On Tuesday we talked about making broth from chicken bones. We even took some of that mega-batch and canned it to replace store bought broth or bouillon cubes in recipes.
But what if you want good, old fashioned chicken noodle soup? We lived far from family when our two kids were very young and, as luck would have it, I got a nasty cold. Jim asked what he could do for me. I said I needed my mom’s chicken noodle soup! He came home with a can of Campbell’s. Folks, it’s not the same. It’s like the whole men are from Mars, women are from Venus thing. They’re both planets, but that’s where the similarity ends!
Anyway, I vowed never to be without real homemade chicken noodle soup again and, for the most part, I’ve kept my vow. I’ve adapted my mom’s recipe a bit–she apparently didn’t believe in the healing powers of garlic and ginger–but for the most part, it’s what I grew up with.
The following recipes are for the stock and meat of one bird. If you, like me, did a large stock pot with 6-8 carcasses, simply adjust the amounts. Each bird will get you about 8 cups of broth and, with additions, will make about 12 cups of finished soup.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Bring your soup stock (with meat) back to a boil and add the following:
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 teaspoon grated ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon powder)
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or oregano (4 teaspoons dry)
salt (to taste)
Place the following into a bouquet garni* and toss in soup:
1/4 teaspoon whole anise seed
12-15 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Now, my mom and Campbell’s agreed on one thing. Chicken noodle soup has chicken and noodles in it. But if you want to add some raw vegetables to the soup, this is the time to do it. Add up to 4 cups of chunked veggies: carrots, celery, green beans, broccoli, or whatever you like.
You may ask how many, and the answer is: it depends on how many veggies you added and how thick you like your soup. And, of course, if you’re preserving the soup for future reference, leave the noodles out. They’re best added fresh minutes before serving.
*A bouquet garni is a bundle of whole spices meant to infuse liquid and then be removed before serving. You can wrap them in cheesecloth or use a spice ball or tea infuser.
Chicken Mushroom Soup
Get out a stock pot large enough to hold 12 cups or so of soup. Turn on the heat and put in:
Saute until the onions are golden, then add:
2 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (or 1/4 tsp powder)
6-8 cups chicken stock with meat
When this has come to a boil, add:
3/4 cup raw pot barley or brown rice
Simmer until cooked through, about 40 minutes, and serve hot.
As far as my family is concerned, nothing is better on a wintery day than homemade soup. Which means that usually, as the garden tapers off in October, I’m busy mega-batching the excess into soup and canning it into quart jars. It’s not unusual for me to have jars of six or even ten kinds of soup on hand at any given time.
Do you mega-batch soup for the freezer or pantry? If so, what kinds do you make? If not, is the idea something that interests you?