Chicken soup is such a basic I didn't even think about posting a recipe for it here. Then a friend of mine asked if I was going to post it after she recently had a bad experience with a salty canned soup. Oh, I heard her there, I have a big problem with canned chicken soup too because of the salt and the MSG. Then Matt told me this was the best batch of soup I'd ever made, so I figured I best write it down even if just for my own reference.
In my book there are three main things needed for a good chicken noodle soup, good stock, fresh parsley and the right noodles.
My freezer is almost always full of homemade stock. It's so easy to make and so much better than most you get in the store. All I do is put a chicken carcass or two, a couple of carrots, some celery stalks, a quartered onion, some thyme sprigs and a few crushed peppercorns in a large soup pot. Cover it all with a good amount of water and let it simmer all day. Often I add more water as the day goes on. At the end of the day I strain it into two cup containers and fill the freezer. I've made it with just the carcass and it's been just fine but it's such much better with the vegetables. I do not salt my stock until I use it.
Fresh flat leaf Italian parsley seems to be the ingredient that makes my soup taste like the ones we love from a deli. I think it is the fresh, almost citrus flavor it adds. Do not skip it.
Noodles. This has been the hardest thing to get right. When I get chicken noodle soup from the deli it has these thick egg noodles that still have a little toothiness to them. I've tried making my own,
they were good, but a lot of work and I ended up with a ton. I was really hoping to find them ready made (I know, I know but often when I'm making chicken noodle soup, it's because I dont' feel well, so the easier the better). Well, this time I found them, Mrs. Weiss Kluski Egg Noodles
Ok, I guess I did have a lot to say about this "basic." On to the recipe. Most recipes I've seen for chicken noodle soup on line have you start with the whole chicken and make the stock. Mine assumes you have the stock already made which means it comes together in about an hour.
Chicken Noodle Soup
If you have leftover cooked chicken you can use it in this and just skip the step of cooking it.
1/2 T olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
1/2 c chopped onion
1 c sliced carrots
1 c sliced celery
8 c chicken stock (if you stock is very flavorful and thick use part stock part water, with mine I go half and half)
1/4 c chopped flat Italian leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
1 t fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper
4 oz dumpling egg noodles
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and sauté until it is no longer pink. Add the onions, carrots and celery. Sauté until the onion is translucent.
Put the stock into a large soup pot. Add the cooked chicken and vegetables. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the parsley, the bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes.
Add the salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a boil. Add the noodles. Let cook at a rolling boil for 16 minutes or for the time required for your noodles. You want the noodles to be cooked but not mushy. In the last minute or two add the remaining parsley.
Check once more for seasoning.
Makes 4 servings.
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