Restaurants Put a New Spin on Traditional Chicken Soup

By: Karen Dybis | January 18, 2021
Chicken Noodle Soup

Photo Courtesy of Ima.

Michigan winters are infamous for putting together strings of old, windy days with heavy cloud cover that can make you feel like springtime is a dream. The only way to get through these tough moments may be to warm up and fuel your immune system with a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Granted, only moms and likely few doctors agree that chicken noodle soup can cause miracles on gray days when you just feel tired and cranky. But the salty broth, the big pieces of chicken and the vegetables that make this soup one of a kind are enough to convince any mother that a cup or two will cure what ails the average person. 

Traditionally, chicken noodle soup is made slowly and with simple ingredients. It can start with a whole chicken that is slowly simmered over hours and hours on a hot stove. It also can be made with pieces of chicken that lend bone and protein together in a powerful flavor punch. Some fast versions use rotisserie chicken, which adds a smoky taste to the broth. All are good and can provide a strong base for the soup.

When the broth is ready, chefs typically chop up the chicken that made it, add a bunch of carrots, celery and onions and some spices to finish it off. These veggies are cooked slowly until they are tender. The carrots add a kind of sweetness as well, balancing the salty broth and chunks of chicken along the way. 

Locally, most restaurants put chicken noodle soup firmly into their menu rotation. Some jazz it up with unique additions but many like to stick to what people expect. But if you’re looking for a twist, then there are many ramen joints and innovative chefs around the area that are happy to give you their best takes on this beloved soup. 

One local chicken noodle soup fan, Maribeth Farkas, says she always recommends chicken noodle soup from Hungarian Rhapsody to people who are looking for something to eat that is not only well made but gives you a sense that perhaps someone’s mom put it together for you. It’s not the same as having soup from your mom, but it’s pretty great all the same. 

“It is a homemade soup with a clear broth and thin, fine noodles. It is a tasty, comforting soup,” Farkas said. 

Here are some Metro Detroit restaurants and carry-out eateries that are offering their most creative takes on chicken noodle soup for your consumption. 

Fly Trap

Many people think about the innovative breakfast specials at this Ferndale mainstay, but its chicken dishes for lunch, dinner or anytime are just as good. Check out its lemongrass and Thai Chili infused bowl. It comes with a savory broth and tender, flat noodles as well as the option to add chicken to the bowl. It will fill you as well as warm you up for hours and hours.


Ima Noodles

This restaurant does what few others can do: It can blend fine-dining quality with down-home simplicity and diner goodness. Its ramen as well as its noodle-forward dishes have won this locally owned chain of restaurants fans of all ages. The chicken is tender and bountiful as well in its soups and ramens. 

Achatz Soup Company

You may know this name because of the pies, but the Achatz family also provides soups to many shops around Metro Detroit. The chicken noodle in particular gets raves for being the kind of soup that will pull you out of any sneezy cold and send you right into good health with its well-made broth.

Hungarian Rhapsody

Hungarian foods are the epitome of comfort. This restaurant that is offering carry-out meals and soups always provides huge portions that fill your stomach and make you feel like your grandmother is doing the cooking. Just add some saltines to the soup and you will fee like a kid again.

Mudgie’s Deli

Chicken noodle soup is on the regular rotation at this innovative deli, pantry and food purveyor. Greg Mudge loves his soups and he mixes up traditional recipes with his inventive ways. Check the menu to see if chicken noodle is being offered that week, and, if it is, be sure to order some for carry out along with a huge sandwich or two.