After such a hot and rainy summer, I have been more than ready for Fall which is my favorite season and the cooler temperatures it brings with it. This morning was one of those cooler Fall days. A bit drizzle-y and bit chilly but perfect for soup making. I no longer buy the cartons of prepared soup stock and I now make my own. I always heard that making your own stock is easy and and so much tastier, healthier and less expensive and it really is! I get to control how much salt goes into that pot.
Chicken Noodle Soup is one of my favorites. Such a basic soup and a classic for good reason. Easy and economical because I make it using what is left over from our weekly rotisserie chicken. This is a “Use what you have” recipe. The ingredients are simple. Celery, carrots, onions, parsley or cilantro like I used today, garlic, kosher salt and pepper. I saw a recipe recently that added a bay leaf. I wanted to try that but forgot. Some recipes I’ve seen add a bit of dill. Will also have to give that a go one of these days as well.
I have a medium sized soup pot that came with a wire basket that makes soup making so much easier. I simply put all my ingredients into the basket, lower it into the pot, and add enough water to cover all the ingredients. This pot makes me very happy but is not a necessity. I have been making this soup for years, long before I owned it using a Dutch oven sized pot and then later a real soup stock pot. This pot with the basket however, is wonderful.
When making the stock, I roughly cut up all the ingredients and throw them into the pot. This recipe is NOT precise. Use what you have and if you like carrots, by all means, add a ton of carrots. I like to include the celery leaves for this step. I cut up an onion and leave the skins on because they help add color. Same with the garlic.
I bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for about an hour. Makes the kitchen warm and it smells delightful.
Back in the days before the the magical soup pot with the basket, I would use a strainer over my largest bowl to strain out the chicken bones, etc… Just be very careful everything is so hot! You might want to do it in steps and let it cool first before straining.
Chicken Noodle Soup
1 leftover Rotisserie Chicken. (Keep all the skin and bones. I looked for a deep dark colored rotisserie chicken. I think they have more flavor).
1 large onion (Leave the skins on and cut in big chunks.)
4 cloves of garlic
4 or 5 celery stalks roughly cut. (Lot’s of times I cut off the bottom of the whole celery and throw that in too.)
Carrots (I add about a half of a bag of baby carrots or whatever kind of carrots you have. Today I used carrots sticks and like the look!)
Parsley or Cilantro. ( I take a handful and tear it off and them roughly cut it up and throw into the pot. Save some to add at the end.)
Egg Noodles. ( I boil them up in a separate pot. I like No Yolks brand but use whatever kind of noodles you like best. Resist the urge to just throwing the dried noodle into the soup pot to let them cook there. I’ve done this but the extra starch that comes off the noodles as they cook give the soup a look and texture that I don’t care for. I like a clearer broth if that makes sense.)
1 tsp. kosher salt. (This is an estimate. Go in light with the salt. You can always add more to taste at the end.)
1/2 tsp black pepper. (Same. Go in light and add more later if you need to.)
Then, when the stock has that deep rich golden color that I love, I can lift the basket up out of the pot and pull out some of the now cooked carrots, celery and onions, set them on my cutting board and chop them up to add back into the soup along with the chicken meat that I picked off of the leftover rotisserie chicken. After I've taken out everything I want to add back to my finished soup, I discard what’s left in the basket.
And then!! It’s time to enjoy. Add some of your cooked noodles to a bowl, and use a ladle to add your soup to the bowl. This makes a lot of soup. You can share it and it also freezes well without the noodles. Cook up fresh noodles each time you serve it. That’s it! Enjoy!