Lancaster Chicken Corn Soup

Close-up of chicken corn soup in bowl and bread

J Shepherd / GettyImages

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1034 Calories
53g Fat
36g Carbs
99g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1034
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 53g 68%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 457mg 152%
Sodium 1229mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 99g
Vitamin C 14mg 71%
Calcium 125mg 10%
Iron 9mg 50%
Potassium 1096mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Saffron gives color and flavor to this homemade chicken soup filled with noodles or homemade rivels and corn. You can use fresh or frozen corn.

This soup freezes well and makes for a hearty and easy weekday meal a few days after you make it. Freeze it before adding the noodles, barley, or rivels; prepare and add those when you reheat the soup. 

This recipe is taken from "The Whole World Loves Chicken Soup" by Mimi Sheraton.


For the Soup:

  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces

  • 2 1/2 to 3 quarts water, or as needed

  • 1 large onion

  • 8 to 10 black peppercorns

  • 2 teaspoons salt, to taste

  • 8 to 10 threads saffron, or 1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed, optional

  • 10 ears corn, or 4 cups frozen corn

  • 3 stalks celery, with leaves, diced

  • 6 ounces wide egg noodles, packaged egg barley, or rivels, see below

  • Salt, to taste, optional

  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste, optional

  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

For the Rivels:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pinch white pepper

  • 1 large egg

  • 3/4 to 1 cup all-purpose flour, as needed

Steps to Make It

Make the Soup

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place chicken in a soup pot with enough water to cover.

  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and skim foam as it rises to the surface.

  4. When the foam has subsided, add the onion, peppercorns, salt, and saffron. 

  5. Simmer gently but steadily, partly covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until tender.

  6. Remove the chicken and trim and discard bones, skin, and onion.

  7. Let the soup cool, then skim the fat from the surface.

  8. Tear the meat into spoonable pieces and return them to the soup.

  9. Cut kernels from 4 ears of corn, then grate kernels from the remaining 6 ears, catching all milk and pulp on foil or waxed paper. If you're using frozen kernels, puree half in a food processor or blender, adding a little soup if the liquid is needed.

  10. Add whole kernels and grated or pureed corn to the soup, along with celery and noodles, egg barley, or rivels.

  11. Simmer gently until corn and noodles or rivels are cooked. Add salt and white pepper to taste.

  12. Stir in parsley and serve, garnishing each portion with chopped hard-cooked eggs.

Make the Rivels

  1. Stir salt and pepper into the beaten egg, add 2/3 cup flour and beat.

  2. Keep adding and beating in flour until the mixture is crumbly but a bit sticky.

  3. Rub the mixture between your hands or pinch off pea-sized pieces and drop them into simmering soup.

  4. Cover loosely and let cook for about 15 minutes, or until rivels solidify.

  5. To make the rivels ahead of time, cook them in lightly salted boiling water or some extra soup stock and then drain and reserve them; reheat in the soup just before it is served.

  6. Enjoy.