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!
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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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