Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
I make soup a lot. And not just in the winter. Not everyone in my family eats it. But I make it any way. It’s yummy and full of good stuff. And that is part of the reason my husband won’t eat it. I love veggies and he doesn’t. If I make just a plain pot of chicken noodle soup then he will dig right in.
I have a large family. We all don’t live in one house together (anymore!) but we live very close by so I am usually feeding about nine people for dinner very often. Needless to say the big pot of soup does not get wasted.
I would love to share a “recipe” but I don’t have one for my home made soup. I use whatever I have on hand just like our grand mothers did when they were cooking.
Even though I don’t have a recipe I do have a technique so to speak and I will share it with you.
Yesterday I made chicken soup but I also love veggie soup and I do the same when I make it minus the chicken.
Chicken Soup Stock Pot Ingredients
2 or 3 chicken breasts with or with out bone
4 or 5 large cloves of garlic or two tables spoons minced garlic
4 large bay leaves
sliced squash (optional)
two carrots cut up any way you like
or a hand full of those mini carrots sold for salad or dipping
canned or boxed chicken stock (optional)
salt and pepper to taste go easy on the salt because the added bullion is very salty.
For the chicken soup stock I place two or three chicken breasts in a large pot and cover with water. I like using chicken breast with the bone but will use boneless if that is all I have on hand.
Throw all the other ingredients in the pot with the chicken on high heat until it starts to boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and falling apart.
As you can see I have a couple of optional ingredients listed. If you have them fine if not don’t sweat it. Believe me your family will never know their missing.
I never have celery on hand because I don’t use it much except around the holidays so my soup stock never has it in it. The squash was a fluke for me. I had never used it in my soups before. I had some on hand in the freezer that I had sliced up and had planned to fry that I never got around to so I threw some in a pot of veggie soup and I loved the added flavor. If your family doesn’t like squash….well if you cook your stock long enough it all but disappears. A tricky way of getting another green veggie into your families diet.
Yes I have canned chicken stock as an optional ingredient and I know all the cooking shows always add chicken stock. Well I promise you if you don’t have any on hand don’t worry about it. It does add a richness to your stock but I have made my soup with and with out and it turned out delicious every time.
Once your ckicken is cooked through take it out of the pot and place into a bowl. If it is boneless just break it apart with a fork. If it is bone in then carefully remove the meat from the bone and set it aside in the bowl. Double check for bones!
Whether my chicken has bones or not I always strain my stock through a fine meshed collander into another pot or large bowl. Just make sure your pot or bowl is large enough to hold all of your stock!
Pour your cleaned stock back into your cooking pot. Pick out the carotts and return to the cooking pot.
Add the GOOD STUFF below to your pot.
The Good Stuff
Chicken & Vegetable Bullion cubes
Frozen, fresh or canned mixed vegetables
any other vegetable you have on hand
any pasta on hand
white or brown rice
canned or fresh tomatoes
These ingredients are the good stuff as far as I am concerned. I am talking about all the veggies, beans, tomatoes, pasta and rice.
As far as I am concerned this is what makes the soup.
In the picture above I added canned corn, canned green beans, a can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans.
( In case you were wondering what a cannellini bean is, like I was and yes I did google it. It is a white kidney bean.)
A handful of penne pasta, about a 1/4 cup of white rice and 1/4 cup of brown rice.
As you can see from the picture my soup is more like a stew but I like it that way. It makes a good hearty meal.
I start out by adding the vegetables first. If you are using frozen add them first and let your liquid heat up again before adding the rest of the indredients.
Once the temp comes back up to almost boiling I add the rest of the vegetables and let them heat up. I then throw in the rice and let it cook for a bit on a lower heat, simmering.
At this time I start adding bouillon cubes. I usually use chicken and vegetable in my soups. But like I mentioned earlier I use what ever I have on hand. I usually buy the large bulion cubes so if you are using those tiny little yellow wrapped squares you will have to double the number of cubes you use. What I do is I start out adding about 4 large cubes. It could be two veggie and two chicken it just depends what I have.
I let those dissolve and taste. I add more as needed. I will taste the stock after I add more bullion until I like the way it tases.
And there you have it a nice big pot of chicken soup!
Now I am sure you are thinking hey what about some herbs or spices? Well I go very light on spices because I love the rustic flavor of my ingredients. In other words I want to taste my ingredients. I don’t want to flavor covered up.
But if you like a hint of rosemary or any other spice you like go a head and add it to your pot. Go easy though because once it is in there if you add too much you are stuck with it and trying to fix it will probably ruin your soup.
Now if you happen to over salt your pot a little trick is to throw a peeled potato in the pot. It will absorb most of the salt.