I’ve been really into soups lately and although there are several amazing and unique recipes out there, sometimes I just want to stick to the classics. I love chicken noodle soup. It reminds me of being a kid and feeling so comforted by the amazing smells that filled the kitchen as it simmered on the stove. I always loved it when my mom would let me taste it with her to be sure the flavors were just right.
For this recipe, I was inspired by Tylor Florence and decided to my own chicken stock. I debated skipping this step and buying it in the store, but I’m so glad I took the time to prepare the stock separately. It’s really easy to do, it just requires a little extra time. You can really taste the difference and the best part is, you can make a lot and store it for future recipes.
My favorite part about this recipe is the final touch. After you ladle the soup into bowls for serving, add a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top. It takes this classic soup to a whole new level of warmth and flavor. I don’t recommend adding the cinnamon to the entire pot. A little can go a long way and when you add it to the individual bowls it’s easier to keep the flavors balanced.
Another recommendation I have is to cook and store the noodles separately, otherwise the noodles will absorb most of the broth leaving you with chicken noodle pasta instead of chicken noodle soup.
I really think you’re going to love this one. The sprinkle of cinnamon is definitely a game changer.
CLASSIC CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), rinsed, giblets discarded
2 carrots, cut in large chunks
3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
2 large white onions, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved
1/4 bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1. Place the chicken and vegetables in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts)
Note: Too much will make the broth taste weak.
3. Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil.
4. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done.
5. As it cooks, skim any fat that rises to the surface; add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
6. Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board.
7. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container.
8. Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids.
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf 2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cinnamon, for garnishing individual bowls of soup
1. Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil.
2. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf.
3. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened, but not browned.
4. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil.
5. Add the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper.
6. Cook noodles in a separate pot and set aside, keeping them separate from soup until ready to serve in individual bowls.
Note: This helps prevent the broth from completely absorbing into the noodles.
7. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.
All images © Regan Baroni 2015.