This chicken zoodle soup is a low-carb, Whole30-compliant version of the classic. The broth is so complex and satisfying that you won't miss starchy noodles for a second, and the aroma will transport you back to your mama or grandma's kitchen in an instant.
Pat the chicken pieces dry, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add half the chicken pieces, skin side down, and saute until the skin browns, 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside onto a plate, then repeat with the remaining chicken pieces. Add all chicken pieces back to the pot.
Add eight cups filtered water to the dutch oven, or enough to barely cover the chicken. Add the apple cider vinegar, thyme sprig, and baby leaf to the pot. Increase the heat to high, bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, or whatever burner temperature is required to maintain a low, even simmer. Cover the pot and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the meat is very tender and falling off the bone, about 90 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the broth using tongs and set aside onto a plate until cool enough to handle. Once cool, shred the chicken. Save the bones for making a long-simmered bone broth.
Place a fine mesh sieve over a pot or bowl large enough to accommodate all of the liquid, then strain the broth through the sieve.
Return the dutch oven to the stove over medium high heat, add the second tablespoon olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute until soft, but not browned, 6-7 minutes.
Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the strained broth to the pot, along with the shredded cooked chicken and dried herbs. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Taste the broth for seasoning, and add additional salt and pepper if required. I added 2 additional tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
Spiralize 1 zucchini per two servings. Place approximately 1 cup spiralized zucchini into a bowl, then ladle the hot soup onto the zoodles. The hot soup will "cook" the zoodles for a bite-tender texture. Serve immediately. Leftover soup can be store in the fridge with zoodles stored separately for up to a week, or in the freezer in a tightly sealed container for up to three months.