At various renowned restaurant chains nationwide, a delightful array of hearty soups awaits—ranging from broccoli cheddar and Zuppa Toscana to baked potato and tomato bisque—but none quite satisfies like a steaming bowl of chicken soup. Its rich, comforting broth epitomizes the essence of umami, offering a depth of flavor and warmth that feels like a familiar embrace.
For millennia, humans have simmered chickens to create this beloved soup, and its timeless appeal remains unparalleled. Whether seeking solace during illness or a quick remedy for cold weather chills, chicken soup holds an inexplicable allure that beckons repeated indulgence. Its soothing and nourishing qualities have secured its place as a timeless classic in the realm of culinary delights.
When hunger strikes and time is scarce, crafting homemade chicken soup might not be feasible despite its unrivaled taste. Luckily, numerous restaurant chains have mastered the art of preparing satisfying renditions of this classic dish. These establishments offer delectable chicken soups that rival the homemade experience.
What’s even more enticing is the creative spin some restaurants infuse into their recipes, ensuring a delightful and diverse experience for diners. From luscious broths brimming with shredded rotisserie-style chicken to inventive variations featuring gnocchi instead of traditional egg noodles, these 6 restaurant chains showcase the epitome of the best chicken soup.
1. Panera Bread Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup
HOMESTYLE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP (1 BOWL): 100 cal, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1280 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 9 g protein
Panera’s culinary prowess extends beyond its celebrated sandwiches and salads to a captivating array of soups. Among their lineup, alongside the renowned Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich and the Green Goddess Cobb Salad, Panera offers a diverse range of soups that cater to varying tastes. From the beloved broccoli cheddar soup to seasonal delights like the vegetarian autumn butternut squash soup, the menu boasts an array of flavorful options.
A standout among Panera’s soup offerings is the homestyle chicken noodle soup, a comforting classic crafted with care. This flavorful creation features tender white chicken simmered in a rich, seasoned broth alongside perfectly cooked egg noodles, chopped carrots, celery, and aromatic herbs. Paired with a freshly baked piece of bread, it’s a fulfilling and soul-warming meal in itself.
2. Culver’s Chicken Noodle Soup
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP (MEDIUM): 130 cal, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 1190 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 7 g protein
This Wisconsin-born restaurant chain might be best recognized for its pan-seared burgers and delectable fresh frozen custard, yet it’s also a hidden gem for an exceptional chicken noodle soup. Packaged in the establishment’s iconic blue and white containers, this aromatic broth delights with tender white meat chicken, hearty plank-like noodles, and a medley of vegetables like celery and carrots.
Pair it with their grilled cheese, a savory beef pot roast sandwich, or a flavorful cranberry bacon bleu salad for a satisfying and well-rounded dining experience.
3. Noodles & Company Chicken Noodle Soup
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP (1 ORDER): 360 cal, 10 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 2320 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (2 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 30 g protein
Noodles & Company, hailing from Colorado and prominently featuring “noodles” in its name, naturally delivers a remarkable chicken noodle soup. This signature offering, available in full or side-order sizes, boasts a flavorful composition of grilled chicken breast, wavy egg noodles, and a medley of chopped celery, onions, and carrots.
When ordered as a side, it comes accompanied by oyster crackers, enhancing the texture with an added crunch. The attention to detail in the soup’s ingredients and its impeccable balance of flavors makes it a standout option at this establishment.
4. Olive Garden Chicken & Gnocchi Soup
CHICKEN & GNOCCHI SOUP (1 ORDER): 230 cal, 12 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 1290 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 11 g protein
Indulging in the never-ending soup, salad, and breadsticks at Olive Garden, the colossal Italian-American dining chain with a global presence of over 900 locations, unveils a distinctive chicken soup experience. Setting itself apart, this soup takes a departure from traditional egg noodles, featuring the hearty addition of gnocchi, and the Italian pasta dumplings, which impart a satisfying depth to the dish.
