I cook in the summer for a week for about 30 people,and we serve buffet-style over the course of about an hour. This summer, my plan is to make lemon chicken orzo soup for one of the meals. However, I've found that if you put the noodles in the soup, they do what noodles do and absorb all the moisture. Because it's buffet-style, though, I'm having difficulty imagining putting the noodles in a separate bowl (which is what I'd normally do) for people to serve themselves, because I suspect they would turn into a starchy, uniform Borg of noodle. Any solutions?

  • 2
    Use a lot of broth. A lot. Apr 10, 2015 at 15:13
  • Says mikeTheLiar
    – Chef_Code
    Apr 11, 2015 at 18:41

4 Answers 4


If it were me, I'd cook the pasta seperately (possibly in some of the broth), and only combine them just before it was to go out in the buffet.

You might also want to take a look at How do canned soup companies keep their noodles from absorbing all the liquid in the can?

  • 1
    That "acid" thing is plain genius :) The more you know ...
    – Ar3s
    Apr 10, 2015 at 15:13

Fairly impossible; noodles are thirsty. :)

Ever had a canned soup noodle that wasn't soggy?

Typically the closest you can get is what you mentioned;

  1. Cook noodles VERY al dente with salt and olive oil; 1-2 mins under typical al dente. Then wash with butter and salt (or olive oil).
  2. Serve on side with a light amount of butter and broth mixed in.
  3. Try to use a pasta with durumn or semolina flour.
  • 1
    I like this answer, but it could use a back story or scientific evidence to why. For instance why use durumn wheat or semolina flour noodles; what is it about that type of flour that would help the situation?
    – Chef_Code
    Apr 11, 2015 at 18:47
  • Well a couple reactions are going on but the most apparent and simple is the proteins and starches are continually breaking down. Using a harder or higher protein flour will give your pasta a bit more time before becoming mushy. The trade off being the soup broth will get thicker and thicker.
    – zerobane
    Apr 12, 2015 at 20:22

I drain the pasta, then add one stick of butter to coat. Creates a barrier between the pasta and chicken broth.


Bake noodles in oven with butter until brown on a cookie sheet. Works good with a fine spaghetti noodle, does not swell when put in soup

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