So I’ve been trying to get this on the blog for a while now. It’s been a long time coming and here it is, just in time for it to watch winter hit itself with the doorknob on the way out.
We still have a few days here and there forecasted that dip in the 50’s, but for the most part we’re enjoying some nice weather. I know as of this writing a bunch of you are still getting snow, so to that I say you better make amends with Elsa soon, it’s freaking spring already! While we had some bitter cold days and 2 or 3 good snow falls, it’s nothing compared to what others have gotten.
Still though, it was enough to get the wife down and depressed for weeks, wishing she never left Florida and its 2.5 seasons (that’s Mild, Hot, and Sweltering for those wondering).
But one great thing about the cold is that it’s soup making weather! Even now with the seasons changing it’s the absolute best time for chicken noodle soup. And if you’re anything like me, you’re nodding in agreement while blowing your nose, sneezing, and/or coughing onto your screen. The seasons transitioning never got to me until I moved up here, but I guess it’s a small price to pay for having a winter you actually need a jacket and long pants for.
This recipe, as I said, is one I’ve been making a while. You’re not really chained to the stove for hours. When it’s done it’s done, and the flavor is immense. It’s one of those feel good, hearty, let-me-sit-down-and-unbutton-my-pants-for-a-few-hours kinda soup. On top of it being easy and full of goodness, don’t get me started on the qualities chicken soup is known to have on people. Whether you’re feeling sick and icky or down and out, chicken soup is there to pick you right back up. Couple it with a nice, toasty piece of crunchy bread and you’re ready to take on the world! …Right after your nap.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup (adapted from FoodNetwork.com)
1 each – Fryer Chicken, 2 1/2 – 3 pound, cut up
3 1/2 quarts – Water
1 each – Onion, peeled and diced
3/4 teaspoon – Oregano, dried
1/2 teaspoon – Basil, dried
1/4 teaspoon – Thyme, dried
1 teaspoon – Lemon Pepper
4 each – Garlic Cloves, minced
4 each – Bay Leaves
3 each – Chicken Bouillon Cubes
Salt and Pepper
2 cups – Carrots, sliced
2 cups – Celery and Leafy Greens, sliced
2 1/2 cups or 1 bag – Egg Noodles, uncooked
1 cup – Mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons – Parsley, fresh
2 teaspoons – Rosemary, fresh (or dried)
1 1/2 cups – Parmesan, grated
1 quart – Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper
- This is a very straight forward recipe and nothing crazy so it should be a cinch to make.
- You’ll want to use a whole chicken because you’re making a stock as the base for the soup. I just cut it up by separating the legs and thighs as well as the wings from the rest of the chicken.
- The onion doesn’t have to be cut a certain way. Just rough chop it into the pot because you’re only using it for flavor. The bigger the pieces, the easier it is to extract when you’re done with it.
- I used baby carrots and sliced them the same size I sliced the celery. It’s always good to try and keep everything the same size in a soup.
- If you don’t like mushrooms, don’t use them. If you love them, add more.
- I unfortunately forgot to get parsley, in case you realize there isn’t any green in the soup. Which you should because it looks like it’s missing it.
- This soup is best buds with parmesan cheese. I don’t know what it is, but I just love pouring it on there. So if you’re a fan of parmesan, go ahead and bring it to the table when you’re ready to dig in.
- I’m sure you can use half & half instead of the heavy cream.
So how easy is this recipe exactly? Well let’s see…
- Find yourself a nice big pot. Biggest I have is 8 quarts and it works fine. Put your cut up chicken inside the pot along with everything else that goes in the stock.
- Turn up the heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. Once it’s done, get a plate and put the chicken on it, then skim out the onion and bay leaves with a strainer or perforated utensil.
If all went well you should have about 3 quarts of stock which smells mighty fine.
- What I do now is turn off the burner and cut up everything that needs to be cut up while I wait for the chicken to cool. So get your celery and clean it all nice to get the dirt out.
- Cut up your carrots, slice your mushrooms, do all that fun stuff. Remember to try and keep everything uniform and bite sized.
- By the time you’re done, you should be able to handle the chicken. Start peeling off the skin and set it aside to discard it. You’re also discarding the cartilage and the bones. Pick the meat off the bones as much as you can and put it on a plate. I tear it off in chunks then tear it apart till it’s small. By the time you go through it all, you should have a nice mountain of skin/bone/cartilage free chicken meat.
Now let’s get this soup going! This is all going to be non-stop from here so have everything ready to go.
- Get the stock heated up to a good boil again. Add the carrots and cook them for 3 minutes. Then add the celery and cook for about 8 minutes. Next, add the egg noodles and cook them for about 1-2 minutes less than the directions on the bag say they should be cooked.
- Once that timer goes off, add the mushrooms, chicken, parsley, and rosemary.
There’s a lot going on in the pot right now so don’t be afraid to give it a good stir.
- Add the ever important parmesan and cream. Give it a good stir and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Stir it again and taste it.
Odds are good you’re going to need to add some more salt and pepper. Don’t be afraid! Like I’ve said before: If you don’t use the salt you need to, whatever it is you’re making will come out bland and blah. It can make something extremely disappointing when it could’ve been extraordinary. So salt it up! Something to keep in mind though – you can always add, but you can never take away. So while it’s important to use salt, remember to add it slowly, stir, taste, and repeat. It’s better to take your time than mess up a whole pot of soup.
So after the seasoning is adjusted, you are done!
Put a nice crusty loaf of bread in a hot oven to warm it up while you set the table. Tear off some bread, dip it in the soup, and I promise it’ll be a highlight of your day.
When the soup is cooled I put it in a container with a lid and stick it in the fridge. There it could stay for a few days.
And if there’s only 2 of you eating it (our kids don’t like soup), it could last for about 3 nights! Ugh, just thinking about it makes me wish I had some right now.
If you’re up north and you’re still getting snow… my condolences. I know I can’t do much, but at least I’m trying to make you feel better! Here’s to hoping you make a nice big pot of this instant happiness and it warms you up. Worry not, spring is coming!