When I’m sick, I want to drink endless gallons of soup. When I’m cold, I want to hold something warm in my hands and feel the heat travel up my arms and through my whole body. When my tummy hurts, ginger is a fast, homemade cure. This soup will fix what ails you (sickness, coldness, tummy hurts) and will warm your spirits. Even better is that comes together with minimal effort (because who has extra energy to cook when they are sick? Not me.)

I’m not sick at the moment, but this last fall our house fell prey to our first cold since having Libby. First I got sick, then she got sick, then I got sick again, then Joel got sick. Seeking comfort and needing to fill our bellies, I experimented with some new “sick” dishes. I made congee rice for the first time (yum!), I made a fresh batch of Elderberry syrup, and I dug out this recipe from an old friend for ginger chicken noodle soup.

A handful of years ago, I got so sick I lost my voice and it was extremely painful to talk. I was actually disappointed when the doctor said I didn’t have Strep because that meant there was nothing I could do but wait it out and hope to feel better soon. A friend from work gave me this recipe, and I drank it down by the gallon. I added the ramen noodles this time around, because I love noodles, and they are a childhood comfort food. Any long thin pasta will do, but when you’re sick, you might as well take advantage of anything that claims to be easy or instant. There’s nothing easy about having a 1-year old with a cold and being under the weather yourself (mamas don’t get sick days, as it turns out.)

ginger chicken soup ingredients

The trick with noodle soups is to keep the cooked noodles separate as I detail in the instructions. Noodles (and rice) will continue soaking up liquid until they are completely squishy and have lost all their texture. Store your noodles and rice separate from the soup and only add to the soup when re-heating or just before serving and you’ll have perfect textures every time!

My favorite way to garnish this soup is with a sprinkle of Japanese rice seasoning, furikake. It’s a mixture of finely chopped seaweed, sesame seeds, salt and a hint of sugar. Furikake adds a nice bit of color, too. There are several varieties of rice seasoning, experiment and pick up a couple the next time you are at an Asian grocery store or find them online. We use furikake on popcorn, too – I’ll have to share that recipe soon.

In the meantime, feel better, friends, with this soup. Whether you’re sick and cold, or just weary in spirit, I wish you warmth. 

Ginger Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4
A brothy, warming soup for when you are sick or just seeking comfort.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  2. 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. ½ cup chopped onion
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 3-inch piece fresh ginger, scrubbed, sliced into rounds
  6. 6 cups chicken broth, or more depending on how much broth you like
  7. 1 packet of ramen noodles, chicken flavor
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste
  9. Rice seasoning, or Furikake (optional, but encouraged)
  1. Trim and slice the chicken thighs into strips or chunks, about 1” big.
  2. Heat the oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven and add the chicken chunks, stirring and letting them brown for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped onion and cook until it begins to turn translucent about 5 minutes
  4. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sliced ginger and stir, cooking for another minute.
  5. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the broth is fragrant.
  6. In a separate pot, bring 4 cups of water to boil and cook ramen noodles according to package directions, setting aside the seasoning packet. Drain the noodles when done and set them aside.
  7. When your chicken soup is done simmering add half the seasoning packet to the soup (optional, you can also leave it out, or add the whole thing, depending on your preference). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Fish out the ginger rounds and discard.
  9. To assemble the soup, place about half the noodles in a bowl and spoon the chicken ginger soup over the noodles, stirring slightly to warm and seperate the noodles if they’ve cooled and gotten sticky.
  10. Top with Japanese rice seasoning if desired and serve.
  1. I don’t even peel the ginger for this recipe, because I wash it and then remove it after it’s given all it’s gingery-ness to the soup. But feel free to peel and mince it finely if you want it in the final dish.
  2. Any thin, long noodle can be substituted for the package of ramen noodles.
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