Saturday, November 17, 2012

SOUPer saturdays - chicken noodle soup

Hey, everyone... it's Saturday...  I cannot tell you how wonderful that sounds to me right now.  The boys and I are now on Thanksgiving Break and have a million things planned before we head to Indiana to visit family.  For The Greens, it's officially the beginning of "the most wonderful time of the year."  Crank up the Christmas music!

And on to the matters at hand...  I have a confession to make.  I love Chicken Noodle Soup.  That's not the confession part, though.  The confession is I'm actually OK with the Campbells version out of the can.  Actually, Campbells has never been a craving, necessarily, but I think the memories I've attached to it makes it more appealing.  Growing up, we always kept it stocked in case anyone was feeling under the weather.  And when I was feeling under the weather, that meant I got to go upstairs to my grandparent's apartment and hang out for the day watching Ma's "stories" with her.  You know those, right?  "Young and the Restless," "Days of Our Lives..."

Real life drama.

So, a can of soup, a glass of Sprite, and a stack of Zestas always did the trick, along with the goings on of Victor and Niki Newman and Beau and Hope Brady.

Confession #2.  This recipe is not Campbells.  This soup is creamier and richer.  There is definitely flexibility in how much you want to add.  Unlike Campbells, your spoon will not have to swim around for a time hoping to actually find a piece of chicken.

I am not sure of the origin of this recipe.  John's grandmother got her recipe from another grandmother...  I have adapted from there.  You can make this thicker, thinner, heartier, simpler... play around to your heart's content.

I am planning to post more through the week, so I won't say "Happy Thanksgiving" just yet.  I will  wish everyone a wonderful weekend and happy cooking, though.  Fire up the stove... your family is waiting!

Chicken Noodle Soup - makes 10-12 servings
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 T chicken base
  • 4 baby carrots, sliced
  • 2-3 pounds chicken*
  • 1 bag egg noodles**
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • milk
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste
~ Boil water and base, adding thyme, carrots, and noodles, cooking until tender.  Remove 
~ Meanwhile, boil chicken until cooked through and set aside until able to handle.  Shred 
    or cube.
~ In saucepan, melt butter and add flour, whisking constantly until incorporated.  
~ Add milk, still stirring, cooking until thick and desired consistency is achieved.  
~ Slowly add butter mix to chicken stock, stirring.  Add in chicken.  
~ Add garlic salt and pepper to taste.  

Tips and Tricks:

*The above is a quick and easy version, using boneless skinless breasts or chicken tenders.  If you have the time, an even more yummy way to make this is to either boil or crockpot (even easier!) a whole chicken, and use the meat and stock for extra flavor.  Just strain the stock and use as part of the 3 quarts water called for.  Add base for additional flavor, if needed.

**The whole bag of noodles makes for a pretty thick soup.  You might want to cook the noodles separately and add them in at the end to your preference.  If you are making this ahead of time, I would suggest not cooking the noodles at all until you reheat for serving.  Add them in and let soften as the soup comes to a simmer.  This will keep them from getting too mushy.

Recipe adapted from grandmas all over...