Friday, November 19, 2010

What's for Dinner? (Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup)

Um, hi! Do you remember me? Yeah so, it's been a little while since I posted on here. Mostly life and sickness getting in the way, but no guilt. Life is all about setting and keeping priorities and sometimes that means taking a break from things that you love (like blogging!)

I've been wanting to post this recipe for probably a month now. I've actually made it a second time ... it's that good (and easy). I never thought of my self as a "from scratch" kind of girl, but this is one of those recipes you want to try. With Thanksgiving around the corner, there's no reason you can't turn this into a turkey recipe! P.S. I learned how to make this from my sister and there are not exact measurements ... don't let this scare you!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Rotisserie Chicken
Bay Leaves
Chicken Bouillon

I bought a large Rotisserie Chicken earlier in the week, which we enjoyed for dinner. When we were done, I removed all the chicken and put in one ziploc bag and put the carcass (including bones that were on our plates) in a separate bag.

Around lunch time on the day I made the soup, I put the chicken carcass in my 8 qt. pot. along with roughly 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, and one onion each cut in big chunks. (Note these veggies will not be in your final soup, so they don't need to look pretty.) Add some 1 tsp pepper, 2-3 cloves garlic, 1 tsp thyme and 2 bay leaves. Fill mostly with water and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for several hours, stirring occasionally. The aroma will fill your house and you'll feel like a domestic diva!

At about 4pm, I started cutting the veggies for the soup (these are the ones you'll want to look pretty). Chop approximately 4 carrots (or most of a small bag of baby carrots), several ribs of celery (I used one stalk total) and one onion (I diced it fine, since my kids wouldn't eat it otherwise). If you need more chicken, cook one or two chicken breasts at this time (I have a micro-cooker that I use to cook my chicken in the microwave, it's fast and easy.)

Around 4:30, I strained the cooking broth ... make sure to have a pan or bowl to catch the liquid! If not, all that simmering was for naught!!! ;) If there is a lot of fat in your broth, you can skim it from the top at this point. Discard the vegetables. Combine the broth with the newly chopped veggies in the rinsed out 8 qt pot. At this point is where you want to taste the broth and determine how much bouillon you want to add. Also add salt, pepper, garlic (I love garlic!), parsley and basil. Start with 1/2 tsp and add more to your taste. The first time I made the soup, I had to add quite a bit of bouillon, the second time not nearly as much. I think the second time I didn't have as much liquid and it cooked longer. 

Now that you've got the taste balanced, you'll want to let the veggies cook, so bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for 45 minutes or so. During the last 15 minutes, I cooked the noodles. (Fresh noodles are the best!)

You can choose to combine the noodles into the soup or serve them separately. If the soup will be sitting around, you may want to keep it separate because the noodles really suck up the broth. Serve with a yummy chunk of bread (we had sourdough!)


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