What is it about chicken noodle soup that just seems to warm the belly and make everything better? I think that at some point in our lives each and every one of us has attempted to make chicken noodle soup. I remember the very first time I made it from scratch.
I was living in Boston and got a wild hair that I was going to make Paula Deen's chicken noodle soup. Holy crap...was this a mistake. I'm not saying that the soup wasn't good...I'm just saying that as a young man who didn't have much money...I ended up making a small pot of soup that cost me around $65! Why, you ask? Well Paula's recipe called for a whole chicken and vegetables that you simmered for hours to make a wonderful stock. Then you throw out EVERYTHING except the stock and start again. You get another chicken and cook it, and cut up more vegetables and make your soup with that. It was good soup...just wasn't worth the money I paid for it!
Over the years I've made many chef's recipes for chicken noodle soup, and once I started really cooking I realized that soup is one of the best things to make when you are first starting to cook. With soups you have your base, then you can go in many directions from there...you just have to know where to start...good broth! I love to can my own stock, or freeze it, so I have it on hand at all times. This is because I like to make sure I know whats in the stock, and I can control the spices and salt that go along with that. But I'm going to be honest with you...sometimes we all have to cheat a little.
I call this recipe The REAL Housewife of Snohomish County's Cheater's Chicken Noodle Soup. Why? Well it's because I'm going to skip a ton of those steps that Paula Deen told me were very important in making a wonderful soup! There are many times that you don't have much time but you want to throw together a good meal, in these times it's smart to utilize certain things from the grocery store that can make your life easier. That's just want I did in this recipe.
Michael hasn't been feeling well the last few days and yesterday afternoon at around 3 PM he messaged me to tell me he wanted my chicken noodle soup for dinner. I quickly made my list and ran to town to get the ingredients. And when he got home he couldn't believe that I whipped up this amazing soup in just a few hours. So folks...here it is!
~The REAL Housewife of Snohomish County's
Cheater's Chicken Noodle Soup~
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken
- Potatoes (Yukon Gold)
- Boxed Chicken Stock (No salt added if you can find it)
- Fresh Thyme
- Fresh Parsley
- Bay Leaves
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Kosher Salt
- Frozen Egg Noodles
There aren't many pictures for this recipe...and the reason for that is I want to stress how simple this soup is to make! And the wonderful thing about soups...add what you want. Don't feel you HAVE to add potatoes because I did, I added them because I think they add a nice texture to the soup. If you have other veggies you want to add...go for it! I also didn't specify the quantity of each vegetable, again, add as much or as little as you want. And it also depends on how much soup you are making. Make this your own!
First and foremost get your veggies chopped. Dice your onion, carrots, celery and smash/mince your garlic. (And any other veggies you want to add) I hold off on dicing the potatoes because they go in later.
In a big stock pot heat up some Olive Oil over High Heat. Toss the carrots, onions, celery and garlic into the pot and saute them for about 5 minutes. And season with Kosher Salt. Remember you are seasoning a lot of soup, so don't be afraid to salt heavy. (Salt heavy with Kosher Salt...not table salt) This starts to soften the vegetables, this way they don't have to simmer as long.
Once they have sauteed, toss in your Thyme bundle as well as the bay leaves. To make a thyme bundle, tie kitchen twine around the thyme to keep it together in a bunch. I also tie the bay leaves into it as well. Easy removal before serving! :)
Now add the boxed chicken stock. For this soup I added 2 quarts of boxed stock, and added 3 quarts of tap water.
Get your rotisserie chicken ready. You can do this next step one of two ways. You can either toss the entire chicken into the pot with the veggies and stock, or you can pull all the meat off the chicken and toss just the bones into the stock. I've done it both ways. :)
I chose to throw the entire chicken into the stock. Bring this up to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Also, taste the broth at this point. See if it needs more salt. You can also add fresh ground black pepper if you'd like.
When nearing the end of the 20 minutes, dice up your potatoes. For this big pot I diced 5 yukon golds. After the 20 minutes is up, toss in the potatoes and simmer for 10 more minutes. Season with salt again...potatoes suck up the salt!
After that 10 minutes, remove the chicken to cool, return the lid and continue to simmer the soup.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull all the meat. I like to leave my chicken in bigger chunks! I want to KNOW there is chicken in this soup! :)
Fish out the thyme bundle and the bay leaves, then toss the shredded chicken back into the pot. The frozen egg noodle I use say to boil the noodles for 20 minutes. So about 25 minutes before I serve the soup I toss in the noodles and boil them for the amount of time.
Right before serving the soup, I chop up the fresh parsley and toss it in. I like the freshness it adds to the soup! And again, taste the soup and adjust seasoning if necessary.
This soup will taste like it has been on the stove ALL day. And whoever is lucky enough to enjoy it with you will think you are amazing. When it comes to meals, there are times when it's okay to cheat. I shouldn't call it cheating, it's actually being smart and efficient. And even professional chefs "cheat" at times!
I sent soup to work with Michael today, and he always texts me to tell me how good the soup is. He knows it's not the soup that I make where I cook the chicken myself and make my own stock, but nevertheless he appreciates the fact that I was able to switch dinner plans last minute to make soup. The other good thing about making soup is that you have meals for a few days, or you can even portion it out in freezer bags, freeze it flat so you can have it at any time! That's what I did with the Chicken and Kale soup in the next picture!
When I freeze soup, I normally portion it into single servings. This way if I ever want soup I can pull out one of the baggies, toss it in the sink and run some warm water over it, then pour it into a bowl and heat it through. Meal in minutes! :)
Well I know this wasn't my typical 900 step recipe, but I hope that you try this out, and make it your own! And as always...let me know if you try it! Post a picture on my facebook page or send me an email! I love to hear from you all!
Until next time...Stay Healthy...and...Keep Cookin'!