This is the secret to the best chicken noodle soup

Chicken noodle soup makes a delicious meal. It's particularly good in cold weather and has even been scientifically proven to help fight colds (via The New York Times). The secret in making the best chicken noodle soup is, unsurprisingly, in the chicken itself, and how it's prepared.

The first step is to use the entire chicken. A 3- to 3 1/2-pound uncooked chicken is a good size, and to get the best chicken noodle soup, make the broth first (via The Seattle Times).

An important thing to do when making the broth is to leave the skin on the chicken. The skin is rich in collagen, which helps give the soup its texture. As most cooks are not using the feet and neck, the skin provides most of the collagen in modern recipes, making it essential.

There are many things to consider in the cooking process of making your own chicken noodle soup from scratch. One of the most important is the broth. In order to get clear broth, do not boil the chicken — instead, you should simmer the chicken. Once you see bubbles starting to form, turn the stove to the low setting. Boiled chicken will result in tough meat as well as prevent clear broth (via Loaves and Dishes).

Adding the vegetables and noodles

When you make the broth first, you have to think about the cooking time of the vegetables. This will tell you when to add them to your soup. If the vegetables you're using have different cooking times, don't throw them all in at once, but at the appropriate time based on each vegetable's ideal cooking time (via Cooking Clarified).

The last thing to add is the noodles, and there are multiple ways to do this. You can add the noodles directly into the soup or cook them separately. Cooking them separately has an advantage, as the noodles will continue to absorb the broth, making it thicker and making the noodles mushier. If you add the already-cooked noodles right before serving, you can avoid this problem. Just store your leftover soup and noodles separately (via Our Everyday Life).

If you choose to put the noodles directly into the soup, you should make the soup with approximately 25 percent more broth than needed to allow for the absorption of broth by the noodles. The noodles may release starches into your broth that can cloud it (via Our Everyday Life).

Egg noodles are a good pasta choice. They come in different thicknesses just like other pastas and you can choose the size of the noodles based on your personal preferences (via Better Homes & Gardens).