Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

Friday, October 29, 2010

I have about five recipes begging me to post them. And every day I told myself I would do it, but then I'd leave my camera at home...every single day. See, when you leave the house at 6:15 am and it's still dark outside, you forget things; your camera, lunch, running shoes for the gym, half your brain, etc. The camera happened to be on that list all week.
My apologies.
Let the string of Fall recipes begin now...

I don’t know if you’re aware, but October is finally October around here. The bbq is currently collecting dust and my sister is cursing me for going into a baking frenzy; supplying her with a bounty of cookie stones and casserole dishes to clean. (At least she gets to eat pumpkin cookies when she’s done- those will be up here tomorrow!)

I started the week deciding that rain and cold weather put me in such a nesting mood that I should make all the dinners for the week. I am sure glad I did because meetings, studying and, eh hem, the World Series (Go Giants) are keeping me busy.
Monday night brought us this classic Chicken Noodle Soup and dumplings. I will tell you the dumplings are straight from a box of Heart Healthy Bisquik. Yes, you heard me. I have a tendency to get all June Cleaver and decide that I should make things from scratch when in reality, it is the biggest pain in my butt and I could be doing a million other things. Then I cut corners in other places when in reality they would only take me an extra few seconds. Would you like an example? On a normal day I would roast my own chicken for this soup to create homemade broth, plus i would hunt for a recipe for homemade dumplings. On the other hand, I would say, “screw peeling these carrots, I’m going to leave them looking ugly and throw them in.” Insanity. A pre roasted chicken was $1 less than an uncooked one. Now I know I wasted plastic on that pre roasted chicken and I am all about making stuff from scratch because it’s calming and lovely and better for Mother Earth, but sometimes we have to cut a few corners to make our lives run a little smoother. I’m patting myself on the back for recognizing this and buying a free range organic pre roasted chicken. I peeled those carrots, which took about 12 seconds and the soup turned out great. I modified this from a Tyler Florence recipe I’ve been using since I first started making chicken soup when I lived in Portland with my lovely friend Megan and we would eat soup for days because 1. it wasn’t fast food and 2. it was cheap.
Some notes:
Feel free to use whatever broth you have lying around- I highly recommend buying that stuff whenever it’s on sale.
Also, I really, really, really like the fresh thyme, but you could use dried. I used chopped dried bay leaf, but you could use whole ones.
Finally, this original recipe did not call for garlic, but seriously why isn’t garlic in every recipe? Except maybe apple pie...stick some in the soup.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon dried, chopped bay leaf
2 boxes of pre made chicken stock
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
1 roasted or boiled chicken- shredded and cut into bite sized pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the carrot first and let sit for a couple of minutes. Then add the onion, garlic, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6-8 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. You can leave this on low for about an hour to really let it set. This soup freezes well.For dumplings, follow the recipe on the side of the Heart Healthy Bisquick box, or be awesome and find your own recipe.
Serves about 6-8


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