Chicken noodle soup is probably my favorite food. Chicken and dumplings run a close second. My mom told me once that when I was barely old enough to hold a spoon she left me home alone with my dad and told him to feed me a can of chicken noodle soup for dinner. He opened the can, plopped a spoon in it and gave it to me. I guess that moment is when my love affair with chicken noodle soup started.
I can still eat it from a can (water added now and heated – not actually out of the can), at a restaurant, but homemade is preferred with chicken pieces, swimming in a golden broth, surrounded by carrots slices and noodles. When I make it, I usually start it in the late morning so I eat some for a late lunch, again for dinner, then put some in the refrigerator for lunch for a few days, and some in the freezer for later. Later is usually a day or two after my refrigerator stash has been consumed.
I am alone in my chicken soup addiction though. The picky husband has declared it “too chickeny” and won’t eat it. I don’t understand since he eats chicken and dumplings. Whatever, more for me!
Chicken soup is perfect anytime. Warms the bones on a cold day but is also good for a light dinner on the days when you just aren’t ready for a heavy meal.
In a large stock pot add chicken, stock, condensed broth, bouillon cubes, half of the fresh parsley, half of the fresh thyme, parsnip chunks, carrot chunks (reserve sliced carrots for later), top 4 inches of celery bunch, half of the onion (skin and all), garlic, salt and pepper. Add enough water to cover chicken completely.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Once boiling, reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer. Simmer for 2 hours or until chicken just starts to separate at the bones.
Remove chicken to colander in a bowl to cool. Pour any extra liquid that accumulates in the bowl back into the stock pot.
To the stock pot add the other half of the parsley and thyme. Continue simmering for another hour.
Debone and skin cooled chicken. Discard bones and skin and cut meat into small pieces and set aside.
Using a colander with a bowl under it, strain chicken broth carefully. Place strained chicken broth back into a pan.
Remove skin from the last half of the onion and dice the onion. Add to the pan, along with sliced carrots, celery, and diced chicken meat. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Add noodles to pot, and continue simmering until noodles are cooked as desired, some take longer than others.
Other comfort foods to try: