These last few weeks when the weather and the leaves have been changing, I’ve been all about soups and stews! And this weekend I really went back to the basics with this chicken noodle soup and homemade chicken broth.
You don’t need me to tell you about the wonderfulness of homemade chicken noodle soup. It’s said to cure everything from the common cold to fallen arches. All I know is that it’s powerfully good stuff. And it’s so easy to make. I like to make it with a homemade chicken stock, but you don’t have to do that. As a matter of fact, you could make this soup in less than 30 minutes with leftover chicken and canned, store-bought broth. It won’t have the “love factor” that the homemade broth carries, but it will taste pretty good. Store bought broths have come a long way in the last few years, but I still like making my own when I have time, so I’m including my recipe for the stock along with the soup.
2 ½ quarts chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
4 cups medium egg noodles
1 tblsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
As I said, I was using a homemade broth for my soup. This broth was made the day before and stored in the refrigerator overnight. See in the photo on the left how all the fat has risen to the top? Just take a large spoon and scoop that off. Now we’re ready to get going! One more note – the dark, rich color of the broth is because I use an unpeeled yellow onion in my stock. The peel gives the deep, rich color to the stock. After all the native Americans and early settlers used onion peels for yellow dye, so it makes sense that it would color the stock in that way.
Put 2 1/2 quarts of stock in a large soup pot.
Chop one large onion. Peel and slice two carrots (or more if you really like carrots).
Thinly slice two stalks of celery. Be sure and use the top leaves of the celery if you have them. They add so much flavor to the soup!
Grab a handful of flat-leaf Italian parsley and a couple of sprigs of thyme. Roughly chop the parsley and pull the leaves from the thyme. The easiest way to do the thyme is to just hold it at the bottom and strip the leaves off by pulling down from the top.
Toss the veggies and herbs into the large pot with your stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat a bit but keep the soup at a steady, strong bubble. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until carrots are beginning to soften.
Next add the chicken and egg noodles.
Add the salt and pepper. I know a whole tablespoon of salt seems like a lot, but up until now, if you’re using homemade stock, you haven’t added any salt at all and that’s a lot of soup to flavor. Of course, adjust to your own tastes and you can add more at serving if you like. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until noodles are done.
Homemade Chicken Stock:
1 3 ½ to 4 pound chicken
2 stalks celery
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1 large yellow onion, halved
3-4 sprigs flat leaf Italian parsley
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp. peppercorns
Here’s my tried and true recipe for homemade chicken stock. I like this so much better than the store-bought. It’s easy to throw together while you’re working around the house on the weekend and is a wonderful thing to be able to pull out of the freezer when you need it! You also get approximately 4 cups of chicken that can be frozen and used as needed for chicken salad or casseroles.
In a large stock pot or roasting pan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil and quickly reduce to low heat. Maintain a slow simmer and cook for two hours. Remove chicken to a plate, cover and store in refrigerator. Strain all the vegetables from the broth and discard them. Store the broth in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 ½ quarts chicken broth
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- 4 cups medium egg noodles
- 1 tblsp. salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 3 ½ to 4 pound chicken
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 carrots
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic
- 1 large yellow onion, halved
- 3-4 sprigs flat leaf Italian parsley
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. peppercorns
- Combine first 6 ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat a bit but keep the soup at a steady, strong bubble. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until carrots are beginning to soften. Add the chicken, egg noodles, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until noodles are done.
- In a large stock pot or roasting pan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil and quickly reduce to low heat. Maintain a slow simmer and cook for two hours. Remove chicken to a plate, cover and store in refrigerator. Strain all the vegetables from the broth and discard them. Store the broth in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.