My Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup
By Kath Dedon
I have already posted a recipe for Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup, and it’s very good. This, however, is My Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup….the “killer” chicken noodle soup that I promised.
It’s not quick, but it is very easy. This is the soup to make when you want a rich chicken soup and you have free afternoon to make it. It takes a few hours, but most of that time is unattended so you can enjoy the afternoon doing other things.
The recipe is adapted from one in the 1981 edition of La Leche League’s Whole Foods for the Whole Family, edited by Roberta Bishop Johnson. I was given the book by a dear friend over 25 years ago, and it’s still one that I enjoy using. It’s a community cookbook; over 7,000 recipes were contributed by LLL members. Those recipes were triple-tested and whittled down to about 900. Emphasizing wholesome ingredients, and including vegetarian as well as meat dishes, the cookbook has something for everyone.
Most chicken soup recipes call for simmering a chicken in water. Instead of simmering, the first step of this recipe is roasting a whole chicken. It’s roasted over 2 cups of water and the water becomes chicken broth in the process. The flavor and texture of the roast chicken is, in my opinion, so much better than a simmered chicken. It’s fabulous in the soup!
The first time I made the soup (many years ago), I followed the directions until I got to the part about skinning the chicken and removing the meat from the bones. The recipe said, “discard skin and bones”. Well…it seemed to me that those bones and the skin had a lot more rich flavor to contribute to the soup. I put them in a pot, added a carrot, celery stalk, and part of an onion, added water and the broth from the roasting pan and simmered it all for about an hour. The resulting broth was so wonderful that I’ve done it that way ever since.
This makes a lot of soup, but I think it freezes well. (I’ll soon find out because I did freeze some of this batch.)
Serve the soup with good bread and a salad for a complete meal that all will love!
My Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup
(Adapted from a recipe in La Leche League’s Whole Foods for the Whole Family)
8 generous servings
1 whole chicken
2 cups water
For the broth:
1 carrot, cut into 4 pieces
½ medium onion, cut into 4 pieces
1 stalk of celery, cut into 4 pieces
Broth from the roasting pan
8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Cheesecloth for straining
For the soup:
2 tablespoons butter
½ pound carrots, chopped (about 4 medium)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 – 5 stalks celery, chopped
Chicken meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
6 ounces noodles
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚.
2. Put the chicken breast-side down in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
3. Add 2 cups water to the baking dish.
4. Roast the chicken uncovered for 2 hours.
Roasted chicken. (I used a rack in the pan, but I don’t think it’s necessary.)
5. Pour the broth from the pan into a large pot. Let the chicken cool off until it’s cool enough to handle.
6. Remove the skin from the chicken and add it to the pot with the broth. Take the chicken meat off the bones and add the bones to the pot.
7. Cut the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
8. Add the carrot, onion, celery stalk (all cut into 4 pieces), 8 cups of water, and salt to the pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
9. Remove the vegetables from the broth and discard them. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and strain the broth into measuring cups or other pans. (You should end up with about 10 cups of broth.)
10. Melt the butter in a large pot (you could use the same one you used for the broth).
11. Add the chopped carrots, onion, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are starting to soften, 5 – 10 minutes.
12. Add the reserved broth and the chicken. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.
13. Add the noodles and simmer for 20 minutes.
14. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (I added another teaspoon of salt.)