Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Oh, my poor neglected recipe blog. I'm sorry. My bad.

I'm going to try to post something new here once a week or so.

I was planning to make meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner last night, but one of my littles wasn't feeling good...and when one of my littles isn't feeling good, they always tend to ask for the same thing. Chicken noodle soup.

I've been making my own soup for a while now, and realized just how spoiled my family is when we went up to a cabin a few weeks back. I took canned soup for dinner and they all made the same dissatisfied face when I served it to them. They wanted the good stuff. I can't really say that I blame them.

This recipe is a few years in the works now, and is a million times better if you use homemade chicken stock. Every time I roast a chicken, I make stock and freeze it if I will not be using it within a few days. If you don't have fresh or frozen stock, you can absolutely use prepared stock or bouillon.

I make a huge pot of soup. It feeds my family of 6 (plus the baby, so like 6.25), with leftovers for a few bowls. You can cut the recipe if you'd like. I just make enormous amounts of food, so I measure in pots, not cups. ;)

Ingredients for Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 4 cups chicken stock, more as needed (can use dried bouillon and water as well)
- 4 cups water
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 4-5 stalks celery, chopped
- 4-5 medium carrots, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- egg noodles

Before I tell you all how I make this, I will confess that I'm a lazy chef. I toss the frozen thighs into a pot, covered with about 4 cups of water. I bring the water to a boil, then turn it down to a solid simmer for about an hour or so. As the meat defrosts and cooks, the water evaporates. I keep an eye on it, and the meat is generally cooked around the time that most of the water has disappeared.

When most of the water has evaporated, I add a little bit of oil and brown the edges of the chicken in the same pot. After the edges are just a bit crispy, I remove the chicken from the pot and chop or shred it. Return the chicken to the pot with another bit of oil, and toss in the onions. Stir around, cooking in the oil until the onions are transparent.

Add the mushrooms, celery and carrots, along with the stock, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft (but not mushy). I then add the scallions and noodles. (Depending on what I have on hand, I may cook them separately first or just toss them directly in the pot with a little extra water...the tiny noodles used here were just tossed straight in with a few extra cups of water).

Simmer again until noodles are done. Remove bay leaf, check to see if you need to add salt and pepper and serve. I always serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches (made with mayonnaise instead of butter...sounds nasty, but trust me, you'll never go back).

Mmmmm, comfort food.

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