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Chicken Noodle Soup from Scratch

19 Feb

Here’s the chicken noodle soup where I used my chicken stock made from scratch. Yeah, that’s a lot of work. But you can skip making stock from scratch if you want, and just use some high-quality store-bought stuff.  We both thought the soup tasted delicious! Can’t wait to make it again!

chicken noodle soup

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups chicken
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots, cut ½ inch thick
  • 2 ribs celery, cut ½ inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 8 oz. extra wide egg noodles
  • salt, pepper, fresh parsley to taste

 

Directions

  1. Cook chicken, put in separate bowl
  2. Brown onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, about 6 minutesdsc05967
  3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil
  4. Add noodles, simmer until tender, about 5 minutes
  5. Add chicken back into soup
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Serve, sprinkle with parsley if desired

 

Easy Chicken Stock

12 Feb

When hubby came down with a cold, I woman’d up and made chicken soup from scratch! Literally, from scratch. I deboned whole chickens, and made a chicken stock. Here’s the chicken stock recipe I used, from a class I took at the Whole Foods Cooking School in Lincoln Park. I’ll post the recipe to my chicken noodle soup, which uses this stock, next week.

I used filtered water for my stock, because well, if you’re going to all this trouble to make stock from scratch, why would you skimp on the water?

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs chicken carcasses, including necks and backs (I used the bones from 2 chickens)
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 carrots, chopped largely
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped largely
  • 2 leeks, white parts only
  • 8-12 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8-12 black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 gallons (32 quarts) cold water 

 

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients into a large stock pot, adding the water last.dsc05966
  2. Cook on high and bring to a boil.
  3. When the water boils, turn heat to Low and create a simmer.
  4. Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep ingredients submerged.
  5. When needed, skim the fat from the broth with the edge of a spoon.
  6. Strain the stock with a fine mesh strainer into another pot.
  7. Cool completely and place in refrigerator overnight.
  8. Remove solidified fat from surface of stock and dispose.

The stock is good in the fridge for 5 – 7 days. You can portion out the stock for freezing – it will keep for 3 months in the freezer.

 

Hearty Harira Soup

28 Aug

Meaty soups are good all year round, summer included. Or in my case, I was feeling under the weather, and a can of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup left me incredibly disappointed – I didn’t recall supermarket chicken soup being so…bland, yet tinny. So I decided to make this harira soup and set it to cook in my slow cooker overnight, so I could awake to its hearty aroma. You can also make this soup over the stove.

DSC02313

This recipe calls for boneless lamb, but I got a nice 0.86 lb hunk of lamb shoulder with a large bone in the middle. I cooked with the bone in the soup – just remember to remove it before serving!

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dried red lentils, washed and rinsed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • ¾ cup celery, diced (about 3 ribs)
  • 28oz canned tomatoes, chopped, with juice
  • 5 cups chicken stock or water
  • ~ ¾ lb boneless lamb rack or shoulder, cut into 1-centimeter dice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp tumeric
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • pinch saffron threads
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 Tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro

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Directions

  1. In a large pan, sautee onion in olive oil until soft, about 2 minutes.DSC02305
  2. Add lamb, and cook 2-3 minutes until lamb pieces are seared.
  3. In a large (6 quart or larger) slow cooker, add chickpeas, lentils, celery, canned tomatoes, chicken stock and water, sugar, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger.  Add the onions and lamb.
  4. Stir lightly to combine.Harira soup
  5. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  6. Add lemon juice, spinach, and saffron threads. Stir.DSC02307
  7. Serve, with chopped cilantro.

Makes about 3 quarts

 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

10 Jul

A couple years ago, I had the best chicken tortilla soup ever at Iguana Cantina in Aruba. I’ve been trying to imitate that recipe ever since. I’ve tried many recipes, sampled other tortilla soups stateside, and nothing has ever come close. There have been soups that were too thin, too brothy, too tomatoey… but alas, I have finally got something as delicious as Iguana’s version!! Here’s a super healthy, thick, flavorful, chicken tortilla soup that’s gluten-free and made without cream! (Insert happy dance here).

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs), cut into large pieces
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped  
  • 2 red or orange bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 30 oz cannelini beans (two 15 oz cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 3 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • Optional toppings: corn, avocado, sour cream, tortilla strips

Directions

  1. Sautée carrots, celery, bell peppers, onion, and garlic until fragrant and soft. Put into slow cooker.DSC05839
  2. Sautée chicken pieces until brown on all side, about 3-4 minutes. Add to slow cooker.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the slow cooker (except those marked “Optional toppings”)
  4. Cook in the slow cooker 8 – 9 hours on LOW or 4 – 5 hours on HIGH.
  5. Remove chicken and place in a separate bowl. Shred the chicken.
  6. Puree the rest of the soup using an immersion blender, or in a blender.
  7. Return chicken to the soup. Add corn if desired.
  8. Ladle into bowls, and serve with diced avocado, sour cream, or tortilla strips if desired.DSC05842
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