Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

Sometimes the weather and the sniffling noses calls for something classic. This recipe is not laced with some fancy ingredient and there is no new technique. It is just how it always had been made and how it should stay. This is a from scratch soup so it takes some time, but not a lot of prep. Mostly it bubbles away. I found it on one of my favorite food sites and if it is not in your bookmarks add it. We had this last night for dinner and the leftovers for lunch. It is the perfect weekend project and it will make your house smell so yummy. She also gives instructions on how to make the broth in a slow cooker as well, such a bonus. 

Smitten Kitchen 2015
10-12 servings

You can make this in 4 to 4 1/2 hours all at once or split it into two days by making the broth and then finishing off the soup on another day. This soup has a lot of noodles (I used more than the recipe and it was almost all noodles. No complaints. But if you like less noodle, just add less. 

2 medium yellow onion, unpeeled, halved or 1 large onion and 1 leek 
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed a little 
1 large carrot
1 large parsnip (optional)
1 celery rib
4 quarts of water
4 lbs chicken bones (leftover from a roast chicken) or  4 lbs chicken wings (that is what I did)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf

To Finish
3 bone in skin on chicken breast halves (you could also use already cooked chicken and skip the step where you cook the chicken, but I have to say her way makes for super juicy chicken)
2 large carrots, peeled, diced
1 large leek, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch segments (if leeks freak you out, just omit)
2 celery ribs, diced
9 oz egg noodles of your choice. (I used medium for kid friendly fingers)
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (optional)

Make the broth
[on the stove] Combine all the ingredient for the broth in a large (6 to 8 quart) stock pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a gently simmer, skim any unpleasant looking foam from the top, and cover with a lid. Simmer 2 1/2 hours. 

[in a slow cooker] combine all ingredients in a large (6 qt or larger) slow cooker. Cook on Low for 10 hours or High for 5. Strain into a large pot and let rest in the fridge until needed, or, if you are finishing the soup right away, bring to a simmer on the stove. 

Cook the chicken: 
[stovetop method, skip if using already cooked chicken] Add the whole chicken breasts to simmering broth. Simmer for  20 minutes, until they are cooked through, remove and set aside, then strain broth. 

[slow cooker method] Add whole chicken breasts to simmering broth on the stove, cook 20 minutes, until cooked through, then set aside. 

Both methods, taste broth and adjust for seasoning. And skim the top of the broth to remove some of the fat that is floating at the top. Leave some though, it is delicious! 

Finish the soup: 
Add diced vegetables to the simmering broth on the stove and cook for 5 minutes, until firm tender. Add soup noodles and cook according to package instructions. Meanwhile, once chicken breasts are cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and shred or chop into small chunks. Return chicken to soup and simmer for 2 minutes, until heated through. Finish with parsley if using and serve to some very lucky people. 


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