Monday, April 4, 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Depending on what part of the country you live in, you still might be in the mood for soup.  I am still in the mood for a warm bowl of soup because it snowed at my house yesterday.  Ahhh, and it's April 4th.  It's beautiful, so I try not to complain, but it's April now, so I am in the mood for some warmer weather, if you know what I mean :)  So, to try and embrace the snowy weather, I made some delicious homemade chicken noodle soup that I know you will love.  It makes your house smell so wonderful and the whole family will enjoy it!!

It's hard for me to write a recipe for this one because I usually just eyeball and taste everything, so here is my best attempt to make it into a recipe:

Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Chicken, cooked (from Sam's or Costco)
4-6 Carrots, diced  (2 for broth)
4-6 Celery stalks, diced (2 for broth)
2 Onions, diced (1 for broth)
2 T. Olive oil
4 C. Chicken broth (will need more if you don't want to make your own broth as listed below)
Whole wheat extra wide noodles
Poultry Seasoning (any kind you like)
Bay leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste

First, get your delicious roasted chicken from your grocery store, then cut all the chicken off of it.  If you can't get the chicken fresh that day, just buy it and keep it in your fridge.  It is good for a couple of days in there.  Do the best job you can to get all the chicken off and dice it up into small bite size pieces. 

Next, fill a pot about half way full of water (8 c. appx.) and put the chicken carcass into the water.  Add a couple of carrots, a couple sticks of celery, a sliced onion, bay leaf, and about 1 TBLS. of poultry seasoning, 1 TBLS. of salt, 1 tsp. of pepper.  Bring the water to boil on high heat and let the chicken (skin, bones, & all) cook for about an hour while you assemble the rest of the soup.  Make sure you have enough water to cover the carcass.  Once it is boiling, turn down the heat until it comes to a slow boil.  You are making your broth that will be full of flavor and will save you on chicken broth costs as well.  If you choose to skip this step, you are more than welcome to, it's just a way to make a savory broth that tastes good and saves you money :)  If you choose not to do this step, just skip this part and start out with 8 c. chicken broth.

Next, cut up your 4 carrots, onion, and celery stalks into smaller bite size peices.  Take another large saucepan, add the olive oil and the carrots, onion, and celery, and let cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat until the vegetables are nice and tender.  Add a little salt and pepper for seasoning.   Remove from heat when done.
Now you are ready to assemble the soup.  Once your broth is looking good with a nice light yellow color and tastes delicious, you are ready to go.  If your broth is too bland, add more salt and pepper, as well as more poultry seasoning if needed.  Once it tastes delicious, you will strain it to remove all the chicken bones, skin, and bay leaf. 

Notice how the broth is a beautiful golden color.  It tastes just as good as it looks :) After you strain it, throw away all the rest of the contents.  If you would like to save the carrots and dice them up for the soup, you can definitely use them.  They taste wonderful.
Put the strained broth back into the pan, bring to a boil, then add your whole grain pasta noodles and cook according to the time on the package.  Usually about 10 minutes. 

Once they feel al dente, add the carrot and celery mixture into the pot along with the cut up chicken.  Let simmer together for another 5 minutes or so and enjoy!!  If you don't have enough broth for all the contents of the soup, add the extra 4 c. of chicken broth I have listed on the ingredient list.  Just add until the ratio of broth to ingredients is right for your liking. 
Bon Appetit

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