Last month I came down with a cold and whenever I get sick, I always think about one thing - chicken noodle soup. Because the flu and cold season seems to be extra potent this year, I thought this would be a good recipe to share. I'm not sure if chicken noodle soup has any healing or medicinal properties but you be the judge:
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Does chicken noodle soup make you feel better?
Fresh vegetables and spices go into the soup and the aroma fills the kitchen while the soup is cooking. It just makes me feel better smelling the soup.
I'm sure you've seen or read numerous chicken noodle soup recipes over the years. Maybe you have a particularly good recipe. This just happens to be the way I make my chicken noodle soup. I try to get as many fresh ingredients as possible and then let the soup do it's work.
The pasta or noodles that you add could be any shape. I just wrote up the recipe using wide egg noodles. I've made my chicken noodle soup with everything from star shaped pasta to orzo, spaghetti, mini penne or one of my favorites barley shaped egg noodles. Be sure to cook the pasta in a separate pot, if you add the pasta uncooked to your soup, it will absorb all the chicken broth and then you'll have to add more water and dilute your soup.
One thing that makes this recipe good is the spice combination. Fresh Italian parsley may not seem like a big deal, I think it adds a lot to the soup. Fresh thyme, bay leaves and dill round out the spice mixture. When all of these spices come together they create a flavor profile that just really works.
So let's get started... .
3 pounds of chicken meat breasts, thighs & drumsticks - skin and fat removed
1 medium onion chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
10 - 12 cups filtered water
1 1/2 cups carrots sliced
1 1/2 cups celery sliced
10 oz wide egg noodle pasta cooked
1/2 cup fresh italian parsley finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme finely chopped
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste
**2 cups reserved pasta water
In a large stock pot or dutch oven combine the chicken pieces, onion, garlic and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and allow chicken to simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, clean and slice carrots, celery, chop parsley and thyme. In a second large pot bring 4 quarts of water to boil for the egg noodles.
When the chicken is cooked, remove chicken from the pot and place on a plate to cool. Add the sliced carrots and celery to the chicken broth, onions and garlic. Let the chicken broth and vegetables simmmer 10 - 15 minutes. Add the chopped parsley, thyme, bay leaves, dill, salt and pepper, turn heat down to low. Cook the egg noodles in boiling water for 6 - 7 minutes, drain and add noodles continue to simmer the soup on low.
When the chicken is cool enough to touch, peel all of the meat from the bones and chop into bite sized pieces. Add chicken pieces to soup. If any chicken broth or onion has collected on the dinner plate while the chicken was cooling add this back to the soup as well. Allow soup to simmer for 30 minutes.
Serve chicken soup in a pasta bowl or large soup bowl.
**The chicken soup is even better if it is allowed to cool, placed in a large non-reacive stainless steel or glass bowl and allowed to sit over night in the refrigerator. The flavors of the soup will blend together and taste much better. However, I understand if you can't wait that long.
**If you prefer your chicken soup to be just little thicker, reserve 2 cups of pasta water when draining the egg noodles. Then add this water back into the soup, the startch that is left in the water from the noodles will thicken the soup nicely.