Chicago’s cold temperatures and snow. The key to my recipe is dried oregano -- which I think is a very under-rated dried herb (just sayin’).

What makes this recipe easy? First, the veggies can be roughly chopped. No mincing. This give the soup good texture and of course flavor.

Next, rotisserie chicken – the God-send of all foods for Moms. It’s easy and delicious. Best of all, you can get two meals and then some, out of one chicken (my sister claims she can get four, but I’m not buying it).

But for us, here’s the “Circle of Life” of a Rotisserie Chicken:

  • Night 1: Legs and thighs for the kids, along Gate’s BBQ sauce, rice and salad. Easy dinner.
  • Night 2: Pull and chop breasts and remaining bits for chicken & noodle soup (or chicken chili, chicken tacos, chicken enchiladas, chicken salad…)
  • Night 3: Boil bones and leftovers with celery, onions, carrots, peppercorns and a bayleaf; drain solids and save broth. Freeze and use later for your next batch of soup.

Now, if you don’t have your homemade rotisserie chicken broth yet, my other favorite shortcut is Better Than Bouillon, which is a chicken stock base made with seasoned roasted chicken. You mix this with water to create a broth. Best part is you can control the concentration of your broth and it lasts in the fridge for up to year. I use this stuff all the time.

So, simple ingredients for chicken & noodle soup: carrots, celery, onion, dried oregano, small pasta (such as ditalini or elbow), a few rosemary sprigs, Better Than Bouillon and rotisserie chicken.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 3 Tbls Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 Celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 Rosemary sprigs
  • 2 Tbls Dried oregano
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Pepper
  • 4 Cups chicken broth or stock
  • 4 Oz. Small pasta
  • 3 Cups Rotisserie chicken, cubed
  • Parsley and/or Crushed red pepper for garnish/taste


In large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil. Add onion, carrots and celery. Sautee with salt and pepper. When tender, add oregano and two sprigs of fresh rosemary. Stir on low heat for 3 minutes.

Add chicken broth and bring up to low boil. Add pasta and simmer until Al Dente. When ready to serve, add in rotisserie chicken. Warm and serve.

*Parsley is a nice garnish. For a kick, add a small pinch of crushed red pepper. For more greens, add three cups of baby spinach (kale or Swiss chard) when adding your cubed rotisserie chicken.