Simple, Delicious, Homemade Chicken Soup
When the weather turns cold or you're not feeling well, nothing is more comforting than a nice bowl of homemade chicken soup. I've always made chicken soup the traditional way (using a whole chicken), but have recently found a quicker, more flavorful way to prepare it. The twist is using ground chicken to make the base. Ground chicken has much more surface area than a whole chicken and that means far more flavor will be imparted to the soup. I used to use whole peeled turnips and parsnips but since the cooking time is shortened, I've found that chopping those vegetables strengthens the flavor as well. Though the cooking method may be a little different than what you're used to, I'm confident you'll find that the traditional flavors are still present.
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast pieces, each cut in half
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 4 or 5 carrots, whole, peeled
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium parsnip chopped
- 1 medium turnip chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs of fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried.
- 5 quarts of water
- 16 bouillon cubes (or enough to make 16 cups of broth)
- 1/2 pound dry noodles
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
If you don't want to make that much soup, reduce the amount of water, bouillon cubes, and noodles, but keep everything else the same.
Cooking - Part One
Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot. Add the chopped vegetables and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ground chicken and cook until slightly browned. Add the water and chicken stock, the whole peeled carrots, bay leaves, and dill, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breast pieces, bring back to a boil, reduce, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Cooking - Last Part
Remove the chicken pieces and whole carrots and set aside. Skim and discard most of the fat. Strain the soup into another pot, discarding all of the solids. Slice the carrots into bite-size pieces. Return the soup to the stove and add the sliced carrots. When it comes back to a boil, stir in the noodles and cook for fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, when the cooked chicken breast is cool enough to work with, cut it into small cubes, discarding the skin and bones. Once the noodles are finished cooking, turn off the heat and add the diced chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.
I like to add a little Romano cheese to each serving, but that's optional.
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