Sorry friends…no photos. This was posted fast and furious because so many of you were asking me for it. Feel free to send me pics on Facebook when you make it so I can see YOUR versions! This is a GREAT thing to have regularly over the winter, as it is loaded with natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties from the loads of fresh onions and garlic in both the stock and then in the soup, and if you choose to add the mushrooms, or kale/spinach, you get some wonderful anti-oxidant value as well! Keep your immunity strong and avoid the sickies! Happy soup-ing!
Chicken Noodle Soup from Scratch
Stock from scratch:
4-5 raw chicken drumsticks (you can use thighs or 2-3 quarters as well)
1 huge or 2 med/large onions peeled and cut into big chunks
3-4 large cloves of garlic smashed
2 TBSP salt
4 bay leaves
1 pinch of dried thyme
Large stockpot filled 2/3 with hot water
Directions for making Stock:
*Bring all these ingredients to a boil over med-high heat. When it is boiling, lower the temp to medium heat and cook uncovered for a few hours, until the broth has a nice strong chicken-y flavor. The longer you cook off the water, the more flavorful your stock will be. You will need at least a half stock-pot of stock to make the soup, a little more is better if you like a good amount of broth rather than more of a stew. If you get down to a half-pot of stock and it isn’t quite flavorful enough for you, add 4 cups of water and cook it a bit longer. Play around with it, you’ll get the hang of it! Have a few chicken boullion cubes on hand to add if you just can’t get as much flavor as you like. Add 1 cube at a time and wait 5 minutes then taste and see if it is just like you want it. Not gonna lie, making a delicioius stock is very easy, but it takes alot of patience and with time, your experience will help you make the PERFECT chicken stock.
*When stock is as flavorful as you want it, strain it into a large bowl that will fit more than all of it. Lift the strainer out of the bowl if it is in the stock, and let the bones and such finish draining into your empty stock pot. You want to get ALL that yummy stock! After about a half hour of straining, pour whatever stock you get in the pot, in with the rest of the stock. If you can, cover the bowl of stock with plastic wrap or foil and put it in the refrigerator overnight so the fat comes to the surface and hardens. In the morning ,scrape the fat off the top carefully, and discard. You don’t HAVE to do this step, but it makes a slightly healthier and less “greasy” soup.
1 huge or 2 large onions, diced
3-4 large garlic cloves, minced (if you are using pre-minced garlic, use 2-3 rounded TBSP.)
3-4 stalks of cleaned celery cut however you like (about 2 cups)
2-4 cleaned and peeled carrots, cut however you like (about 2-3 cups)
2 C. frozen peas
2 C. frozen cut green beans
2 C. Frozen corn kernels
2-3 C. fresh spinach leaves or fresh Kale leaves (peel or cut kale off of stems and chop into bite-sized pieces) (OPTIONAL)
1-2 C. fresh chopped Mushrooms (OPTIONAL)
1 TBSP dried parsley
2+ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
More salt to taste if needed, added 1 tsp. at a time wait 20 minutes and taste in between additions.
2 large B/S Chicken Breasts, left whole or cut in half at the most
2 C. small to medium width egg noodles
*Bring chicken stock to a rolling boil, add ALL the veggies ,herbs and spices. Bring to a boil again over med-high heat, then lower heat to medium.
***Variation: If you would like the broth of your soup to be just a LITTLE bit thick, sautee the onions, celery, carrots and garlic in 2 TBSP of butter. When they are softened mostly, add 2 TBSP of flour to the veggies. Stir to coat and get the flour just a little bit toasty. Add the stock and stir it all up well. Continue with adding the rest of the veggies and bringing to a boil. My husband and daughter much prefer this version as it “teases” of gravy a little.
*Gently poach the chicken breasts by adding them to the soup. Poach for 10-15 minutes or until breast is JUST cooked and there is no more pink in the middle. If you over cook the breast it will get VERY tough. Once the breasts are cooked, move them to a large piece of foil and wrap them up tight to rest from cooking, and cool off some for 15-20 minutes.
*Pat dry with a paper towel then coat with olive oil, one chicken breast. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, season salt, onion powder, garlic powder and dried parsley on both sides. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 375*F until breast is JUST cooked inside and not pink. Wrap breast in foil for 10 minutes to rest it so it will reabsorb the juices. Cut breast in half long-wise, slice long-wise and cube as you like. Wrap back up in foil until last step when you add chicken after turning heat off. I prefer this method myself. Well worth the extra effort and dirty dishes.
*Once veggies are completely cooked, (you will want to make SURE the kale, if you are using it, is as soft as you want it because undercooked kale can ruin a soup for you. lol) and soup is boiling over medium heat, add egg noodles and stir them in well. Test the noodles after 7 minutes. If they are completely cooked or very close to it, shut the heat completely OFF.
*Remove the chicken breasts from foil and transfer to a meat-only use cutting board. Cut chicken into chunks of desired size, then put the meat into the soup. DO NOT TURN THE HEAT BACK ON! Let the chicken cubes warm up from the heat of the soup for 5 minutes then SERVE!
This soup freezes well, except the noodles do get a little soft and gummy.
It becomes SO easy once you make it a couple of times! I promise! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do….