I got this idea from Rachael Ray but have changed the recipe slightly. But since it's a recipe from Rachael Ray it only takes about half an hour! I make this all the time when I don't have a lot of time to cook, but want to fix a decent meal for my family.
2 TB olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried dill
4 cups chicken broth (canned)
1/2 pound wide egg noodles
1 boneless/skinless chicken breast half, diced
1 can cream of chicken soup
Place a 2-qt or larger pot over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add carrots, celery*, and onion**. Add bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes, until they start to become tender. Add other spices, then pour in chicken broth. Turn up the heat until the soup comes to a boil, then reduce back to medium***. Add noodles and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken. Continue to cook until noodles are tender, a few more minutes; check to see if noodles are done. The chicken only takes a couple minutes to cook through. Remove bay leaves. We like our chicken noodle soup to be creamy, so at the end I add 1 can of cream of chicken soup.
My husband doesn't like celery so I always omit it, but I add a little celery salt with the other spices.
I rarely buy fresh onions and chop them for recipes like this, or casseroles. You can buy frozen chopped onions in the frozen vegetable section of the grocery store; they're a life saver! They only cost a teeny bit more than fresh, and it saves you all those tears.
While the soup is cooking and can be left alone for a minute, I make some yummy cheese garlic biscuits, which are really fast and will be finished at about the same time as the soup is.
If you want to make it more fancy, make some homemade noodles instead of store-bought egg noodles!