Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe: Step by Step Instructions
Doctor Mom: Chicken soup will solve all ailments
My mother loved to cook, especially when it came to making soup. Her favorite, which she believed solved ALL of the woes of the world, whether it was health related, a pick me up, or a sympathy soup, was Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup . Mind you, the word, ‘homemade’ has to be included in the process because not every soup would do. Even the esteemed ‘Campbell’s’ company, and all of their chubby cheeked cherubs touting the ‘mmm-mm good’ slogan, was no contender for my mother’s soup.
Many a cold, icy winter day in Fairbanks, Alaska, or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I would crave my mother’s soup and wish she were in my kitchen cooking away. Well, it’s been many years since I’ve tasted her version; she died on Christmas morning 2003, but I can always feel her presence and the recall fond memories whenever I make a batch of Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.
Today was one of those perfect Fall Saturday’s-the sky was sunny, the weather was warmish, and the yard was being prepped for winter-and NOT by me. I escaped that duty this year because I was cooking. I’d been wanting to cook up a batch of soup for a couple of weeks now and finally got around to making sure the ingredients were in the house…mostly, that meant that I had fresh veggies and a roasting chicken.
I start my soup with a big pot and cold water. I like to plop the chicken in the pot, once its been rinsed thoroughly, and bring to a gradual boil. While the bird is in the pot I start chopping the vegetables: carrots, celery, and onion. Once the water has come to a boil I turn it to simmer, add the seasonings and after about an hour, I add the veggies, continuing to simmer for about another hour-the longer, the more tender the chicken.
Today the bird simmered in the pot, the house smelled yummy with the fragrance of thyme and chicken, and by the time I pulled it out of the pot at 5:30 p.m. it was falling off of the bone. I served steaming bowls of soup to all of the yard hands with stacked sandwiches of ham and turkey. What chicken escaped going back into the soup will be used for another meal.
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Ingredients for Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 chicken, whole, roaster or stewing
- 1/4 tsp pepper, fresh (or 6 peppercorns)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 celery stalks with leaves attached, leaves help flavor the soup
- 1-2 celery stalks, sliced medium
- 1-2 carrots, sliced thin
- 1/4 C onion, chopped
- 12 C water, more or less to meet your needs
- 6 oz uncooked noodles or rice, any type or width
Step by Step Instructions for Chicken Noodle Soup
- Fill a large pot with 12 C of cold water. Thoroughly rinse chicken under cold water and place in the pot of water. Set temperature to High and bring to a boil. Once water starts to boil turn Temp setting to simmer.
- Add thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to your taste preference. Add celery leaves and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add chopped celery, onion and carrots and continue to simmer for another hour or until vegetables are tender and chicken is falling off of the bone, (usually within 2 hours).
- Remove chicken from the pot and place in a large serving bowl to cool slightly before beginning to remove meat from bones.
- Place large pieces of chicken, (breasts, thighs and legs) in a container and refrigerate for another meal. Remove meat from bone and cut into bite sized pieces and add to the soup pot. You should have at least 1 C of 'tidbits' from the bones, but if not, take one of the chicken pieces and cut into pieces and place in the soup pot.
- Add one 6-8 oz package of thin soup noodles or 1/2 C rice if making chicken rice soup. Simmer for 7-10 minutes or until the noodles are cooked.
- Serve with Italian or French bread.
If you refrigerate the soup for several hours until chilled thoroughly, (overnight works best), you can easily skim the fat off the top because it will rise; and if overnight, it will harden.
Remember to stay flexible with your recipe for your family. If the noodles have soaked too much of the broth overnight add a cup or two of chicken flavored stock or soup broth.
Note: There is an initial prep time of about 15 minutes to rinse the chicken and chop the vegetables. Then there is a second prep time following the chicken being removed from the soup and the meat picked off of the bones. Be sure to keep the tiny bones from going back into the soup as it may get caught in someone's throat if swallowed.
Remove the larger pieces of chicken and place in the refrigerator for a future meal. Take the smaller pieces and chop into bite sized pieces and return to the soup-about one cup.
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