Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup


I have a cold. You know, the kind where you feel awful all over but sadly still good enough to function (not that many of us have a choice). When I was little, my Mom would make homemade chicken noodle soup and I would drink Coca-Cola from a plastic cup shaped like an ice cream sundae. Unfortunately I don't have my trusty sundae cup anymore, but I'm grateful for the unbelievable pot of chicken noodle soup I made yesterday. "Must keep going" is the mantra I chanted to myself as I hovered over the stove yesterday, knowing that the reward would be well worth the effort.

Great soup starts with a great stock, and there's nothing better than homemade. It's one of those things you can quickly prepare and then let simmer on the stove while you go on with the rest of your life. You can make it in advance and store in the freezer, or you can enjoy it right away. There's no right or wrong combination of ingredients, so use this list as a springboard to explore your own flavors. As an aside, your home will smell out-of-this-world.

Homemade Chicken Stock

-1 whole chicken
-handful of carrots
-handful of celery
-1 turnip
-2 onions
-1 head of garlic
-fresh italian parsley
-dried thyme
-generous salt and pepper

Don't even bother peeling the vegetables. Cut them in half and throw 'em in the pot. Add enough water to cover the chicken and most of the veggies. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and leave uncovered for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Drain through a colander and then through a fine sieve. You can skim the fat off the top before either pouring it into freezer-proof containers, or back into the pot to make soup on the spot!

The chicken will literally fall off the bone. If you're planning on freezing the stock, reserve the chicken for sandwiches and salads. If you're making soup right away, add the chicken back to the broth.

Chicken Noodle Soup

-use chicken from making the broth OR roasted chicken breasts*
-handful of carrots and celery, peeled and cut
-noodle of your choice

*Place bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts in a baking dish and rub with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cover and roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn down the heat to 350 and roast uncovered for another 20 minutes.

A note about the noodles: you can certainly cook them in the broth, but I've found that they soak up all of the liquid and you're left with less stock. Bad news. I suggest cooking the noodles separately and adding them to the bowl before serving. Storing the stock and the noodles separately ensures that you'll get to enjoy all of that precious broth for days to come!

5 comments:

  1. Soups are delicious and yes, homemade stock makes a yummy difference. Hope you are getting better!

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  2. Thank you! Feeling a little better everyday!

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