Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup from Scratch, Baby! – September 21, 2009

Because I grew up with my mum making everything from scratch, instant food had a magical appeal. I had Kraft dinner for the very first time when I was about 12 years old, and I fell in love with it. Canned soups were especially delicious because of the generous amounts of salt.

Chicken noodle soup with crackers

HOWEVER, my mum’s chicken noodle soup could never be outdone by instant food. I’ve tweaked her recipe to make it look more like the picture-perfect soups you see on television, but the same familiar flavours are still there. I like to eat this with a salad, to bring it closer to The Diet, but because I normally use a lot of vegetables in the soup, I would consider it part of The Diet anyway.

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Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves four

1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
½ red pepper, diced
1 tbsp butter
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 tsp dried parsley flakes (for the look)
2-3 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
2 tsp (maybe more) salt
4-5 cups water

3 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups egg noodles

In a large pot, sauté the vegetables in butter, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until onions are clear and carrots are soft.

Toss in parsley flakes and chicken. Saute until skin begins to brown.

Sprinkle the salt and add water to cover. Simmer on low for at least 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Skim off the scum on the soup’s surface, but don’t skim off all the fat. The fat is where the concentrated flavour lies.

Taste the soup and add more salt, if necessary. If it’s salty enough, but it still tastes thin, simmer the soup longer. The longer you simmer, the better the soup tastes.

When the soup tastes right, remove the chicken and chop the meat into large chunks. Discard bones and skin, and return chopped chicken to the pot.

Start another pot of boiling water after the soup tastes right. Sprinkle salt and egg noodles into the pot. Cook noodles according to the package’s instructions (usually 10-12 minutes).

Drain noodles, and set aside.

Chicken noodle soup, closeup

Once the soup tastes right, and the noodles are cooked, spoon the noodles into each bowl. Ladle the soup into the bowl, and serve piping hot.


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