Contrasting a conventional chicken soup, the broth here boasts a creamier texture, elevating the flavors, and swaps carrots and celery for cooked spinach, offering a unique twist.
For enthusiasts keen on exploring Olive Garden’s soup repertoire, alongside the renowned chicken gnocchi soup, there’s the Zuppa Toscana—a blend of spicy Italian sausage, fresh kale, and russet potatoes—and the pasta e fagioli, a delightful medley of white and red beans, savory ground beef, fresh tomatoes, and tube-shaped pasta. These alternatives promise a diverse and flavorsome soup experience for those eager to try something new.
5. Chick-fil-A Chicken Noodle Soup
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP (1 CUP): 170 cal, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1220 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein
Chick-fil-A, renowned for its exceptional fried chicken, also stands out with a top-notch chicken noodle soup in its repertoire. Available in cup or bowl sizes, this restaurant’s take on the classic soup features shredded Chick-fil-A chicken breast—a notable inclusion—alongside chopped carrots, diced celery, and egg noodles, all simmered to perfection in a clear, flavorful chicken broth. Accompanying each order is a side of saltine crackers, offering a delightful crunch and complement to the soup.
While Chick-fil-A’s chicken noodle soup adheres to a more traditional recipe—void of gnocchi or a creamy broth—it remains an excellent choice for patrons seeking a warm and comforting dish that diverges from the brand’s signature offerings. Despite its simplicity, the soup boasts a comforting familiarity and satisfying flavors that cater to customers in search of a wholesome and fulfilling meal.
6. Cafe Zupas Chicken Noodle Soup
CHICKEN NOODLE (HALF): 130 cal, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 950 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 9 g protein
Cafe Zupas, translating to “soup cafe,” lives up to its name by offering a remarkable selection of soups. With over 55 locations spanning eight states, the chain prides itself on crafting scratch-made meals using premium ingredients. Its diverse menu features an array of inventive options, ranging from the unique pumpkin chorizo soup, mushroom bisque, chickpea and vegetable soup, to an intriguing macaroni and cheese “soup” made with egg noodles and a creamy, cheesy cauliflower base.
For those seeking a more traditional choice, Cafe Zupas offers a classic chicken noodle soup that captures the essence of comfort. Crafted with juicy grilled chicken, chopped carrots, diced celery, egg noodles, fragrant herbs, and spices all simmered in a warm chicken broth, this option stands out. Notably, the chain highlights on its website that this soup is dairy-free and low-calorie, catering to individuals who are lactose-intolerant or seeking a lighter meal without compromising on flavor or satisfaction.
The journey through these 6 restaurant chains has unraveled a diverse tapestry of chicken soup variations, each with its own distinctive flavors and culinary excellence. Whether you prefer the traditional homestyle goodness or crave a more adventurous twist, these chains cater to a spectrum of tastes, offering comforting bowls that warm the soul. With quality ingredients, flavorful broths, and dedication to taste, these restaurants continue to win hearts with their exceptional chicken soup offerings.
1. Are these chicken soups available year-round at these restaurant chains?
Yes, most of these chains offer their chicken soups as part of their regular menu items available throughout the year.
2. Are there vegetarian or vegan options for chicken soup at these chains?
Some chains might offer variations or alternatives that cater to vegetarian or vegan preferences, such as using plant-based substitutes for chicken or creating vegetable-based soups.
3. Can I order these soups for takeout or delivery?
Absolutely! Many of these restaurant chains provide options for takeout, delivery, or even catering, allowing customers to enjoy their favorite chicken soups from the comfort of their homes.
4. Are there any gluten-free options available for chicken soup?
A few of these chains may offer gluten-free alternatives or options suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities. It’s advisable to check with the specific restaurant for their menu options.
5. Do these chains allow customization or additions to their chicken soups?
In some cases, these restaurant chains may offer customization options, allowing customers to add or modify ingredients according to their preferences. However, it might vary from chain to chain, so it’s best to inquire with the respective establishments.