When it is cold and raining, or I'm feeling under the weather, this chicken noodle soup is my go-to. The warm cozy smell of soup simmering on the stove is so comforting on a cold, dreary day. I am excited to share with you not only this soup recipe but a few more of my favorite cold-weather go-to recipes.
I do not know if there is science behind this theory or not, but I am pretty sure that chicken noodle soup is the cure for the common cold and flu. It does include lots of essential nutrients and all the main food groups. Chicken noodle soup is a cozy and tasty cure-all for the cold winter.
When I make soups, I typically make my stock from scratch. I do this primarily because I always have the ingredients on hand, and I can save a little money. However, I don't always plan ahead, and sometimes I find myself in a pinch. When that happens, I use store-bought stock.
The stock is simple. I start with vegetable stock first. Always start with cold water and add roughly chopped vegetables; this should include onions, celery, and carrots. This mixture is called a Mirepoix. These are the traditional vegetables used; it doesn't have to be the whole vegetables. I use the scraps that I wouldn't serve; for example, celery tops(the leafy parts) are great for stock, carrot peels(washed, of course). Sometimes I use other vegetables as well. I enjoy adding leek tops, mushroom stems, add the stalks of fresh herbs when making stock. Things to avoid adding to stock are green beans, zucchini, and squash. These turn bitter when simmered. It is also important not to put starchy vegetables in your stock because this will thicken the stock. Make sure your water covers the chopped vegetables by about an inch; add aromatics(whole cloves, bay leaves, and parsley stems), and bring to a simmer. When your stock is at a simmer, it should cook for 30-40 minutes. Strain out vegetables and herbs. You can use it immediately, store it in an airtight container for 3-days, or freeze it for up to 3-months.
Now that you know how to make vegetable stock making chicken stock is as simple as adding the chicken bones to your vegetables. You can add chicken bones from a raw or cooked chicken; you can also add pieces of skin not used when cooking the chicken. You then simmer these ingredients for up to 6 hours. I suggest skimming the top of your stock to remove the foam that will develop, as well as excess fat.
To make the soup, you should start with a deep pan and sauté your vegetables in some butter until soft. Add chicken stock, vegetable stock, and cooked chicken (shredded or diced). Then bring it to a boil and add the noodles of your choice. My preferences are either noodles from scratch or extra wide egg noodles. The egg noodles are hearty enough to stand up to this soup and add additional protein.
Then serve with your favorite type of bread and enjoy a warm winter meal. You can curl up with a good blog, book, or tv show and enjoy a winter afternoon.
Chef Amanda Rose has been working in the culinary arts industry for over 10 years. She has a passion for this business and now includes teaching in her culinary tool box.