I really do love fall :)
The blustery wind, chilly temperatures, burning fireplaces, beautiful reds and golds that adorn the trees, crunchy maple leaves underfoot and SOUP!
I have been waiting to make soup for quite a while now, slowly stocking up on bones and roast broth in the freezer for those cold dark winter nights and it's finally time! The first of September the temperature took quite a dip and marked the official start of soup season *grin*. So I whipped up a big batch of chicken noodle soup using the left over chicken from dinner the night before and I thought I'd share my recipe with you just in case you've never tried making your own homemade chicken stock :)
One roasting chicken never really does much more than one big yummy chicken dinner with all the fixings for our family of 5 and then usually chicken sandwiches the next day so soup is a great way to extend it by two more meals :)
Start by picking off all of the meat left on your chicken. It's best to do this right after dinner the first night when the chicken is still warm and none of the fat drippings have congealed on it from sitting in the fridge. It's amazing how much you can get off that little bird if you really work it over LOL. Now you can toss all of those bones and bits left from the picking back into your roasting pot if it is one you can put directly on your stove top or into a storage container for the next day when you are ready to make your chicken broth and put all of the good meat in another container for finishing off your soup at the end :)
When you're ready to start making your broth fill a large soup pot with:
- your chicken bones
- 4-5 carrots
- 2 large onions
- 3-4 ribs of celery
- 1 whole head of garlic cut horizontally in half
- and a big bunch of fresh basil leaves if you have it :)
I usually trim the tops off the carrots and peel them, take the skin off my onions, wash the celery and then just break all of them into large chunks for the pot. For your garlic there is no need to peel the cloves of garlic because you are going to strain all of this out of your broth so you can just cut the head of garlic in half horizontally and toss it in the pot *grin*.
Once all of your vegetables are in the soup pot along with your bones, fill it nearly to the top with fresh water, place it on your stove top and simmer gently for about 3-4 hours to really meld all of those great flavors together.
About an hour before you plan to strain your chicken broth you can start getting all of the noodles and vegetables for your finished soup ready.
I always like to use 5 or 6 large carrots cut into rings, 4 ribs of celery cut into chunks, 2 scallions diced, and this time I threw in an entire red pepper that I diced :) Now these vegetables are only a suggestion! If you want to add potato or parsnip do that, or if you want to leave out the red pepper then do that to! You can have any vegetable combination that you like :)
If you want to have noodles in your soup you can also pre cook your macaroni, shell, or fettucine noodles now to. Use about one cup of dried noodles, boil according to your package directions and then strain and set aside for finishing your soup.
***The reason that I like to pre cook all of my vegetables and noodles is so that when my chicken broth is finished cooking I can toss all of the veggies, noodles, chicken and seasonings into the pot and it is all ready to eat! No more waiting for vegetables to cook in the soup broth thus extending the cooking time any further *grin*.
As soon as you have all of your veggies chopped up, heat a stainless steel frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil in it to keep anything from sticking and toss in your vegetables so that you can stir fry them until just tender. As soon as they are to the tenderness that you like remove them from the stove and set aside.
You are now ready to finish off your soup. Yay :)
In your kitchen sink place a pot or bowl that is large enough to accommodate all of your boiling hot chicken broth that you have simmering on the stove. You are going to place a strainer inside that bowl and very carefully pour your pot of hot broth into the strainer so that all of that clear yummy broth is caught in the empty bowl and the bones and boiled vegetables are in the strainer that you can lift out of the bowl and toss.
Put your clear chicken broth back into your pot on the stove top again and add your pre cooked vegetables and noodles, your chopped chicken that you saved from picking it the night before and season it to taste with salt & pepper and more basil if you like and cook for a few minutes more just to reheat all of your veggies and meat :)
Mmmm, so delicious and sooo good for you :)
Serve up a hearty bowl of that wonderful homemade chicken soup that you worked so hard at making *grin* along with some fresh buns and your family will seriously love you forever... I know they just LOVE you to bits already! LOL.
PS. Check out the Wholesome Whole Foods and Food Renegade weekly link up for more great recipes and articles :)