Monday, July 29, 2013

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup!

OK, so here it is the much awaited homemade chicken noodle soup recipe I talked about earlier but hadn't finished to be able to post!

I woke up this morning to the perfect weather for homemade chicken noodle soup, I am always somewhat against making "winter meals" in the summer, summer is the time to enjoy barbecues, salads, lighter meals which is also great for the waist line! Fall and winter is the time for homemade soups, roasted chicken, things of that nature. However it has been chilly around these parts lately and this morning it was dark and gloomy, and that turned into the most fabulous thunder storm! I'm telling ya, it rained cats and dogs and the apartment lit up every time lightening struck, the thunder shook the whole apartment.. it was GREAT! I know its weird but I absolutely LOVE a good thunderstorm, I feel like I haven't gotten a good one in forever so I quickly made my way to the living room with the big window, curled up on the couch with all the lights off and enjoyed it to the fullest!

Its too bad its literally impossible to get a picture of lightening! These pictures don't do the force of the storm any justice but none the less I thought I would share!

As you know I roasted a whole chicken the other day for the soup, truthfully I should have boiled the chicken and made my own stock for the soup but I did not to that! I simple put the chicken in a pie plate (you can you whatever oven safe dish you have but it fit in here and this thing is a breeze to clean so I went with it), I added a bit of water to the bottom of the pan to prevent the chicken from stick or burning. I then seasoned the chicken very lightly with pepper, seasoning salt and garlic powder. I cooked the chicken at 350 degrees for an hour. It is recommended that these chickens are cooked approximately 25 minutes per pound but with poultry it never hurts to give it an extra few minutes.

In regards to veggies for your soup you can really use whatever you choose. Unfortunately Jason is super fussy when it comes to vegetables and therefore what I put in my soup is a simple mirepoix of onions, celery and carrots. If I was making this soup for myself I would definitely add things like zucchini! 

I started off with a large soup pot, you can use whatever size will best suit the amount of soup you choose to make. 

Adding veggies to my soup was super easy as they were already mostly prepared in the fridge, which you can see from my recent post Healthy can be Convenient too! I started with onion, mostly because Jason hates onions and therefore I have to chop them as small as possible so he wont complain!

My onions were already partially chopped so I pulled out my handy Ulu knife to finish the job. For those of you who have never seen these before they are a traditional Ulu knife made in Anchorage, Alaska and I absolutely love it! Mine was purchased at the Ulu Factory in Anchorage and truthfully I don't know how I ever lived without it. The Ulu makes chopping so easy, you can easily fillet meat as I do when making chicken cordon bleu, it stays super sharp and is extremely easy to use!

Once the onions were chopped (as much as you like) I added them to my pot which was already on medium heat with approximately 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a couple cloves of crushed garlic. 

I continued chopping the remaining celery and carrots, as I mentioned these are the only vegetables Jason will tolerate. I personally would have cut them a lot large to make the soup feel more hearty but Jason would never eat it. Good lord its not easy cooking for a fussy eater!

I personally cant stress the importance of a good sharp knife when cutting up vegetables, it definitely makes the process quicker and more efficient, especially when you have to chop things so fine as you can see I do! At this point I have everything in the pot together as you can see and I really am just letting the vegetables sweat and get soft! This is a great time to add any spices you might like, I added some thyme and pepper.

At this point while the vegetables are sweating I pulled the chicken I roasted yesterday out of the fridge (which Jason so graciously pulled off the bone) and gave it a really rough chop. I like to keep the chicken in larger pieces because it will break down a bit when the liquid is added and it boils a bit! 

After cutting up the chicken I added it all to the vegetables so it could warm up and soak up the yummy flavors that have become in that pot!

As the chicken is soaking up the flavors of the veggies I give it a little boost with one of my favorite flavor boosters! Knorr Homestlyle Stock these are new and come in a varieties of flavors. Instead of using those cubes that need to dissolve in liquid these are WAY more flavorful and can be put into any consistency and basically melt! 

After adding the bouillon jelly cube, I give it a good stir to make sure everything is coated and the flavor is maximized!

 At this point I am ready to add to actual liquid stock! I like to use the Blue Menu no salt added chicken broth, yes yes.. I could have made my own but I didn't so this is what I used! For the amount of chicken and vegetables I have used and the amount of soup I'm looking to make I went with two 900mL containers. If you wanted more you could use another container, half of another container as they are easy to reseal and stick back in the fridge or just add some water with another bouillon cube!

Then pour them on in!

I apologize for the quality of the photos, I was using my phone and praying desperately I didn't drop it in my soup.. can you imagine? At this point your chicken and veggies should be covered and you are going to want to bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes to a half hour, then turn it off and put it aside. 

I made my soup this morning, that's why I am putting it aside as I don't want to cook the flavor out of everything. If you are cooking your soup at meal time then I would definitely let it simmer at least 45 minutes before serving. 

I am still going to add noodles to my soup, you can also add rice. Keep in mind with rice it is going to soak up quite a bit of your liquid, so you may need to add a little extra, or account for that when adding the stock in the beginning. 

At this point your kitchen should absolutely smell amazing! 

I will tell you that I generally would prefer to add rice to my soup over noodles as I absolutely HATE soggy noodles, this is mostly why I will not eat canned soups, that and I think they smell like wet dog food, I kid you not! But the last time I made soup Jason INSISTED that I add noodles and it actually wasn't that bad! I'm using Fusilli which is a much smaller noodle therefore it doesn't get soggy as quick as a larger noodle might. I put the noodles in the soup long enough to cook them and then eat, I think they still soak up the flavors and are still a great texture!

So here you are, the finished product! I hope yours tastes as good as mine does and your family enjoys it as much as I know Jason and I do! 

Bon Appetit!

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