November 04, 2020
Soup is very personal. It is a process of layering flavors and ingredients over time to create a finished product that is well seasoned, where each vegetable is cooked to its desired tenderness and all the flavors balance beautifully. This chicken noodle soup recipe is a lengthy process but one that never fails to bring me great comfort and joy. I allow myself moments of secretive bliss, snacking on crispy chicken skin as I chop my vegetables. The the smell of broth simmering away warms and scents my home and I wake up to it in the morning. There is so much to be enjoyed in this process beyond the finale of the finished bowl of soup!
The ultimate comfort for the spirit and the body, chicken soup is packed with nutrients and boosts our immune systems. This recipe uses a whole roasted chicken to make broth. Packed with herbs and finished with a squeeze of lemon, this soup will be a true treat!Author:
1 whole chicken
2 carrots, cleaned and diced, ends saved for stock
2 large leek, cleans and cut in half
3 stalks celery, diced, ends saved for stock
1 bulb fennel, bulb diced, fronds and stems saved for stock
1 large onion, peeled and diced, peels saved for stock
1 small winter squash, peeled and diced
1 head garlic, peeled and diced, skins saved for stock
1 cup freshly chopped herbs, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, and tarragon are my favorite
4 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb dried pasta, I like thin egg noodles
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425
Pat the chicken dry and rub it generously with salt and olive oil. Place it on a large sheet tray breast side down on top of the leeks and fennel stems. Cook for 25 minutes and reduce the heat to 350. Cook until a thermometer entered into the chicken thigh reaches 165F, or the the chicken juices run clear when punctured with a knife in the crease between the thigh and the breast. This should take about 35-45 minutes.
Allow the chicken to cool, enjoy a few bites of crispy chicken skin! Once the chicken is cool you can eat whatever you like for lunch or dinner. Save 2 cups of meat to add to the soup. Place the remaining bones in a large stock pot with the roasted leeks and fennel stems. Add any other vegetable trimmings. Bring the stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer. If any foam rises to the service, skim it off with a large spoon or ladle and discard it. Simmer the stock for at least 4 hours, up to 10 hours.
Once the stock is done, strain it and discard the bones and vegetable scraps.
In a large soup pot over medium high heat, sauté the onions, carrots, fennel, winter squash and celery with 4 Tbsp olive oil and a generous pinch of salt until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add garlic and herbs and sauté until fragrant, about 5 more minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer for 15 minutes or until the winter squash is tender.
In a separate pot, boil 2 quarts of water and salt them generously. Cook the noodles until they are al dente.
Add the chicken and noodles to your soup and taste to adjust seasonings. Finish with a fresh squeeze of lemon and freshly cracked pepper. Enjoy!
If you want to make this soup in a more timely fashion, you can use store bought broth and leftover chicken. Fortify the broth by simmering it with vegetable scraps while you prepare your other ingredients!
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