Cold Weather Favorites: Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
I don't know about you, but when the weather starts to take on a chill or if I am feeling a little under the weather I crave chicken noodle soup. Why? Maybe its because that was always what my parents gave me when I was sick when I was young. Or maybe its the comforting smell of the stock. Perhaps its the heartiness of the vegetables and chicken. Or it could just be as simple as all the electrolytes you'll get from the broth
No matter the reason I am a big fan of chicken noodle soup. I remember on the rare occasions that we had a rotisserie chicken my dad would always take the leftover meat and the bones to make chicken broth. He would then make soup. It wouldn't just be a little soup, it would be enough to last us days. The house would smell so good, and I remember hims taking most of the afternoon to make it.
This may be a little silly, but I when I moved out I really wanted to make that soup. But, I had it in my head that it was going to be super hard and above my culinary ability (and this is coming from the girl that made lobster mac 'n cheese from scratch...)
One day my boyfriend and I were feeling a little under the weather, probably from a little too much wine the night before, a late night, and an early morning. It was raining and the first chilly day of the season. I decided that it was time. I was going to make chicken noodle soup on my own. After all, how hard could it possibly be?
I have one tiny confession. My soup is not exactly like my dad's. He made his broth completely from the bones, skin, and leftover meat from a rotisserie chicken. His soup never had that much meat in it, but it would have so much flavor. Mine. Well, there is plenty of flavor. But, I used the rotisserie chicken just for the soup. I used store bought broth and then enhanced it with the bones from the carcass. I simply didn't have the time to wait for the broth from scratch. We wanted soup as soon as possible.
How Long Will It Take?
If you would like more or less of any of the spices I say go for it! Just remember the more cayenne you add the more heat the soup will have. I accidentally added about a tablespoon and a half the first time I made this soup, it brought some tears to my eyes. The second time I made it I only used a tablespoon and it was a lot more bearable, though I had still been expecting the spiciness and kind of missed it. It certainly helped clear the sinuses.
I also added sliced mushrooms the second time I made the soup.
What You'll Need
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken, I use the largest I can get
- 4-6 Carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4-6 Celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 boxes (4 quarts) Chicken Broth, I like low sodium
- 1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tbsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tbsp Celery Salt
- 1 tbsp Paprika
- 1 package Noodles, Egg noodles or your favorite small pasta
- 4 cloves Garlic, I like freshly chopped
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
I only like to use the larger bones (like the thigh) because they are easier to fish out when its time to start adding the vegetables. I also like to count how many bones I put in, that way I make sure I get them all out. This way I make sure that no one gets little bones in their bowl.
How To Make The Soup
- Wash the carrots and the celery, then cut into one inch pieces (If you want to add other vegetables prepare them at this time as well.) Remove the skin from the rotisserie chicken, then break off the meat into chunks. (I like mine about the size of my finger). Remove the larger bones from the carcass and set aside.
- Empty the cartons of store bought chicken broth into a large stock pot. And bring to a simmer. Add the large bones to the simmering stock. (You can also add the skin as well, they will be more flavor but there will also be more fat in the soup) Let simmer for 30 minutes
- While the broth is simmering add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a sauté pan. Then add the spices, followed by the vegetables. Sauté the vegetables until soft.
- Remove the bones from the broth. Then add the vegetables, chicken, and the noodles. Cook until the noodles are done.
One of the reasons I love this soup is that you can make so many changes to it. You want a little more spice? Add some more cayenne pepper. You don't like celery? don't use it. You don't like egg noodles? Use alphabet noodles. What if you want to try zucchini, squash, or potatoes? Go for it! I would even say that you could safely add beans to this soup.
The Final Product
If you are like me you don't mind taking last night's dinner for today's lunch. But, you don't want to be eating last night's dinner all week. This soup freezes well. The first time I made it was able to freeze two servings. And I was glad I did because just two weeks later I wasn't feeling my best and was able to thaw the soup for a good pick me up meal. I am typically able to get anywhere from 8-10 servings from this recipe, depending on how large I made the bowls.
What To Pair the Soup With
I love rolls with my soup. Of course, crackers are nice when I'm sick. When, I am not feeling sick and just want a warm bowl of soup on a cold night I have been known to make a grilled cheese sandwich to join my soup. Of course, when I'm not sick I also think a nice cold beer goes well with that combination too.