Well, it’s a brand new year…AND it’s cold outside. So, how about starting out the new year with a healthy, delicious, warm and satisfying classic comfort food? Okay then, let’s do it!
After making the chicken and corn chowder, I had to make more soups. You can actually use the same procedures with this soup for that soup with the chicken and chicken broth. Just as a head’s up…this is not a quick recipe. But, it IS very nutritious and made with all fresh ingredients. High in vitamins and minerals from using fresh veggies, but low in calories and still filling, all at the same time. In culinary school in our soups class, one of the techniques we went over for thickening soups was pureeing vegetables and mixing that in with the broth. Since there are some picky eaters in my family and some of them refuse to eat chunks of vegetables but will eat them pureed, this sounded like a great option to get some fresh veggies to those picky eaters. Everyone has their own personal taste of how salty they like their soups, so you can play with how much salt you add…just don’t add too much at a time, because you can’t take away what you add! After I made this, my husband took some to work with him to eat for lunch. After lunch, I got a text message from him, telling me that the soup was awesome…and also suggesting that I make it again in a larger bulk so we can freeze it to have it on hand. And you know what else? My super picky brother that is one of my family members who refuses to eat any other vegetables besides peas, corn and lima beans ate the soup and loved it. Success!
whole chicken, giblets removed (4-5 pounds)
1 pound onions, cut up into 1 inch pieces
1/2 pound carrots, cut up into 1 inch pieces
1/2 pound celery, cut up into 1 inch pieces
1/2-1 whole package egg noodles (depends on how much noodles you want in your soup)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
9-10 cups chicken broth (if you’re not making your own with the chicken)
extra salt and pepper to taste for soup
Cook the Chicken: Get a whole chicken that weighs about 5 pounds. What we’re going to do is cook the chicken with the vegetables, so all of the flavors are absorbed together. Place the chicken in the baking dish or crockpot. Combine olive oil, salt, and pepper, brush over chicken. Add Mirepoix. Mirepoix is the combination of 50% onions, 25% celery, and 25% carrots. Since we’re using two pounds of mirepoix, that comes out to be 1 pound of onions, 1/2 pound celery, and 1/2 pound carrots. Mirepoix is used commonly in stocks and broths for flavor, so we’ll be using this as a way to flavor the chicken, as well as soaking up all the flavors of the pan drippings from the chicken during the cooking process. After that, we’ll remove the chicken from the vegetables, and puree the vegetables and pan drippings in a food processor or blender. The veggies will be tender enough from the cooking process to blend into a thick puree.
You can cook the chicken and veggies in your crock pot (on high for about 5 hours) or in the oven in a covered dish at 425 degrees for 1-1/2 hours. If you don’t have a covered dish, just cover tightly with foil…you don’t want the moisture escaping during the cooking process. VERY IMPORTANT: CHECK THE TEMPERATURE OF YOUR CHICKEN! It needs to be at least 165 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken (safety rule for all poultry, so the same goes if you make this recipe with turkey instead of chicken). This will prevent anyone from eating undercooked poultry, which is a huge cause of food poisoning…and no one wants that! After the chicken is done cooking, remove from dish or crock pot, and pick all of the meat (discarding fat, bones and carcass) bits that you want to be in your soup, shredding and breaking up into bite size pieces. Once you have the meat picked out, set aside in a bowl.
Make the Broth: In a large stock pot, fill a little over halfway with water, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken fat and carcass, and simmer in water for an hour. Remove carcass, then strain liquid into another large container using a fine mesh strainer. You’ll be using 9-10 cups of chicken broth in this recipe for the soup, depending on how thick or thin you want it to be. SHORTCUT: Use reduced sodium canned chicken broth instead of making it yourself.
According to noodle package directions, boil noodles in chicken broth. When noodles are done cooking, stir in pureed vegetable mixture. Add chicken and cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Serve warm, store leftover soup in fridge for up to five days, and in freezer for up to three months. Since everyone has their own taste with salt, you can add as little or as much as you feel it needs. Personally, I thought 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper was the perfect amount…but my husband thought it was a little too much and my brother thought it needed more. Perfect example of preferences. 😉
When reheating in microwave, cook in 1 minute intervals, stirring after each minute until heated through. This ensures soup is heated evenly. Depending on how much soup you’re reheating, this process takes 2-4 minutes total. Hope you enjoy it as much as we have!
**Make it Gluten-Free! Just use gluten-free noodles, corn, or potatoes!