Monday, November 01, 2004


My nose has been hideously runny lately, so I thought some medicinal food might do me some good. And can you believe I’ve never made chicken noodle soup before? It’s a pretty improvisational business—when I went to consult my mom’s recipe, I found it didn’t contain any measurements, so I lifted some from my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook; this represents a combination of the two versions. The result was supremely easy, and very tasty. Combined with homemade rolls, this represents the most fully from-scratch meal I’ve ever attempted. I could just feel the wholesomeness oozing out of it.

My mom’s recipe suggests you take a whole chicken, cut up, boil it with vegetables and water to make the stock, and then strain out the chicken and pull the meat off the bones for this soup. This is an efficient method and will result in the best-tasting soup. But I had already made my stock last week, with a chicken carcass, so that wasn’t going to work for me. Instead, I took a boneless chicken breast and some boneless chicken thigh meat, poached them in a covered pan with a little water until they were cooked through, then cubed them and added them to the soup. You can do whatever suits you better: this recipe is very flexible. It will also be just fine if you use frozen vegetables and dried herbs—but make every effort to use fresh, and you’ll be abundantly rewarded.

4½ cups homemade chicken broth
½ cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil, or ½ teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or ½ teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, or ½ teaspoon dried
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 bay leaf
10 ounces fresh or frozen mixed vegetables, or more to taste (I usually use fresh carrots, celery, corn, and green beans, eyeballing the quantities)
1 cup egg noodles
2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken
chopped fresh parsley to taste

1. Place the vegetables, onion, basil, oregano, and rosemary in a large soup pot along with the pepper, salt (you’ll have to adjust this depending on the saltiness of your broth), bay leaf, and broth.

2. Bring the soup to boiling, then stir in the noodles. Return the soup to boiling, reduce the heat, and simmer it for about 8 minutes, until the noodles are al dente. Discard the bay leaf, add the chicken to the soup, and cook for a few more minutes until everything is heated through. Add some fresh parsley and serve.

Serves: 4-6
Time: 30 minutes

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